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Advocacy Alert - Assembly Releases Bullet Aid Allocations

June 24, 2015

Today, the Assembly passed Resolution No. 826, which allocates more than $14 million to dozens of school districts, libraries and not-for-profit organizations for 2015-16. This funding, commonly referred to a “bullet aid,” is in addition to the state aid amounts approved as part of this year’s budget and does not flow through traditional state aid formulas.

Act Now - Join Us in Asking the Assembly to Pass This Legislation

June 17, 2015

A.2800-a (Lentol) / S.430-a (Gallivan) which amends the penal law to make all threats of violence against groups of people a felony passed the Senate yesterday. The impetus of this legislation came from the Walton School District through the NYSSBA resolution process.

Under current law if someone threatens a fire, an explosion, or a hazardous chemical substance they are guilty of a class D felony, yet if someone makes a threat of violence through other means against a school this would just be a misdemeanor. This legislation would address that inequity.

Click below to read more about this bill:

While this has passed the Senate we need your help to get it through the Assembly.

Take Action Now

Call To Action – End of Session Update June 12, 2015

With only three scheduled session days remaining, most pending education issues remain unresolved which means we will continue our work into next week.

The NYSSBA Government Relations team wanted to provide our members with an update on the status of legislative proposals of concern to our members.

SUPPORT Changes to Implementation of Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR)

A.7303-a, sponsored by Assembly Education Chairwoman Cathy Nolan, would make changes to the implementation of the updated APPR including:

  • Delinking APPR compliance and state aid increases;
  • Delaying the effective date until 2016;
  • Making the use of independent evaluators optional rather than mandatory

Act Now—Support Changes to APPR

As the remaining days of session wind down, action continues on many key issues. One key piece of legislation has passed the Assembly, A.7303-a, sponsored by Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan.

Click below to read NYSSBA’s memorandum of support:

Click below to read NYSSBA’s presentation to the State Education Department on APPR:


New Education Leadership for New York State

It has been an exciting week for education in Albany.

On Tuesday, the New York State Board of Regents convened a special meeting to appoint MaryEllen Elia as the new Commissioner of Education.

MaryEllen Elia is a lifelong educator, and native New Yorker beginning her career as a social studies teacher at Sweet Home High School outside of Buffalo. In 1986, she relocated to the Tampa, Florida, where she spent nearly 30 years in the Hillsborough County School system. More than 10 of those years were spend as the superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, the 8th largest school district in the nation.

Ms. Elia, the first woman to hold a permanent appointment in this role, and will begin her term July 6th.

Connect. Engage. Act.

The race to the end of the legislative session is on! Each house of the Legislature and the Executive have laid out their priorities and activity in the Capitol has taken on a frenzied pace. In the days and weeks ahead, NYSSBA’s governmental relations team will be sharing updates, information and calls to action.

Today, we are excited to announce a new tool that allows for NYSSBA members to send messages to lawmakers within seconds.  Engage (formerly CapWiz) will allow you to send letters directly to your elected officials on priority bills. We encourage you to take action and share these requests with anyone in your district.   

Education Investment Tax Credit

Last week Governor Cuomo unveiled the Parental Choice in Education Act, the latest piece of legislation to create tax credits in support of non-public schools. This bill would provide millions of dollars each year in the form of state tax credits to support donations to scholarship organizations, education funds and other education entities, as well as to support tuition for private and other sectarian schools.

Message from the Resolutions Committee Chair and 2015 Resolutions Toolkit

May 7, 2015

Dear Fellow Board Members,

The resolutions committee met on April 15, 2015 with the following board members and staff in attendance;

Committee Members and other Board members;

Advocacy Update - New York State Learning Summit on Teacher and Principal Evaluation

May 4, 2015

Learning Summit on Teacher and Principal Evaluation

The New York State Board of Regents, in conjunction with the New York State Education Department, will hold a Learning Summit on Teacher and Principal Evaluation this Thursday May 7, 2015, for the purposes of gaining valuable feedback from you and your organization regarding the Commissioner’s regulations that must be adopted in response to changes to the new teacher and principal evaluation system for New York State educators.

NYSSBA has been invited to participate.  We were given 22 tickets to distribute statewide.  Our delegation is composed of school board members from every area, the Big 5, BOCES, and the Caucus of Black School Board Members.  NYSSBA Executive Director Tim Kremer, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel Jay Worona and Director of Governmental Relations Julie Marlette will make a presentation on behalf of NYSSBA members that will address policy, regulatory and legislative recommendations for rebuilding the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) system correctly.

The summit will be live-streamed for your convenience.  Instructions for accessing the live-stream signal will be posted on the NYSSBA website.

2015 NYSSBA Budget Analysis

April 8, 2015

Last week the legislature enacted the 2015-16 State Budget which included the following:

  • A school aid increase of - $1.3 billion
    • GEA Restoration - $603 million
    • Foundation Aid increase - $428 million
    • Expense-based aids - $269 million
  • An expansion of the educator probationary period from 3 to 4 years
  • Improvements to the tenured educator disciplinary system
  • A school receivership system
  • An overhaul of the APPR system, including the required use of independent evaluators
    • A link between the adoption and certification of updated teacher evaluations by November 2015 in order to be in the receipt of a school aid increase

Links To:

  • The Governmental Relations Team’s Analysis of Key Components
  • The NYSSBA 2015 State Budget Analysis Webinar
  • Local Government Efficiency Plans


March 31, 2015

Late last night, the legislature voted on the 2015-16 state budget enacting a $142 billion total spending plan with more than $23 billion in total education spending, a $1.3 billion formula aid increase over last year. The school aid growth includes $603 million in GEA restoration and $428 million in additional Foundation Aid. At first glance, it seems clear that many of the state aid distribution principles advocated for by NYSSBA were included in this year’s school aid package.

Links To:

  • Joint Statement from NYSCOSS and NYSSBA on Teacher Evaluations
  • 2015-16 State Aid Projections

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