New York State School Boards Association
Press Releases

NYSSBA Statement on Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe's Resignation

FOR RELEASE: July 24, 2020

NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider said, "NYSSBA has had a close working relationship with Interim Commissioner Tahoe that included texts and phone calls at all hours of the day and night. She has shown excellent leadership in a time when public schools have been coping with a pandemic in addition to the many ongoing challenges of public education. She will be missed."

NYSSBA’s Annual Convention & Education Expo is Going Virtual!

As your membership Association, NYSSBA takes the health and well-being of its members seriously.  Therefore, we are transforming our annual convention, originally scheduled for October 29-31, into a two-week virtual event.

You’ll receive the same great quality experience that you have come to know and enjoy from our in-person event.

Our virtual convention will provide you with exceptional programming, keynote address, pre-convention events, expo, networking opportunities, entertainment and much more!

The dates and times of the virtual convention will be announced in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact the individual listed below for your specific inquiry.

Barry Entwistle, Member Relations Director – General Convention – or 518.783.3767

Heidi Longton, Convention & Meeting Manager – Programming/Registration/Speakers – or 518.783.3768

Anna O’Hara, Expo Manager – Education Expo – or 518-783.3710

Cassandra Ingham, Business Development Manager – Sponsorships – or 518.783.3726

School Boards Association updates school budget results

FOR RELEASE: June 18, 2020

An updated analysis of school budget votes by the New York State School Boards Association finds that 98.7% of school district budgets were approved by voters on Tuesday.

The analysis, which includes results for 667 of the 675 districts across the state that hold public budget votes, found that voters passed 658 school district budgets. The number of budgets defeated was nine.

School Boards Association estimates that 99% of school budgets pass; 7 of 11 override attempts succeed

FOR RELEASE: June 17, 2020

New York State voters approved approximately 99% of school district budgets on Tuesday, June 16, based on a preliminary analysis of budget vote results by the New York State School Boards Association.

"In the midst of a public health and economic crisis, voters in the state of New York showed how much they value public education by collectively and, in many cases overwhelmingly, supporting their local school district budgets," said NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider. "We are grateful to the public for its strong show of support for education and the valiant efforts of school districts in providing educational services under extremely trying circumstances."

"Now, it is time for state and federal lawmakers to do their part and provide adequate levels of funding for our schools, especially in light of the ‘new normal,’ where reopening schools will require public health protections, additional student supports and other outside-the-classroom functions," he added.

Initial statewide results gathered by NYSSBA indicate voters passed 494 school district budgets. The number of budgets defeated was six. NYSSBA was still awaiting results for 175 districts.

This year’s budget vote and board elections were conducted entirely by absentee ballot, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Voter turnout was considerably higher than in previous years. Anecdotal reports suggest turnout increased by as much as three to eight times compared to previous years.

Statement of NYSSBA Board of Directors on Race and Justice

FOR RELEASE: June 9, 2020

The senseless death of George Floyd and the resulting protests are a call to action for all people of conscience, especially school leaders. We must channel our outrage into productive discussions and actions at the local, state and national levels. 

The Pledge of Allegiance refers to “Liberty and Justice for All.” What can we do to ensure that all children, particularly Black and Brown children, grow up in a world filled with opportunity and justice rather than hostility and fear? 

The answer must involve education, which Horace Mann called "the great equalizer of the conditions of men." Public schools are designed to be engines of equality and equity, and everyone troubled by the death of George Floyd and similar events should be prioritizing public schools as a vehicle for not just progress, but transformation. 

School boards will be part of the solution because they are dedicated to seeing every child succeed. Like leaders of all organizations, school board members can benefit from learning (or learning more) about implicit bias, structural racism, white privilege and anti-racism. Today, understanding such concepts is critical to creating safe and supportive school environments where all students feel accepted and valued. 

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider on graduations and school elections

FOR RELEASE: June 7, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell


The governor’s announcement today allowing outdoor high school graduation ceremonies for up to 150 people is welcome news, and a step toward allowing a more traditional graduation ceremony. While we understand the need to continue to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, school board members remain hopeful that the governor will allow graduating seniors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a full high school graduation experience, albeit with appropriate safeguards in place to protect public health.

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider on School Budget Votes and Board Elections

FOR RELEASE: May 1, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell


School budget votes and board elections will be conducted this year under challenging circumstances, to say the least. With the July 1 beginning of the school fiscal year approaching for many districts, we had hoped for clarity on these issues weeks ago. 

That said, we can now move forward. There are many logistical issues involved in conducting school budget votes – from finalizing school budgets themselves to providing notice and absentee ballots to the public. There will be many obstacles to conducting these elections in a manner that is safe for the school district staff who must work with the absentee ballots, as well as the general public. Toward that end, NYSSBA stands ready to serve as a resource to our member districts as they work through the school budget vote and board election process put in place by the governor.

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider on the Closing of Schools for the Remainder of the 2019-20 School Year

FOR RELEASE: May 1, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell


We commend the governor’s decision to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year. Clearly, schools are not ready to open for classroom learning, and they won’t be until we can adequately protect our students and staff.

No doubt everyone – school board members, administrators, teachers, students – is anxious to return to school and some semblance of normalcy.

NYSSBA calls for additional federal funding for schools to avoid widespread job losses, dramatic cuts

FOR RELEASE: April 27, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell


Schools in New York State could be forced to cut tens of thousands of positions without additional federal funding for K-12 education, the New York State School Boards Association warned today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated that New York schools could see a state aid reduction of 20%, or a staggering $5.5 billion decrease, due to the state’s economic losses resulting from the coronavirus. A loss of that magnitude would return state education aid to 2014 levels.

Statement from New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider on Regents Exams

FOR RELEASE: April 7, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell


Students across New York State can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The State Education Department has cancelled Regents exams for June 2020 – and rightfully so. No student should be denied course credit or a high school diploma or otherwise penalized due to these extraordinary circumstances. Guidance issued by the State Education Department focuses on ensuring learning outcomes and standards, rather than on testing. In our view, that is the proper focus.

Teachers and administrators are making every effort to deliver instruction, and should be applauded for that. At the same time, it would be unrealistic to expect that all students are receiving equal opportunities for instruction under the current circumstances. 

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