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Advocacy Alert: State of the State Highlights 2017

January 12, 2017

Governor Cuomo has completed his 6th and final 2017 State of the State presentation and released his written report to the legislature.

While the presentations themselves were quite light on P-12 education, with a mention of funding, recovery high schools and some teacher recognition programs being the most notable items, the written materials offered a more complete picture of items to be on the lookout for in 2017; and possibly a preview of what will be included in the budget bills expected to be released next week.

Below you can find links to the NYSSBA's summary of the most relevant proposals, as well as a link to the full State of the State presentation itself.

Advocacy Update - 86% of NYSSBA Survey Respondents Oppose Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

January 9, 2017

Over the last week, as the U.S. Senate has prepared to conduct Ms. DeVos's confirmation hearing. The New York State School Boards Association has been preparing as well. We conducted a survey of our advocacy network, which primarily consists of school board members and other school district officials and staff throughout the state, asking for their input on the nomination so it might be shared with New York's senators and other decision makers.

Overwhelmingly, respondents oppose Ms. Devos's appointment as Secretary of Education with 86% of respondents stating their opposition.

Advocacy Alert – Outstanding Senate Races Called

December 20, 2016

Outstanding State Senate Races called, Democrat Brooks in SD-8 and Republican Marcellino in SD-5 Certified Winners

A state court has ordered that Democrat John Brooks be certified the winner of the state Senate's 8th District, making him the only Democratic candidate to unseat a GOP opponent in a year in which Democrats were hoping to retake control of the chamber. After more than a month of deliberation, Brooks was ahead by about 250 votes when both sides agreed to end the challenge.

In State Senate District 5, Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino was recently certified as the winner of his re-election bid after almost 12,000 paper ballots were counted. 

Advocacy Update: 2017 Legislative Preview

December 8, 2016

The NYSSBA Governmental Relations team hosted a webinar discussing the recent election results and previewing the 2017 session and budget and legislative priorities.  

If you were unable to participate, you can view the webinar and materials below.

Advocacy Update: Governor Cuomo Acts on 132 Bills

December 5, 2016

On Monday, immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, Governor Cuomo took action on 132 bills that had been delivered signing 60 and vetoing the remaining 72. This was a mixed bag for NYSSBA, as we achieved some of our goals and will have to keep working on others. A summary of the Governor's vetoes on key bills as well as some of NYSSBA's advocacy work is below:

Veto Number 235: S.4737 (Carlucci) / A.6823 (Jaffee)

This bill would have made it the duty of the town receiver of taxes to collect school taxes on behalf of the school district unless "the school board advises the town's receiver of taxes in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, by no later than February first of each year that it collects its own taxes." This would have effectively allowed a school district to unilaterally decide to collect its own taxes. The school district would have no longer needed the town to agree to such decision.

Advocacy Alert: Delay of DOL Overtime Rule

November 29, 2016

A federal judge granted an emergency preliminary injunction to delay implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's overtime regulation set to take effect this week on December 1st. The finalized regulations establish a new minimum salary threshold of $47,476 per year, for certain employees. This constitutes a 100% increase in the salary threshold for overtime eligibility. The judge noted, "[d]ue to the approaching effective date of the Final Rule, the Court's ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits is in jeopardy." The injunction will remain in place while the "Court determines the department's authority to make the Final Rule as well as the Final Rule's validity."

Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been working on plans to overturn the regulation including action under the Congressional Review Act and a legislative phase in. 

Advocacy Alert: NYSED and AG Release District Guidance on Students' Rights

November 22, 2016

Last week, New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a set of guidance documents and resources for school districts to prevent and if necessary, manage acts of bullying and other behaviors in their schools. These resources were released in response to reports of a number of disturbing incidents of bias and hate-based acts of bigotry, including vandalism, harassment, bullying and even violence across New York communities.

Advocacy Update – 2016 Election Wrap Up

November 9, 2016

Last night the country elected a new president. Closer to home it appears likely that the Republicans will retain control of the State Senate for 2017, though final results are still pending recounts.  For a full analysis of the election results and what they mean for education policy, join the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team for a 2017 preview webinar on December 7th at 12:00 p.m.  Registration information can be found below.

Advocacy Update: 2016 Annual Business Meeting

November 1, 2016

Delegates at the 2016 Annual Business Meeting engaged in significant debate on a number of issues. This year, the delegates were presented with five proposed bylaw amendments and twenty-four resolutions. By the end of the meeting, delegates had elected the 2017 NYSSBA officers, adopted two bylaw amendments, extended two existing positions and adopted fourteen new positions.

These positions will remain in effect as a part of the Association’s active program for five years, unless they are rescinded or achieved sooner. As a result, the NYSSBA governmental relations team will work toward advancing proposals that would implement these policy changes.

Advocacy Alert: USED Releases Guidance on Title IV

October 25, 2016

Last week, the US Education Department released non-regulatory guidance to implement Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Funding under this title can be used for programs that improve school conditions for student learning and improve academic achievement and digital literacy.

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