News Archive

April 11, 2018

We need state tests to make sure all students are progressing ... 
In this video (courtesy of Lo-Hud), Ann Rose Santoro of the Port Chester School District says that the Next Generation Learning Standards were a collaborative effort of teachers, administrators and parents.


March 23, 2018

Lakeland School District Board of Education adopts petitions regarding Special Education Summer funding and School Safety funding.

We urge residents to contact their local representatives to take action on these resolutions.

SPECIAL EDUCATION SUMMER COSTS
Whereas under current law, the state reimburses all school districts for 80 percent of the cost of special education provided to children with disabilities during July and August; and

Whereas the Executive Budget proposes to shift to a wealth-adjusted reimbursement structure, with the state share to range from 25 percent to 90 percent;

Whereas 95 percent of schools would be forced to increase payments of average wealth per pupil; and 

 Whereas the Division of the Budget estimates this proposal would shift $70 million in costs annually to school districts, starting in the next school year; and 

 Whereas this shift, combined with proposed School Aid increases dedicated to categorical initiatives, reduces the aid increase schools could use to fund ongoing costs to $599 million – less than half the amount the Education Conference Board estimated necessary to preserve current services; and 

 Whereas Districts would be expected to accommodate this new cost within their budgets and tax caps causing cuts  to other spending and services to accommodate this new state-imposed cost; 

 BE IT RESOLVED that the Lakeland Central School District urges the State Senate and Assembly to reject the proposal to shift summer special education costs to school districts.  

SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING

Whereas, the safety of all children in our schools is of paramount importance; and

 Whereas the proposed 5% reduction to the current Federal education budget would include $425 million in cuts to mental health and school safety programs, such as the School Emergency Response to Violence Program and Project Prevention Grants; and

 Whereas in the past five years, 439 students and staff members have been shot in more than 239 school shootings across our Country; and

 Whereas a need for greater access to mental health services for students and families in our schools and communities is consistently ranked as a top funding priority by the majority of Superintendents in New York State; and

 Whereas we believe that every child has the right to a safe school environment that has an appropriate level of security; and

 Whereas a proactive approach to school safety practices and increased access to mental health services for students and families in our schools and communities are essential elements of a safe school environment; and
Whereas a coordinated effort at the Federal and State levels, supported by law enforcement and community engagement, is needed to protect our communities and our schools;

 NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that:

 The Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District implores Federal and State Leaders to take immediate action to:

  • Provide additional funding to schools and communities for adequate mental health, social, and guidance services and resources for the purpose of prevention, support, and response;
  • Provide funds for districts to upgrade their facilities if internal safety audits find there is a need for improvements;
  • Provide funding for essential security personnel and related professional development for all staff, as determined by the local school district

 RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District calls upon the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate to implement a reasoned and rational approach to address firearm safety;

 RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District affirms that the civic engagement of students who are speaking out for school safety, support for mental health services, and legislation to address firearm safety needs to be heard;

 RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District opposes any reductions in federal or state funding for education that would cut mental health or school safety programs; and

 FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District calls upon the Governor, NYS Assembly and NYS Senate provide support and funding for local school districts to implement appropriate school safety measures and mental health initiatives.

 The New York State School Boards Association has updated their legislative advocacy page with the announcement of the Governor's Executive budget.


Governor Cuomo Bans E-Cigarettes in Schools
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.750 / A.611), which will immediately ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State.

"Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools," Governor Cuomo said. "This measure will further this administration's efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms and help create a stronger, healthier New York for all."   Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Ban the Use of E-Cigarettes In Schools link

 New York State Board of Association Memorandum of SUPPORT
 
Join NYSSBA in supporting this important legislation (S.4283, Murphy/A.5965, Galef), read the information below.
 

LAKELAND BOARD OF EDUCATION CALLS FOR RESTORATION OF STATE GEA AID (Jan 2016)
The Lakeland Board of Education, at its January 7, 2016 meeting, approved a resolution regarding calling on their district's elected representatives in Albany to repeal the Gap Elimination Adjustment and to increase foundation aid to all school districts statewide.

NY Suburban Consortium Starts Petition Drive to Governor Cuomo on Fully Funding Aid to Education
The NY Suburban Consortium has begun a petition asking the Governor to restore full funding to our schools and repay all fund owed to schools in full.

