GR Updates

Government Relations Updates

May 10, 2024

News from the New York State Education Department

On May 6-7, the board of regents held its monthly meeting. The key topics of the agenda include a report on the blue ribbon commission, state aid, certification, and a broad range of regulatory actions.

Regulatory Actions

This regulatory action went into effect on 5/7 and is scheduled for permanent adoption in September, 2024. The regulatory action allows school districts to award a high school diploma to a student who was enrolled in the school district at the time of death. The parents or persons in parental relationship to the student must make such a request. Click here to read the full update.

May 3, 2024

News From The US Department of Education

On Thursday, May 2, 2024 Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten held an “office hours” meeting/discussion on past FAFSA. The meeting reviewed challenges and “fixes” that the USDE has made to the FAFSA process. The deputy secretary was very interested in hearing from the participant ways that they were actively supporting seniors regarding FAFSA completion. We were fortunate to have Mr. Craig Chandler, high school principal from the Mohonasen School District, join the deputy secretary in this meeting. Key points made during the meeting are as follow. Click here to read the full update.

April 22, 2024

News from the Legislature

This past weekend final budget bills were passed by the legislature. While these bills still need to be signed by the Governor, we wanted to provide members with the most current information on what was included in the budget. The following are some of the key components of the education-related items. Click here to read the full update.

April 18, 2024

Revisions to Section 155.17 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, regarding district-wide school safety plans, are being proposed by the Board of Regents based on changes in education, law, and recommendations from the School Safety Task Force. Click here to read the full update.

April 8, 2024

Government Relations Update, Including Funding Opportunities

As we post this government relations update, the legislature has not passed a final budget. SAANYS and our education board colleagues have communicated to the legislature urging their passage as soon as possible. The continued prolongation of the process will have an increasing impact on school districts. We also continue to urge the legislature not to act on the governor’s proposal regarding the use of a ten-year CPI rate and the discontinued use of save harmless. We will update our members on any news of a final budget.

Click here to read the full update.


March 28, 2024

New from US Department of Education

SAANYS was invited along with four other states to meet with Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten to discuss changes to the FAFSA application and the desired goal of increasing the rate of FAFSA completions. Kevin Casey, executive director, Felicia Thomas-Williams of the Brentwood Central School District, and Cindy Gallagher, SAANYS director of government relations met with Deputy Secretary Marten and senior USDE staff on behalf of SAANYS. We are appreciative of the efforts of NASSP to coordinate this meeting.

Click here to the read the full update.

March 20, 2024

As many of you will recall, movement to revise the current APPR system began in earnest last spring. Negotiations came very close to producing legislation that would provide increased district flexibility and delink student state assessment scores from professional evaluations. Those efforts did not come to fruition when the legislative session concluded, however, discussion between key stakeholders continued throughout the summer and fall.

Click here to read the full update.

February 15, 2024

News from NYSED

The Board of Regents held their February meeting this Monday and Tuesday. The meeting focused on the state budget, certification proposals, My Brother’s Keeper and regulatory actions. The following is a summary of regulatory issues and items for discussion.

Regulatory Action
Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

This emergency action presents conforming language to Chapter 422 of the Laws of 2023 which permits schools, BOCES, charter schools, and non-public schools, to provide and maintain epinephrine auto-injectors. It also allows authorized employees to administer the injectors in an emergency situation. Informational materials must be provided to all teachers and such materials must be developed by the Commissioner of Health. Click here to read the full article. 


January 26, 2024

At its January 10th kick-off conference, SED began a literacy initiative to enhance teacher knowledge and skills in the science of reading. The SED website provides literacy briefings and resources on key instructional strategies aligned with reading science.

On January 29th, SED will host a public hearing at the New Dorp High School on mayoral control of the NYC schools. The hearing will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and the public may attend and/or submit written testimony.

Click here to read the full update.

