Message from the Executive Director

May 22, 2022

Dear Members and Stakeholders,

Voter turnout (640,689) for last week’s elections increased 23% from the previous year.  These voters approved 99% of proposed school district budgets, a strong and welcome endorsement of the spending plans presented by local school boards.  State funding to help districts recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and a continued phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula were enormously helpful as schools cope with inflation and the ongoing consequences of the pandemic.

School budgets adopted for the 2022-23 school year fund a number of education priorities, such as academic intervention and enrichment programs to address "learning loss" attributed to the pandemic. Many districts are strengthening mental health services, restoring extracurricular activities, and adding counselors, social workers, librarians, attendance officers and teachers of art, music, and elective courses.

The average tax levy increase is projected to be 1.78%, which is lower than the average of 1.90% for the previous five years.  Overall, districts were able to keep tax levies relatively stable, keep core programs and services intact and even add staff in their budgets for 2022-23.

And congratulations to all of the incumbent school board members who were reelected and to the new school board members who will be joining their school boards this summer.  On the whole statewide, the number of candidates vying for open seats was on par with previous years.  Some districts had many more candidates than usual – as many as 8 or 10 candidates for 2 or 3 vacancies.  Many other districts, however, had candidates running unopposed or lacked enough candidates on the ballot to fill vacancies without write-ins.

I also want to sincerely thank our retiring school board members for their dedicated and thoughtful leadership during these challenging times.  I know thousands of New York students benefited from their hard work.
 
NYSSBA will be sending out welcome packets to new members in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, please check out NYSSBA’s website for more information about the roles and responsibilities of school boards.
 
Weekly Updates and Reminders

Attention New School Board Members Elected in May 2021:  The Deadline to Complete the State Mandated Training Deadline is June 30, 2022
New York State law requires newly-elected school board members to complete training within their first year of service. This training requires topics on the essentials of school board governance and a minimum of six hours in fiscal oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member.  Click here for more information and to register for the training.  

Nominations for NYSSBA's Everett R. Dyer Award Now Open
The New York State School Boards Association's Everett R. Dyer Award for Distinguished School Board Service is presented annually to a current or former school board member, who, in the judgment of the NYSSBA Awards Committee, should be recognized for outstanding contributions to public education and children in his or her own school district.  Nominations are now being accepted.  Submit the nomination form here. For more information, visit our website.  The deadline is June 17,2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Save the Date:  NYSSBA’s 2022 Leadership in Education Event
August 12 and 13
Albany, NY
Registration Opening Soon
Hear from national, state and local education leaders, collaborate with your fellow board members and superintendents through solution-oriented education sessions, participate in roundtable discussions, complete the governance portion of the new school board member mandated training and more.  We will be sending registration information and more details about the Leadership in Education Event this week.

NYSSBA ’22 Together Again:  Convention Keynote – Marlee Matlin
October 27 - 29, 2022
Syracuse, New York
Registration opens August 1, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.  
One of the great things about Convention is the opportunity to gain insight into issues that are relevant to your work at the board table. Choose from 50+ education sessions in tracks such as Board Governance, Community Engagement & Collaboration, Culturally Responsive Schools, Social Emotional Learning, Student Town Halls and Tag Team Talks.

Vendors are also welcome at our Education Expo where they can market their products and services to one of the largest K-12 public education audiences in New York.  This year, exhibitors will enjoy an impressive interactive expo floor that includes three classrooms, a digital student art show, a listening wall and student exhibitors as well as hard-wall booth construction for a modern look and feel and hours of dedicated Expo time for attendees.  Click here to learn more about the Education Expo.
 
New York State Education Department

Flexibility in the Use of 2021-22 and 2022-23 Regents Examination Scores to Satisfy Diploma Requirements
The Board of Regents approved a temporary expansion of the process to file an appeal and graduate with a lower score on a Regents Examination. The Board approved the expansion of the appeal process as an Emergency Action at its May meeting.  You can find additional information on the Diploma and Graduation Resources web page.

U.S. Department of Education Honors Seven New York Students as 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars
The U.S. Department of Education recognized seven New York State high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars. The recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.  The members of the Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. The list of New York scholars is available in the full news release.

State Finalists Selected for 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
PAEMST finalists in Math include Kristin Hanley from Clarkstown Central School District and Justin Wiedrick from Adirondack Central School. The two science finalists are New York City Department of Education educators, Michelle Jennings from Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy, and Shiela Lee from PS 59.

Be well and stay in touch.

Sincerely,
Robert S. Schneider CPA, CAE
Executive Director
New York State School Boards Association

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