New York State School Boards Association Issues 2016 Legislative Agenda
With the start of the 2016 legislative session just weeks away, the NYSSBA Governmental Relations team is already hard at work advancing the association's agenda. Read more about the work at:

New York State Board of Regents Passes Moratorium on Use of State Test Scores (December 2015)
New York took another step toward removing state test scores as a component in teacher evaluations on Monday, when members of the Board of Regents voted in favor of a four-year moratorium on their use.

The vote completed a sharp reversal of the state’s policy earlier this year, when the Legislature voted to increase the weight of test scores in evaluations.

To read more, click on either of these two links:

Governor Cuomo Announces Common Core Committee Recommendations (Dec. 2015)
The Task Force recommended overhauling Common Core and adopting new, high quality, locally-driven New York State-specific designed standards. It also recommends reducing over-testing to reduce anxiety. Read more:

Deadline Approaching for Comments on the State Education Department's Common Core Survey (November 2015)
New York State Senator Terrence Murphy has sent a reminder that comments can still be made on the Common Core Survey. There are now two important opportunities to make your views known on this important topic.

The State Education Department (SED) has an online survey designed to gather input and feedback from parents, teachers, students and school districts on Common Core. I encourage you to log on to www.nysed.gov/aimhighny and take the survey. The survey will be open until Nov 30th, so please don’t wait. Your input and feedback are crucial for SED to move forward with a fresh approach.

In addition, the Common Core Task Force created by the Governor is also looking for your input through their website at https://www.ny.gov/programs/common-core-task-force.  It offers the ability to submit ideas, share stories and provide public testimony. Feedback will be also accepted through November 30, 2015.

I have always worked to be a strong advocate for parents, students and teachers, and I will continue doing all that I can to make sure that the standards used in our schools are sensible and fair for everyone.

BOSTON — It has been one of the most stubborn problems in education: With 50 states, 50 standards and 50 tests, how could anyone really know what American students were learning, or how well?

At a dinner with colleagues in 2009, Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts’s commissioner of education, hatched what seemed like an obvious answer — a national test based on the Common Core standards that almost every state had recently adopted.

Now Dr. Chester finds himself in the awkward position of walking away from the very test he helped create.

On his recommendation, the State Board of Education decided last week that Massachusetts would go it alone and abandon the multistate test in favor of one to be developed for just this state. The move will cost an extra year and unknown millions of dollars.

Board of Regents Asks for 10% Increase in Education Aid (11/18/15)
ALBANY - The New York State Board of Regents, New York’s education policymakers, want the state to put another $2.4 billion toward schools next year as districts face “many financial challenges,” including increases in health-care costs and the minimum wage.


Governor's Common Core Task Force Listening Sessions

The Common Core Task Force has been holding listening sessions throughout the state. The meetings have been open to the public.

Bedford Superintendent Named Cuomo's Education Aide (October 28, 2015)

Jere Hochman, who has headed the Bedford Central School District since 2008, will leave to become Cuomo’s deputy secretary for education.

PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS FOR LIMITS ON TESTING IN SCHOOLS
(FROM THE NY TIMES, Oct. 24, 2015) Faced with mounting and bipartisan opposition to increased and often high-stakes testing in the nation’s public schools, the Obama administration declared Saturday that the push had gone too far, acknowledged its own role in the proliferation of tests, and urged schools to step back and make exams less onerous and more purposeful.

NYS EDUCATION COMMISSIONER SEEKING INPUT ON COMMON CORE STANDARDS (October 21, 2015)
New York State's new Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia has announced a survey seeking input from parents, staff and other community members on the Common Core Learning Standards.

The survey will be open until November 30, 2015. An advisory group - made up of stakeholders, particularly teachers, school administrators, and parents - will review the survey results and recommendations and present suggested changes to the standards.

Board of Regents Chancellor Calls For Review of Teacher and Principal Evaluations (Oct. 20, 2015)
Merryl Tisch, chancellor of the state Board of Regents, told about 500 school board members attending a state convention in Manhattan that the toughened law, pushed through the legislature in April by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, is "full of problems."


Governor Cuomo Statement on Testing (October 4, 2015)
"An unrealistic timetable may undermine a much needed look at standards and testing"

"We should have New York standards, developed by New York state and local professionals for New York students," he said as he outlined the need for a review, and revision, of Common Core."