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June 21, 2018
For the first time in recent history, the state legislative session ended without a "big ugly", a complicated, comprehensive bill with a lot of unrelated items that no one would agree to otherwise. While some were frustrated by the lack of agreement on specific items, the upside is that there was no rush to judgment on complex issues that should be addressed thoughtfully.
NYSSBA Governmental Relations Staff will break down all the details on the session at the End of Session Webinar on June 27th, but some of the highlights, as well as registration information on the webinar can be viewed below.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan introduced the Senate's proposal to update APPR, as well as a number of other Senate Education priorities.
At first blush some components of the proposal may seem attractive, as the bill repeals sections 3012-c and 3012-d of the education law, and along with them the matrix, the requirement to use any measure of student performance and any link to state aid. However, the bill then restructures APPR to require that evaluations be 100% subject to collective bargaining.
The bill would also include a number of provisions unrelated to evaluation including:
June 5, 2018
After a weeklong gap in action, yesterday, with little fanfare, the State Senate entered their chamber and took up 130 bills, before adjourning for the day. These were largely non- controversial measures, and it remains to be seen what will happen today or if there are controversial bills advanced. NYSSBA Governmental Relations will continue to push to see our priorities advanced while bills are still being considered.
June 4, 2018
The hectic days that lead in to the final days of the NYS legislative session have hit a new snag. Following the departure of Senator Tom Croci, who has begun preparation to resume active military duty and stopped coming to Albany, neither the Democrats nor Republicans have the requisite number of votes (32) to pass legislation.
Senate Democrats and Lieutenant Governor Hochul have argued that in this instance, she, as president of the Senate, should have the authority to preside over and cast the deciding vote.
May 24, 2018
Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice indicating that regulations would be forthcoming to address the deductibility of state and local tax payments for federal income tax purposes, including addressing the federal deductibility of payments and donations to new entities in exchange for a tax credit against state or local taxes owed.
This announcement appears to be in direct response to states that have or plan to authorize state and local charitable funds to support education and healthcare. New York adopted such a proposal as a part of the state budget, and guidance on the creation of such funds was released just last week
May 14, 2018
Legislation that seeks to update the current cap on salaries for BOCES district superintendents is pending in both houses of the state legislature. Current law caps the salary of BOCES district superintendents at 98 percent of the commissioner of education's 2003-04 salary or 106% of the salary cap applicable in the previous school year, whichever is less. This legislation would update the cap to reflect the commissioner of education's 2017-18 salary.
The cap, first enacted in 1993, was intended to be regularly updated. However, the cap has been adjusted only once, in 2003.
Please contact your legislators and ask them to pass this bill before the legislative session ends. NYSSBA's memorandum in support of this bill can be accessed below.
May 10, 2018
This week, the State Senate Majority issued a statement expressing concern about the legislation recently passed in the Assembly (A.10475, Nolan/S.8301, Marcellino) that would make several changes to teacher and principal evaluations, known as "Annual Professional Performance Reviews" (APPR).
As introduced this bill would eliminate the mandated use of State test scores as a part of teacher and principal evaluations (APPR) and require that districts collectively bargain which assessments will be used instead. This bill also purports to allow current APPR plans to remain in place until new agreements and plans are reached, without the loss of district state aid increases. In addition, this bill would make permanent the prohibition on state 3-8 test scores appearing as a part of a student's permanent record.
May 7, 2018
Congressional momentum continues to grow around a proposal that would convert the Impact Aid program for use to fund educational savings accounts. Impact aid provides direct funding to school districts that have large amounts of nontaxable federal land. This federal aid stream helps fill the gap in property tax revenues. If adopted, this change would take the money out of school districts and instead fund education savings accounts for families of federally connected children to attend the school of their choice.
April 16, 2018
State Budget Includes New Building Level Reporting Requirement
The recently enacted budget includes a modified version of the Executive proposal for school building-based budget approval. Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, any district with at least four schools that receives at least fifty percent of its total revenue through state aid will be required to annually report its budgeted support for individual schools within the district.
April 5, 2018
Earlier today the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team conducted a webinar to present their analysis of the 2018 State Budget and to answer questions.
If you were unable to view the webinar live, you may view it at any time at the link below.
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