Deadpool 2 (2018)
Representing New York State’s school administrators, SAANYS was invited to deliver testimony before the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on February 14 regarding the 2017-18 Executive Budget. Read that full testimony here.
On December 5, James Viola was joined by SAANYS members Thomas Payton (principal of the Roanoke Ave. Elementary School in the Riverhead CSD and Richard Loeschner, (principal of the Brentwood HS in the Brentwood UFSD) to present testimony on the impact of the increasing numbers of student coming to schools with a wide range of English speaking , reading and writing needs . The hearings were called by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, chair of the Assembly Education Committee. Their thoughtful and on point testimonies provided dramatic examples of the impact on schools of ever increasing populations of students with limited English literacy and speaking skills. Some highlights from their testimony are as follow:
- James Viola in provided contextual remarks on the impact of increasing numbers of students with diverse language needs on school districts. Jim highlighted that this issues is one that impacts every part of the state . As he indicated in his opening remarks “The testimony that you are about to hear from Mr. Payton and Mr. Loeschner in regard to the budgetary and programmatic challenges presented by escalating numbers of unaccompanied minors, English language learners and students with interrupted formal education can be echoed by school districts such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Yonkers, and others. Although it does not impact every school district, it is a statewide issue.”
- Rich Loeschner made statistics on the rapid growth of English Language Learners (ELL) and English as New Language (ENL) entrants in Long Island real when he spoke about how the ever growing numbers directly impact the Brentwood school district. In any given week, Rich can expect to have about “25 new students arrive with limited English Proficiency”. Further, a high percentage of those students are students between the ages of 15-21 years old. The impact on instructional programming is a complex issue, made even more difficult in light of the requirements for high school completion within a very restrictive timeframe.
- Tom Payton highlighted the unique nature of each ELL student needs and how “one size approaches- do not fit all” especially when students come with dual or multiple language acquisition challenges. In Riverhead many of the new entrants emigrate from the mountainous regions of Central America where many indigenous languages are not written. Students entering his elementary school from those regions need intensive reading, writing, and literacy instruction, requiring additional staff and resources.
-Both Tom and Rich spoke about the need to provide greater flexibility to districts managing the social and academic needs of the incoming students with ELL. Their testimony underscored the need to rethink and revise issues of accountability-especially in terms of assessments and high school completion.
The Assembly Hearing brought forth many other issues from a wide range of perspectives. An issue reiterated several times was the impact of Part 154 of the Commissioner’s Regulations which established significant and new procedural and program requirements-without any additional fiscal support. An identified challenge across the state is the overwhelming costs of translations. The testimonies also identified the need for many increased translations of state assessments into a wider range of languages.
SAANYS has been and will continue to be very active on this issue. In conjunction with the Educational Conference Board (ECB), the following recommendations are made:
For further information regarding the Assembly Hearing or upcoming initiatives of the Government Relations Committee, please contact Cynthia Gallagher, director of government relations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the behalf of the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS), we are grateful for the opportunity to provide comments and recommendations regarding draft regulations to implement programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), enacted in December 2015. …
A deal was struck to extend the deadline for approved APPR plans under section 3012-d until December 31, 2016. Although SAANYS lobbied diligently to delink evaluations from state aid increases (supporting a “delinking” bill put forth by Assembly Education Chair Catherine Nolan), in the end, the compromise in Albany was an extension deadline to December 31.
Not all lawmakers were happy with the compromise. “At the end of the day, we’re really just kicking the can down the road as I and many others would have preferred a complete delinking of funding from teacher evaluations and other common sense reforms to last year’s flawed teacher evaluation law,” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a democrat from Utica, told POLITICO New York. “But I guess December 31 is better than September 1.”
This agreement will make New York the first state in the nation to put a requirement in statute that mandates periodic testing of drinking water in schools. The state will fund a portion of the testing and remediation costs and will “reimburse these costs on an expedited schedule in emergency situations.”
This agreement extends mayoral control in New York City for an additional year.
Stay tuned for further updates.
March 24, 2016
Provisions contained in the proposed Executive Budget for 2016-2017 would significantly alter reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for retirees enrolled in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP). The proposal would freeze the reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums at $104.90 for all NYSHIP retirees with Medicare primary insurance. In addition, it would eliminate reimbursement of the Income related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) for certain retirees. Therefore, as the cost of Part B increases year-to-year, retirees will be responsible for greater and greater health costs.
The proposed amendment flies in the face of the New York State Constitution. Article 5, Section 7 of the New York State Constitution states: “…membership in any pension or retirement system of the state or of a civil division thereof shall be a contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.” This provision enacted shortly after the great depression remains appropriate and right today, on the heels of the great recession. The governor’s proposal constitutes a clear and material diminishment of retiree health care benefits.
There is no good reason for New York State to renege on its commitment to retired public employees who have served New York State faithfully and well. The contract with retirees should not be broken.
REJECT proposed revisions that fly in the face of the State Constitution and human decency. MAINTAIN full reimbursement of IRMAA Medicare premiums by the state.
USE THE SAANYS LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER TO CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY!
Click here to access a pre-written message that you can easily forward to your local representatives in the senate and assembly.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) convened the National Leaders Conference in Washington DC on March 13 to 15. The conference culminated with a federal lobby day, for which SAANYS assembled a team of six members, representing SAANYS and the New York City Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA):
SAANYS members included:
CSA members included:
The New York team had a very full schedule of meetings with the following members (and staff) of our national delegation:
A full slate of issues was discussed with each representative. However, the primary issues discussed were funding for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title programs, emphasizing the need for additional funds for student services such as English Learners and Immigrant Students; and opposing the allocation of funds to competitive grant programs, such as the $1 billion recommended by Education Secretary John King, to increase salaries for effective teachers.
The lobby team encouraged federal delegation support of the application to be submitted by the New York State Education Department under Section §1204, Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration program to implement less intrusive, more effective approaches for student evaluation. The team also argued against any further expansion of charter schools or the diversion of fiscal resources to support charter schools; but the team did support the School Leader Recruitment and Support Program.
For more information regarding the NAESP National Leaders Conference and the meetings with New York State’s federal delegation, contact James Viola, Director of Government Relations at JViola@saanys.org