NYSSBA Area 6 Director Newsletter – June 28, 2013

Area 6 Director Esther Arlan Represents the Following School Districts:
Au Sable Valley, Beekmantown, Brasher Falls, Brushton-Moira, Canton, Champlain Valley Educational Services, Chazy, Clifton-Fine, Colton-Pierrepont, Crown Point, Edwards-Knox, Elizabethtown-Lewis, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES, Gouverneur, Hammond, Harrisville, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Indian Lake, Inlet, Lake Placid, Lisbon, Long Lake, Madrid-Waddington, Malone, Massena, Minerva, Moriah, Morristown, Newcomb, Northeastern Clinton, Northern Adirondack, Norwood-Norfolk, Ogdensburg, Parishville-Hopkinton, Peru, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Putnam, Raquette Lake, Saint Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, Saint Regis Falls, Saranac, Saranac Lake, Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga, Tupper Lake, Westport and Willsboro

Area Director Electronic Newsletter

July 1 is just around the corner and many school boards in our area will be welcoming new school board members to the table.  At the same time there are folks that are retiring from serving on the board for many years.  They will be taking with them the knowledge that they have gained as a school board member.  These folks are also a good resource for all school board members and would welcome hearing from you and offering advise when asked.

The new school board member needs to be brought up to date on some of the pressing issues that are facing your school board this year.

This also a time of change.  Some members welcome change and adjust easily to the new challenges.  Others are reluctant to move forward but want things to remain “as they are”.  This is where leadership comes in and it is up to each and every board member to develop leadership qualities.

There are many ways to look at the Common Core requirements.  Learn all that you can about them.  Ask yourself how your students and staff will use them and how to solve any glitches that might happen.  There are solutions for all problems if you take the time to communicate at meetings and committee meetings.

I want to wish the new school board members success in their new positions.  If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me either via phone (518-891-3458) or thru e-mail (kiwassaesther@yahoo.com). I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy the summer and all the wonderful opportunities to explore the Adirondacks.

Welcome New Members

NYSSBA is pleased to welcome the following new members as of July 1:

Newfane (Area 1)
Caledonia-Mumford (Area 2)
Weedsport (Area 4)
Whitesboro (Area 5)
Long Lake (Area 6)
Northville (Area 8)

Resolutions to be submitted by the NYSSBA Board of Directors

The Directors approved submission of eight resolutions emanating from the resolutions survey completed by members statewide, plus another five resolutions scheduled to sunset in 2013.  The resolutions cover employee contributions to the retirement system, addition state aid for increased school day or school year gap elimination adjustment, tenure status for non-instructional employees, aid adjustment due to loss of tax base, aid for school resource officers, tax levy cap exclusion for school safety, and support for a combined Regents diploma and associate degree.

The sunsetting resolutions include eliminating special election requirement, international students attending public schools, unfunded and underfunded mandates, fiscal oversight of charter schools, and code of conduct of the New York State School Boards Association.

These resolutions will now be submitted for consideration by the Resolutions Committee along with any other resolutions submitted by member boards.  The deadline for submitting resolutions is August 1, 2013.

Nomination of 2014 Officer Candidates

The following directors were nominated for officer positions for 2014:

President – Lynne Lenhardt, Area 7 Director
1st Vice President – Susan Bergtraum, Area 11 Director
2nd Vice President – William Miller, Area 5 Director
Treasurer – Thomas Nespeca, current NYSSBA President.

In anticipation of Mr. Nespeca’s election as Treasurer, the Board took action to appoint Florence Johnson as Acting Immediate Past President, effective January 1, 2014.

The delegates at the Annual Business Meeting will vote on the slate of officers.

No New Mandates! Campaign

The No New Mandates! was a NYSSBA led coalition effort urging lawmakers to give our schools and local governments a reprieve from new and unfunded responsibilities.  Members of the coalition included the Let NY Work coalition – NYSCOSS, The Business Council, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and others.

With educational programs and services at risk of being displaced by well meaning, but harmful state laws, No New Mandates! asked the public to clearly express their desire to be free of newly imposed, unfunded state mandates.  Staff prepared videos, hosted a webinar, issued a robo call, conducted press events, wrote letters to editors across the state and used social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  We repeatedly wrote to each legislator about the need for restraint and we issued “Mandate Alerts!” on every bad bill.  We sent every legislator a watch list of 80 potential new mandates.  We empowered members of our organizations and the public to become involved by writing sample telephone scripts and emails to legislators.

