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February 20, 2019
Last week, the Governor released the "30-Day Amendments" to his budget proposal. Advocates in all sectors worried that after the announcement of an anticipated $2.3 billion deficit, there would be large cuts in all sectors. While some areas were not as lucky, education remained largely unchanged in the Executive proposal.
The legislative houses are both working on their respective proposals. Many of you connected with your legislators at the 2019 Capital Conference, but it is important to continue communicating and informing them of your districts needs.
February 6, 2019
Today, NYSSBA Governmental Relations submitted testimony on the Executive budget proposal during the joint budget hearing on education. This testimony included both a response to the Executive proposal and advanced several NYSSBA proposals that were not addressed in his budget.
NYSSBA's testimony can be accessed below:
January 25, 2019
Legislation to amend the current APPR law to eliminate the mandate to use state exams as the measure of student performance has passed both the Assembly and the Senate. If enacted, districts would instead be required to collectively bargain what assessment is used as the student performance measure in APPR. During the floor debate, NYSSBA's concerns and proposed amendments were referenced by legislators.
January 22, 2019
Legislation to amend the current APPR law to eliminate the mandate to use state exams as the measure of student performance in APPR has moved through both the Senate and Assembly Education committee. If enacted, districts would instead be required to collectively bargain what assessment is used.
January 15, 2019
Earlier today, Governor Cuomo presented his combined State of the State and Budget address. While there was relatively little mention of education in the address itself, the comments the Governor did make were concerning. The Governor announced that he would propose a $956 million (3.6%) increase in education funding. However, the actual formula based aid increase proposal is only $748 million (approximately 2.8%), $338 million of which is Foundation Aid. The Governor also proposed the adoption of a state mandated building level aid distribution mechanism.
January 10, 2019
One of the key issues the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team anticipates legislative action on in the 2019 session is changes to the current Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) system. NYSSBA has advanced recommendations which would, if adopted:
December 11, 2018
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized updated rules from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act altering requirements related to milk, whole grains, and sodium. The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2019. The Department's changes represent official action on a plan that was announced by the Secretary of Agriculture in May 2017. Under the new rules, schools will be able to offer students flavored one-percent milk (not just unflavored skim milk), reduce the current 100 percent whole grain requirement to 50 percent - ending the exemption process that some school districts utilized when having trouble meeting the 100 percent requirement and, maintain the current Target 1 sodium level until 2024. The updated regulations can be viewed at the link below.
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.
November 20, 2018
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.
November 12, 2018
No major surprises occurred in the statewide races, with Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Hochul, Comptroller DiNapoli and Senator Gillibrand all securing re-election. New York does have a new Attorney General, with Tisch James, former NYC Public Advocate filling the vacancy caused by Eric Schneiderman's resignation earlier this year.
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