January 16, 2024

Governor Hochul presented an overview of her FY 2025 budget. Overall, the executive budget proposes a total of $233 billion, without cuts or tax increases. This amount represents 4.5 percent growth. The governor outlined the following as her highest priorities:

  • Crime – taking on stubborn categories of crime
  • Rebuilding the mental health system
  • Focusing on children and families
  • Improving affordability
  • Advancing healthcare initiatives
  • Ensuring economic competitiveness

Click here to read the full update.

January 9, 2024

Governor Hochul presented her State of the State address to the Legislature in the Assembly Chamber. The address included nineteen major sections. There were three sections related to education with other educational topics included in other areas of her address. The following provides a summary of the key educational elements addressed in the State of the State. Click here to read the full update.

Key Educational Components of the State of the State:

  • Getting Back to the Basics of Reading
  • Higher Education
  • Mental Health Initiative

Other Initiatives:

  • Social Media
  • Expanding Swimming Access and Safety

December 21, 2023

2024 Final Exam Regents Schedule

Read the full update

December 14, 2023

2023 Workforce Survey Results NYS

2022-23 New York State Report Card

Read the full update.

December 1, 2023

NYSED has released the 2022-23 district enrollment data.

Regents Schedules

Read the full update.

November 13, 2023

The NYS Board of Regents met today with the primary focus of this first day being the . Read in full.


November 9, 2023

November Board of Regents Meeting

 Special Education Youth Advisory Panel Openings

Read in full.

November 3, 2023

Follow-up to Questions Raised at the SAANYS Annual Conference

The SAANYS Annual Conference provided many opportunities to listen to excellent presenters and connect with colleagues from across the state. During the government relations presentation, several questions were raised and we thought that clarifying those questions would benefit all members.

Mandated Reporter Training

The question raised was “Do all mandated reporters need to complete the updated training?” Yes, according to the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), all mandated reporters must complete the updated training that was effective 11/1/22. The training must be completed by 4/1/25.

Salary Cap Waiver

The question raised was whether the waiver was extended and if it is likely to be suspended again through 2025? The cap of $35,000 for retiree earnings was extended until June 30, 2024. As this cap has only been waived on a year-by-year basis, it is likely that staffing shortages in schools will play a large part in decisions to continue its use or not. We will have a better understanding of this issue as state budget negotiations unfold. SAANYS will continue to advocate for its continued extension.

Funding Opportunities

School Mental Health and Violence Interruption Grants Workshop

Senator Gillibrand is hosting a statewide briefing on federal and state mental health and school safety grant funding. Representatives from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, and NYS Departments of Education and Health will speak on resources and support to schools for student mental health initiatives. CSA President Henry Rubio will be introducing the senator.

Gun Violence Prevention through Community -led Youth -based Programs

This program is to support community-based organizations to create safe spaces for youth in areas with high rates of gun violence. The spaces are intended for youth ages 12-24 years of age so that they may engage in a wide range of supports, including therapeutic assistance. $2,500,000 has been allocated for these two-year programs.

NYS Smart Scholars Early College High School Program

A request for proposals has been issued by NYSED for public schools, BOCES, and eligible higher education institutions to create partnerships to increase high school graduation rates and college completion.

Laws Signed By the Governor

Corporal Punishment in Schools

The governor signed a bill banning the use of corporal punishment in schools. The law prohibits “teachers, administrators, officers, employees, or agents of a school from using the practices.” The commissioner is required to promulgate rules and regulations to implement this law.

Funding for Regional School Food Infrastructure Grants

$10 million has been allocated to support school projects to improve meal preparation and distribution for K-12 students. Resources will be provided to allow schools to improve the process and preparation of farm products to make it possible to cook fresh, scratch-made meals for students. Due on 1/24/24.

September 27, 2023

Today the Commissioner released a determination on the use of facial recognition technology and biometric identifying technology in schools. Read in full.

August 8, 2023

  •  – The deadline for the electronic application submission is extended to September 1, 2023 at 5:00 pm. If a district has already submitted their application, they may revised and resubmit. Contact  for further assistance.
  • In 2021, the legislature placed a moratorium on the purchase or use of biometric identification technology (BITS) until the commissioner of education authorized such purchase and further, the commissioner was directed to issue a report on the use of BITS in educational settings.
  •  – “Today, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa and Department staff met with leaders from Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office and the New York City Department of Education to discuss supports for schools and school districts statewide related to the arrival of large numbers of asylum seeker and migrant students.

