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Governor’s State of the State Message – NYSASBO Synopsis of Items Impacting School Districts

The Governor delivered his state of the state message January 3, 2018. This message provides an indication of many of the Governor’s budget recommendations to be released later this month. To read the Governor’s address click here.

The Governor described the adverse impact of federal government changes on the state’s economy. New York will challenge federal government actions of double taxation as unconstitutional, will launch a tax fairness for all campaign in New York State, exploring the feasibility of restructuring New York’s tax code to reduce reliance on income tax and implement a payroll tax system.
 

The Governor recommends more school aid to poorer districts and requirements for school districts to distribute their aid to poorer schools.

 

Early Learning

The Governor included a set of proposals to prioritize early learning, responding to Regents and NYSASBO priorities. This includes:

  • Begin implementation of the Comprehensive First 1,000 Days Plan including developing a model of pediatric primary care to assess child development upon entry into kindergarten
  • Providing $15 million to expand quality pre-kindergarten to three and four year olds in high need school districts (the Regents and NYSASBO recommended $20 million).
  • Establish the child care availability task force to examine access to affordable child care
     

The Governor’s address recommends strengthening Community Schools by developing school mental health capacity and services in Community Schools.

 

Child Nutrition

The Governor included proposals to address a NYSASBO priority, expanding state support for child nutrition by strengthening farm-to-school programs. The Governor’s five-point plan will combat hunger for students in kindergarten through college, propose legislation to end lunch shaming in all schools, and require schools to increase access to meals by offering breakfast after the bell. This includes:

 

Ban Lunch Shaming Statewide

Legislation will be proposed that will prohibit any public act to humiliate a student who cannot afford lunch. Second, it will ban alternative lunches and require students to receive the same lunch as others starting in the 2018-19 school year.

 

Require Breakfast "After the Bell"

Governor Cuomo will propose requiring schools with more than 70 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch to provide breakfast after the school day has begun for the next school year. To ease the transition, the state will provide technical assistance and capital funds for equipment such as coolers and vending machines to support breakfast after the bell. An estimated $7 million in capital funds will support expanded breakfast for 1,400 schools.

 

Expand the Farm-to-School Program

Governor Cuomo proposes doubling the state's investment to add $750,000 for a total of $1.5 million in farm-to-school projects. If passed, the program would serve an estimated total of 18 projects and 328,000 additional students, bringing the total number of students served to 652,000.

 

Increase the Use of Farm-Fresh, Locally Grown Foods at School

To incentivize school districts to use more local farm-fresh products, Governor Cuomo will propose an increase in the reimbursement schools receive for lunches from the current 5.9 cents per meal to 25 cents per meal for any district that purchases at least 30 percent ingredients from New York farms.

 

Other Proposals

In addition the Governor’s state of the state address includes:

  • Launch An Additional Round of the Empire State After-School Program:  This year, the Governor proposes an additional $10 million to support the creation of 6,250 new slots in communities with high rates of student homelessness, or designated as in need of a safe place for students to go after the school day ends.
  • Expand Successful Early College High School Program by Growing the Network of Schools Throughout the State:  The Governor is proposing an additional $9 million to support the creation of at least 15 Early College High Schools, where schools will partner with a college or university and industry partner to create opportunities for every student in the school to graduate with some college credit.
  • Expand Computer Science Education to All Elementary, Middle, and High Schools: The Governor proposes a $6 million annual commitment to provide teacher support and development in computer science and engineering. In addition, the Governor will call on the State Education Department to work with industry leaders to develop model computer science standards.  
  • Expand Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) requirements of state funded contracts to the local level.
  • Extend the statute of limitations for bringing civil claims in sexually related cases from 3 years from the victim’s 18th birthday to 50 years from the date of offense. This proposal also eliminates the need to file a notice of claim before filing a lawsuit against a public entity.

 

Federal Tax Changes

Changes to the federal tax code will likely have a far reaching impact on New Yorkers that will undoubtedly affect our schools.  Although the law does not impact the way schools assess and collect taxes, dramatically reducing the deduction of state and local taxes for individuals is expected to change taxpayer behavior and may have an impact on the value of properties which will in turn affect the collection of property taxes that support our schools.  A provision to deduct private school tuition for K-12 students is also expected to impact public schools.  NYSASBO will continue to study the federal tax system to assess impacts on schools and the state's policy agenda and inform our members accordingly.

 

Office Of Facilities Planning - Temporary Office Closure - Postponed 

The Office of Facilities Planning will be moving into temporary space the week of January 8, 2018 in preparation for a final move to permanent space at a future date. The office will be temporarily closed on January 10th and 11th, 2018, while they move to a temporary location. Please see the following updated notice regarding new procedures during this transition:

 

New Process for Third-Party Review of Capital Project Submissions

The Office of Facilities Planning in conjunction with CiTi BOCES (the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation/Oswego BOCES) are gearing up to begin outsourcing of eligible capital project submissions to third-party vendors beginning February 1, 2018. Please click here for more details including the fee structure for this new service.

 

 Seeking Members to Join Coalition Advocating for Amnesty from Building Aid Penalty

ASBO is seeking districts interested in joining together to seek a legislative remedy to address issues related to incomplete or late-filed Final Cost Reports for projects with Commissioner’s Approval prior to July 1, 2011.  

Several districts have individually tried to obtain a legislative remedy to mitigate the penalties of withheld state aid, but the Governor has vetoed those that have reached his desk.  If your district is dealing with a penalty of withheld building aid and is interested in joining together to seek a legislative remedy, please contact Mike Borges at mborges@nysasbo.org by January 12th.

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