Archive for March, 2012

Friday Wrap-Up, March 30, 2012

March 30th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

The Assembly and Senate are wrapping up action on the 11 or so separate bills which make up the state budget.  But both houses have already passed the three primary budget bills affecting schools and education.

Here are some of the news items we have highlighted this week on website our Twitter page this week:

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Morale in the schools

March 28th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

A couple of interesting pieces in Education Week’s blogs today:

Education scholar Diane Ravitch writes about “The toll of school reform on public education.”

 and

Peter Dewitt, an upstate New York elementary school principal, asks, “What’s With the Negative Campaign Against Education?

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Our statement on the state budget agreement

March 28th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

Our statement on the state budget agreement yesterday:

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Friday Wrap-Up, March 23, 2012

March 23rd, 2012 by Robert Lowry

Some of the news items we have highlighted this week on our Twitter page this week, covering pension reform, teacher evaluations, test security, the tax cap, and the state budget:

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Category: Finance, Standards & Assessments, Teachers | 1 Comment »

What the Board of Regents is up to this month (March 2012)

March 19th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

The New York State Board of Regents conducts its monthly meeting for March today and tomorrow.

Below are some of the topics the Regents are scheduled to address.

The first item – on strengthening test integrity, has already drawn some media attention.

In addition to the items below, it is possible that the Regents will consider revised regulations on teacher and principal evaluations, especially if Governor Cuomo signs the bill on that issues passed by the Assembly and Senate last week before the Regents conclude their meetings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Details of Assembly and Senate budget plans emerging

March 12th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

Both the Assembly and Senate are now debating their respective plans for the state budget.

Both houses would reduce funding for the Governor’s School Aid incentive grant programs from $250 million to $50 million.

The Assembly would provide additional general purpose aid through increases in Foundation Aid, with all districts receiving at least a 1 percent increase.

The Senate would increase general purpose aid by further reducing the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

Both houses reject proposals to shift preschool Special Education costs to school districts and to freeze data used in calculating School Aid.

Both houses include the Governor’s proposed legislation to enact the recent State Education Department-teacher union agreement on teacher/principal evaluations; the Senate version includes a few modifications, such as flexibility for high performing districts and a 10-day for SED review of resubmitted proposals.

Neither house includes the Governor’s Tier VI pension reform proposal; the Senate summary says it will “…consider modifications to the Executive’s pension reform proposal when submitted to the legislature…”

Below are excerpts from the Senate and Assembly summaries of their proposed changes to the Governor’s budget proposals for education.

For the actual sources, go to p. 33-1 here for the Assembly’s education budget proposals, and p. 7 here for the Senate’s.

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Conference Presentations, Reports, and Follow-Up

March 9th, 2012 by Robert Lowry

Presentations and other items from the Council’s Winter Institute and Lobby Day earlier this week are now available on our website:

Hank Grishman’s acceptance speech as the 2012 New York State Superintendent of the Year.

My presentation on the fiscal outlook for schools.

Commissioner King’s presentation.

Our analysis of the Governor’s proposed budget for education.  Paper copies were distributed at the conference and were distributed to legislative offices last week.

My appearance on the Capitol Tonight cable television show.  I was asked about our conference but spent a lot of time discussing the mechanics of the tax cap and challenges in implementing the new evaluation requirements.

We have received many requests for this presentation on implementing the Dignity for All Students Act.

Others are available here.

Hank Grishman’s Superintendent of the Year speech is worth reading. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, Leadership, Legislation | 1 Comment »