August 3, 2023

  • Governor Hochul announced a historic amount of funding for youth mental health services.
  • Federal Appropriations for FY24 – The House and Senate have both proposed funding bills for education.

May 4, 2023

Senate Hearing: S.1040 – the Solutions, Not Suspensions proposed bill

On May 3, 2023, the Senate held its first of two hearings on S.1040 – the Solutions, Not Suspensions proposed bill. The proposed bill would have a significant impact on building administrators’ use of suspensions. SAANYS has been working with many stakeholders on this bill for several years.

The areas of the legislation most problematic for SAANYS members are:

  • prohibition of the use of suspensions in grades Pre-K-3,
  • the use of a suspension cap of no more than 20 days,
  • prohibition of suspensions for acts of willful disobedience,
  • requirement of districts to use a wide range of interventions or programs available prior to suspending a student, without requiring the participation of the student, or consent from the parent/legal guardian,
  • lack of funding to meet the requirements of the proposed bill.

Our opposition to these components of the legislation is based on valuable information from our members and our government relations committee. If you recall, SAANYS sent a survey out to all members in December 2022 on this topic. Over 66 percent of the respondents opposed prohibition of suspensions in Pre-K-grade 3, 70 percent opposed a 20-day cap on the days for suspension, and 70 percent opposed prohibition suspension for willful disobedience.

SAANYS is indebted to the presentation of testimony by two of our members: Dr. Gloria Jackson, elementary principal, Brentwood School District and W. Charles Brandy, director of social studies, Buffalo City School District. Their presentations were outstanding and provided the Senate with an excellent perspective on how and when suspensions are used. They pointed out that the first goal is always to keep students in school, they discussed the types of strategies used prior to a suspension being issued, and what specific incidences required the use of suspensions. Dr. Jackson and Mr. Brandy were asked many questions from the senators and again provided compelling information on this topic. Many thanks to Dr. Jackson and Mr. Brandy for their dedicated work on this testimony and their professionalism on this complex issue.

Along with Dr. Jackson and Mr. Brandy’s presentations, SAANYS submitted written testimony on suspensions, which can be found .

The link to the entire hearing may be found at: 

Should you have any questions or comments regarding the SAANYS testimony or general comments on this topic, please feel free to contact Cindy Gallagher at  or by calling 518 782-0600.


April 19, 2023

April Board of Regents Meeting

  •  – NYSED is recommending that changes be made to both provisional and professional certification due to the inability of building administrators and other classification areas to complete requirements in the expected time frames.
  •  – The Board of Regents determined that is was necessary to reexamine existing regulations that protected student safety regarding corporal punishment and isolation interventions.
  • Prohibition of the Use of Indigenous Mascots – The Board unanimously voted to prohibit the use of indigenous names, mascots, and imagery in all public schools. School districts will be required to adhere to this decision by the end of the 2024-25 school year.
  •  – As the Blue-Ribbon Commission continues its work, recent focus has been to develop a portrait of a graduate of the 21st century.
  •  – The Board of Regents undertook an endeavor to examine the values and purposes of New York’s assessment strategy and has been doing that work for over a year.
  •  – This group of students entered grade 9 in 2018 and are the cohort that experienced three years of the COVID pandemic and had Regents exams suspended in years 2020-22.

April 5, 2023

  • Since last week, over 50 more swatting calls have been made. School districts in Central New York, Long Island, the Southern Tier, Northern Region, and Capital District school districts have been impacted. School districts in other states are reporting similar incidents and the FBI is investigating the sources of the prank calls. Some of the perpetrators are thought to be foreign actors. Please see this 

April 3, 2023

April 1, 2023

  • School Safety Memo from Commissioner and NYS PoliceThis past week has seen increased incidents of violence and threats of violence targeted at schools both nationally and in our state.

