New York State School Boards Association
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Tackling racism in the classroom

On Board Online • July 22, 2019

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

"What comes to mind when you hear Native American, indigenous people, Indians?" teacher Jenice Mateo-Toledo recently asked 20 sixth graders in Hastings Public Schools.

The students bent their heads and wrote responses on their papers. Tribes, feathers, teepees and "savages" were mentioned in the discussion that followed, as well as the Redskins football team.

Advocacy Update: List of Schools Classified as "High Need and Underfunded" Released

July 18, 2019

A provision included in the 2019 enacted state budget requires that districts with individual schools that have been identified by the state as "high need and underfunded" are required to establish plans that "shall prioritize funding within the district to such schools." The law further requires that districts with identified schools submit to the Education Commissioner by September 1, 2019 a report specifying how such prioritization will be achieved.

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on the Resignation of MaryEllen Elia

FOR RELEASE: July 15, 2019

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell


MaryEllen Elia took over as commissioner of education during a tumultuous time in New York’s public schools. She helped heal wounds resulting from the hurried implementation of the state’s annual teacher and principal performance review process (APPR) and Common Core learning standards.

Advocacy Update: 2019 NYS School Funding Transparency Form Released

July 10, 2019

Last year, a new mandate was enacted that requires school districts to annually submit to the State Education Department and the Division of the Budget a report on the building by building  allocations for each school in the district for the upcoming school budget year. The 2019 form is now available.

In 2019, districts with four or more schools will be required to complete and submit the New York State School Funding Transparency Form. A list of the 306 districts required to report this year, as well as the form and guidance on the form can be found at the links below.

Districts that reported in 2018 should note that the report is now in an online format, rather than the excel-based report that was submitted last year.

Districts required to report this year must complete and submit the report to the Division of the Budget and the State Education Department by the Friday prior to Labor Day, August 30, 2019, at 5:30 pm.

Changing district demographics prompt sensitivity trainings

On Board Online • July 1, 2019

By Michael Goot
Special Correspondent

Whether students should be allowed to wear a "doo-rag" on their head was a topic of discussion at a recent training for the Brockport Central School District and the College at Brockport. Is it a distraction?

Cephas D. Archie, chief diversity officer for the college, said prohibiting the head gear, which is often worn by African Americans, would be a sign of cultural bias.

Summer school students must be immunized

On Board Online • July 1, 2019

By Pilar Sokol
Deputy General Counsel

In the wake of a new state law that eliminated religious exemptions from immunization, three state agencies have issued a joint document that says summer school students must be immunized.

The law, which eliminated non-medical exemptions from immunizations required for school attendance, became effective upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature on June 13.

Be wary of helicopter school board

On Board Online • July 1, 2019

William Miller
NYSSBA President

In my last column, I highlighted the practice of "helicopter governing." I used that term, which is a twist on the popular phrase helicopter parenting, to refer to the well-intentioned but heavy-handed intrusion of government at the state and federal levels to influence even the smallest decisions at the local level.

In this column, I want us to focus our lens inward. Let's talk about helicopter school boards.

Again, it starts with good intentions. In our zeal to fix things or make things right, we school board members can sometimes overstep our bounds and commit the sin of micromanagement.

2019 session comes to a close

On Board Online • July 1, 2019

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

About 36 hours after the scheduled end of the legislative session, the state Assembly finished their work and adjourned for the year, about seven hours after the Senate completed its work.

As is often the case, the end of session was as notable for what did not happen as what did, some good, some bad.

Assembly drops proposal to create parallel of 3020-a

On Board Online • July 1, 2019

Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

Legislation was introduced and passed the state Senate that would have required public employers, including school districts, to use an independent hearing officer and adhere to the decision of that hearing officer in all disciplinary matters involving civil service employees covered by section 75 of the Civil Service Law.

Is bias training biased?

On Board Online • July 1, 2019

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

At a mandatory training event for leaders of New York City schools last year, participants were asked "What lived experience inspires you as a leader to fight for equity?" After a Jewish superintendent recounted how her family suffered during the Holocaust, she was criticized by a colleague for failing to focus the conversation on black students, according to the New York Post.

"This is not about being Jewish!" the colleague said during a break, according to the Post. "It's about black and brown boys of color only. You better check yourself."

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