New York State School Boards Association

Advocacy Update: School Safety and Violence Resources

December 3, 2018

The New York State Police and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) have recently developed a workshop available to school districts entitled School Violence: Incident Prevention and Response. The program, which is intended for school staff and administrators, will provide information regarding school climate, threat assessments and guided response in the occurrence of an act of violence on school property.

School districts can request the training through the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) or the State Police.

Additional information, including contact information for the coordinating organizations, is available below.

In addition, the National Association of School Psychologists has recently published new guidance regarding threat assessments and threat response. The information outlines district-wide policies and procedures, definitions and explanations of differing threat types and examples from other states. 

Resources are intended for school administrators, staff and crisis teams and are available below.

McKinney-Vento Grant Program

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) released the application for the 2019-2022 McKinney-Vento Grant Program.

Approximately $5.1 million dollars, is available to eligible applicants including public school districts and BOCES who have identified a minimum average of 100 students in temporary housing in the school years 2015-16 through 2017-2018. If educational institutions have less than 100 eligible students, they may apply as a consortium.

Additional information, including a grant application, is available below.

Public Comment on Department of Homeland Security's Public Charge Proposal

On November 20, 2018, NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team submitted a letter in opposition to the Office of Policy and Strategy at the Department of Homeland Security in regards to the redefinition of "public charge." The proposed change would affect low and moderate-income immigrants who have legally accessed public assistance, in their efforts to obtain a green card, extend or change their temporary status in the United States.

NYSSBA is concerned that such a policy could dissuade parents who are immigrants from seeking nutritional programs (SNAP) or proper medical care (Medicaid) that their children may need to be successful in the classroom.

NYSSBA's Comments can be viewed below.

BOCES Capital Exclusion

Earlier this year, the legislature passed a bill that, if enacted, would make a targeted adjustment to the state's property tax cap by incorporating a school district's BOCES capital expenditures as part of its capital exclusion. Currently, only district capital expenditures are excluded from the tax cap calculation, despite the fact that BOCES are wholly dependent on their component districts for funding.

Similar legislation was passed in 2017, but was vetoed by the Governor who cited concerns that some BOCES capital projects are not directly approved by the voters and can present unintended consequences to the taxpayer.

The updated legislation, S.7730 (Murphy) / A.9825 (Galef), addresses the concern about voter approval by limiting the exclusion to those BOCES capital projects directly approved by the voters. All remaining bills have until the end of the year to be delivered to the Governor.  NYSSBA is asking for your help in urging the Governor to sign this bill.  Here are the ways in which you can assist as soon as possible:

First: You can sign on to the Take Action letter .

Second: Your board can send a letter to the Governor and "cc:" NYSSBA. Sample letters are below.

NYSSBA's memorandum in support of this bill and letter to the Governor can be accessed below. We have also included the Governor's 2017 veto message for reference.

NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues. For more information, visit our Key Issues Page.  

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