March 22, 2023

  • SAANYS DC Advocacy Day On March 26-29, 2023, a team of 10 SAANYS members will be headed to Washington, DC to advocate for both federal and state level support and funding important to building leaders across the nation.
  • This week in Albany was filled with Education Committee meetings and  joint meetings on the one-house bills.

March 15, 2023

March Board of Regents Meeting

February 14, 2023

February Board of Regents Meeting

February 13, 2023

February 2, 2023

  • On February 1, 2023, the governor presented her statutorily required proposed budget.This sets in motion a process in which the two houses of the legislature review the proposed budget, propose changes, and then negotiate a final budget. For SAANYS, this also begins the process of analyzing each budget proposal, presenting testimony on how the proposal will impact building administrators, and meeting with legislators to articulate our concerns and/or support. Click here for a summary of the key components of the governor’s proposed budget as it pertains to education.
  •  and  – SAANYS was informed today by SED that the 2018 Cohort data was posted to their website and they also sent along a PPT that provides an overview of the information.

January 18, 2023

  • Results from SAANYS’ Membership Survey on School Discipline.

January 12, 2023

The Board of Regents held its first meeting of 2023 on January 9-10, 2023.

  •  – The proposal allows a candidate from another US state or territory to receive NYS certification by demonstrating “comparable,” instead of equivalent, experiences and education.
  • SAANYS has participated in the NYS School Safety Task Force since its inception. SAANYS sought the advice of the membership throughout the development this report and SAANYS has in turn expressed the strong concerns of members to the Task Force. SED acknowledged that the report did not have the unanimous support of all Task Force members.
  • Via this short survey (), SAANYS is seeking member input on these recommendations and strongly urges you to take a few minutes to share your opinions. The recommendations made in this report will have longterm impacts on building-level administrators and program directors.

January 10, 2023

  • Governor Hochul gave her  today, highlighting achievements of the past year and identifying high-priority initiatives.

January 5, 2023

December 14, 2022

  • Mr. Tony Cardamone, president of SAANYS and director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction (Pre-K-6) for the Baldwinsville Central School District, presented testimony to the Assembly Education Committee on the issue of learning loss..

December 13, 2022

December 9, 2022

  • NYSDOH and NYSED Joint Letter on Precautions for Winter 2022-23 – Due to the convergence of increasing cases of the flu, and the continued threat of COVID, both NYSDOH and NYSED are urging communities and schools to use common sense precautions during this time.
  • Joint Letter from NYSDOH and NYSED Regarding Immunizations – This letter from Commissioners Rosa and Bassett reiterate school district responsibilities relating to student immunizations.
  • Assemblyman Benedetto has announced a hearing on December 14, 2022 on the topic of learning loss. This is an important issue for SAANYS members and Dr. Tony Cardamone will provide oral testimony on behalf of building administrators across the state.
  • On December 14, 2022 at 4:00 pm, SED will hold a webinar on its PLAN Pilot. The Performance Based Learning and Assessment Network was established by SED to explore the role and efficacy of performance-based assessments in New York.

December 2, 2022

  • The New York State report cards for school districts are an important tool for parents and families for understanding how students perform on state assessments. The 2021-22 NY State Report Card Group 1 release is publicly available on the .
  • NYSED has revised the  to ensure equitable access to athletics for students of all genders.

November 18, 2022

  •  – As many of you have read in the news, the commissioner of education ruled that all Native American mascots, team names, logs, etc., must come into immediate compliance. NYSED will be promulgating regulations that provide additional information.

November 17, 2022

  • – SAANYS met with the Health Education Constituents group to discuss the Health Care Worker Bonus Program. The most updated information is highlighted in yellow.
  • State commissioners were told this week to not exceed FY 2023 funding levels. The state’s budget plan anticipates a $148 million deficit next fiscal year with a possible increase to $3.5 billion for the 2025-26 fiscal year.

