Legislative Update: 3/30

Based on information received on March 26 during a SAANYS meeting with Commissioner King, and information obtained while researching technical assistance inquiries, we are writing to provide the following APPR update information.

Regulations governing APPR requirements were revised by the Board of Regents at their March 19-20 meeting. The regulations require that “By July 1, 2012, the governing body of each school district and BOCES shall adopt a plan, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner, for the annual professional performance review of all its classroom teachers and building principals…” On March 26, Commissioner King clarified this requirement by stating that school districts and BOCES should submit such APPR plans only if it is a final document that has been fully negotiated by both the teachers and the administrators collective bargaining units, and contains no placeholder language. Therefore, it is not required that each school district and BOCES will submit its APPR plan by July 1, 2012.

 

Building on this information, the Budget Bill (Section 22-b of S-6257-E /A-9057-D amending §3641 of the Education Law by adding a new subdivision 15) establishes new Annual Professional Performance Reviews Transition Grants for school districts submitting APPR plans before June 30, 2012. The following additional information is noteworthy:
  • The grant is applicable to the 2011-12 and/or 2012-13 school years.
  • If a school district has submitted an APPR plan before June 30, 2012 and the commissioner finds that the plan does not meet the requirements of §3012-c and that the cost of implementing the locally developed components of the revised approved plan are more costly than the plan originally submitted, the commissioner is authorized to award annual professional performance reviews transition grants to eligible school districts.
  • The commissioner shall have the discretion and authority to approve or disapprove such expenses and may require supporting documentation to determine whether or not such additional expenses were valid, reasonable and essential. The commissioner may also consider the manner in which the components of the plan were developed and if such requirements were not met as a result of a lack of good faith.
  • Approved expenses shall be eligible for payment on or after September 1 following the end of the school year in which such expenses were approved. In the event the appropriation is insufficient to pay all approved claims, the commissioner will pay claims on a prorated basis among all districts filing such claims until the appropriation is exhausted.
  • The commissioner will promulgate rules and regulations to implement the above procedures within 60 days of the effective date.

As you will note, this information lays out more work for SAANYS in obtaining:

  • Logistical information (e.g., application timelines, details regarding the prescribed form, required documentation, and maximum grant amounts; and the basis for the difference in the statutory and regulatory submission dates), and
  • Programmatic information (e.g., both schools districts and BOCES must submit APPR plans, but it appears that the APPR Transition Grants are restricted to school districts).

We hope that you will find this update helpful.

Jim Viola

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