In the end, No New Mandates! accomplished its purpose.  Of the 80 potential new mandates, 55 failed in both houses, including new curriculum mandates on CPR instruction and requiring New York to join the interstate military compact for education.  21 failed to pass both houses, resulting in only 4 potential new mandates moving to the governor for consideration.  No New Mandates!  will now focus its effort on securing vetoes of those four bills.

You, our members, responded in grand fashion, inundating state leaders with phone calls and emails.  NYSSBA thanks our partners and all of you for joining in this vital opposition.  We can all be proud that our efforts have helped schools rebuild after years of underfunding.

End of Session update

The 2013 session provided positive legislative changes.  Chief among these was the final legislation to allow cooperative purchasing for schools and municipalities.  Now, schools are free to join together and with towns, counties and other states in sharing purchases.  It’s estimated that our schools will save $200 million per year by the time they fully implement the new approach.

NYSSBA also supported the following successful advocacy efforts:  legislation requiring transparency by providers regarding health insurance claims data, which passed both houses.  Legislation also passed requiring the local cost of regulatory mandates to be made public in the rulemaking process.  BOCES will now be able to contract with public libraries to install high speed telecommunications services, and Syracuse will be able to fund Phase II of their school renovations.

In addition, schools will be able to finance the extraordinary expenses resulting from disasters and school districts and BOCES will be able to create repair reserve funds.  The law allowing schools to amend their transportation contracts was extended for three years.  The mandate relief provided for Committees on Special Education has been expanded to Committees on Pre-School Special Education and students will now be allowed to carry sunscreen with a note from their parents.

Also, BOCES will be able to enter into 20 year leases, rather than the current 10 year limitation, resulting in savings and stability to both BOCES and their component school districts, and, with NYSSBA’s help, a number of individual school districts were successful in securing case-specific legislative relief.

Dyer Service Award

The deadline has passed; the nominations (15 of them!) are in.   The Dyer Service Award Committee will meet on June 27 to discuss the nominees and select the 2013 DSA winner.  The award will be presented to the winner at our annual convention in October.  Good luck to all nominees!


Francine Campbell and Meghana Godambe attended the testing rally presented by NYSUT on June 8.  Thousands of teachers and other education leaders from across the state convened on the plaza in downtown Albany to rally against the increasing use of state tests.

NYSSBA Mailbag

Have you seen the latest Mailbags on the NYSSBA website – www.nyssba.org?  Episode 126: “What are the general procedures districts must follow before imposing a short term suspension on a student?” featuring NYSSBA’s Associate Staff Attorney Kate Gaffney, and Episode 127:  “How can board members fit training into their busy schedules”, featuring John Carroll, NYSSBA’s Leadership Development Manager, are now available.

NYSSBA Annual Convention

Have you registered yet?  As of June 21, over 500 people have pre-registered.  For information and to register, go to www.nyssba.org.

Be the Change for Kids

Time is running out to send in your nomination for the Be the Change for Kids Innovation Award, sponsored by the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University at Albany/SUNY.  For more information and to nominate your district, visit www.nyssba.org/bethechangeforkids.

Upcoming Events

Summer Law Conference
July 16, Albany
July 18, Rochester
July 25, Long Island

New Board Member Academy
July 19-20, Buffalo
August 2-3, Long Island
September 20-21 Albany
November 15-16, Lake Placid

Board Presidents Institute
August 16, Long Island
September 26, Rochester
October 4, Albany

Fiscal Oversight Online
September 4-October 16
October 2-November 14
November 6-December 18

Governance Online
September 4-October 16
October 2-November 14
November 6-December 18

NYSCOSS Fall Leadership Summit
September 22-24

SAANYS Conference
October 20-21, Rochester

17th Annual Pre-Convention School Law Seminar
October 24, Rochester

NYSSBA 94th Annual Convention
October 24-26, Rochester

Policy Workshop
November 7, Albany
November 19, Rochester
November 21, Long Island

Winter Law Conference
December 10, Albany
December 12, Rochester
January 2014, Long Island


July 17, Understanding the Open Meeting Law
July 24, Effective Goal Setting using Data Based Decision Making
August 7, Parliamentary Procedures
August 21, District Clerk #2 (possibly records retention)
September 11, School Safety # 2 (topic tbd)
September 25, Committee Structures
October 9, Conflict Management
October 30, Engaging the Community in the Budget Process
November 6, Media Relations Boot Camp
November 20, The Superintendent Evaluation Process
December 4, So You’re Getting a New Superintendent?
December 18, Effective Board Meetings