November 16, 2022

November 7, 2022

November 4, 2022

  •  – NYSDOH just released this webinar to further explain COVID-19 reporting requirements.
  • On November 2, 2022, the GRC met with representatives form the offices of Governor Hochul and Commissioner Rosa. The items discussed at each meeting included mental health, staffing shortages, and school safety.

November 1, 2022


October 23, 2022

Government Relations Update, presented by Dr. Cynthia Gallagher, SAANYS Director of Government Relations


October 17, 2022

October 6, 2022

Overview of the Board of Regents monthly meeting

September 13, 2022

Overview of the Board of Regents monthly meeting

September 9, 2022

September 1, 2022

  • Resources for Commercial Driver Resources – The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles has developed the above resource and hopes that it will be helpful to school districts.
  • Welcome Back to School – The New York State Education Department and Governor’s Office are undertaking a joint campaign to welcome back students and the school communities.

August 29, 2022

August 23, 2022

August 17, 2022

August 12, 2022

  •  – The CDC issued new guidance to support safe in-person learning and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • – Some of the information harkens back to the use of levels of community spread. When levels are high, schools should consider adding layered prevention strategies to keep schools open.
  •  – A considerable portion of the new guidance focuses on everyday strategies for the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
  • Masking is not required, but suggested, for persons exhibiting symptoms while at school.
  • Management of Cases and Exposures – If students or staff develop symptoms while at school, such individuals should be asked to wear a mask.

August 9, 2022

July 25, 2022

July 21, 2022

  • Fall Action Plan – The governor has announced a Fall Action Plan to prepare for a new COVID-19 season.

July 5, 2022

  • COVID Report Card – daily reporting is not required for the COVID-19 Report Card (districts may continue to report if they so choose).
  • Requirements under 10 NYCRR 2.62 regarding COVID-19 testing have expired. Schools are no longer required to conduct weekly testing of unvaccinated teachers or unvaccinated students.
  • Guidance and Resources – NYSDOH continues to stress that testing is a recommended prevention strategy and encourages districts to offer access to screening and diagnostic testing for staff and students.

June 28, 2022

June 24, 2022

  • S.7132-b/A.10018Governor Hochul signed into law, known as Alyssa’s Law. This law requires school districts to consider the use of panic alarm systems as part of their safety plans.

June 22, 2022

June 17, 2022

SED Computer Based Testing Memo

June 14, 2022

Board of Regents P12 Subcommittee Items:

Higher Education Items:

June 7, 2022

  • S.9113-a/A.10502 – The Red Flag Law is expanded to allow multiple categories of mental health practitioners, who have examined an individual within six months, to make a petition to the courts.
  • S.9458/A.10503 – Bans the sale of semiautomatic rifles to anyone under the age of 21 by requiring a license.
  • S.9407-b/A.10497 – Prohibits the sale of body vests for anyone not working in an eligible profession.
  • S.4116-a/A.7926-a – Requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to examine the technology of micro-stamping for pistols, and if the technology is viable, to require semi-automatic pistols to be micro-stamped-enabled in New York.
  • S.9456/A.10504 – Expands the definition of a firearm to include any weapon not defined in the Penal Law that is designed to be converted to expel a projectile through the use of an explosive.
  • S.89-b/A.6716-a – Would also create a crime of making a threat of mass harm.
  • S.4511-a/A.7865 – Requires social media to provide clear polices on how they respond to incidents of “hateful conduct” on their platforms.

June 3, 2022

May 31, 2022

  • Frequently Asked Questions on Cancellation of Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework)

May 24, 2022

  • U.S. History and Government Regents exam canceled.
  • Elementary- and Intermediate-level Science Tests
  • SAANYS Government Relations Committee Meeting with Commissioner Rosa – topics included end-of-year concerns, student mental health, state assessments, and attendance.

May 16, 2022

  • Requires all NYS Police to be trained and instructed on how to file an application for an extreme risk protection order in keeping with the Red Flag Law.
  • – These plans include high-tech security tools, entry control and video systems, and emergency classroom notification systems.
  • Refresher on the Red Flag Law