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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.
October 29, 2018
Delegates at the 2018 Annual Business Meeting engaged in significant debate on a number of issues. This year, the delegates were presented twenty resolutions, nineteen of which were adopted. In addition the delegates elected NYSSBA officers for 2019.
These positions will remain in effect for five years, unless they are rescinded or achieved sooner. As a result, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team will work toward advancing those proposals that would require legislative change to be implemented.
October 18, 2018
Last week, NYSSBA, alongside fellow education advocates, school districts, municipal groups and their members formed the Coalition for the Charitable Contribution Deduction (3CD) for the purpose of providing comments to the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS regarding the August 23 proposed regulations governing tax deductibility of charitable giving. The proposed regulations would in most cases deny a full charitable deduction to a taxpayer who makes a contribution to a charitable fund and subsequently receives a state or local tax credit.
October 10, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, State Report cards must include: specific, per-pupil expenditures of federal, state and local funds. This includes actual personnel expenditures and actual non-personnel expenditures of federal, state and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds.
The first of these reports will be required for the 2018-19 school - year. Those reports will be on actual expenditures and are expected to be due by December 2019.
The State Education Department is hosting a series of regional meetings across the state with community stakeholders including school district leaders, board members and parents to discuss the financial reports required by ESSA.
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