Archive for the 'National Policy' Category

SALT and Schools

November 1st, 2017 by Robert Lowry

New York State had a narrow escape from potential catastrophe when Republican efforts in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed once again in September. The Cassidy-Graham proposal would have stripped billions of dollars in Medicaid funding from the state budget and jeopardized health care coverage for an estimated 2.7 million New Yorkers, including perhaps one million children.

A new threat has emerged in the form of federal tax reform. Last week the House of Representatives passed an outline of federal budget for 2017-18 which envisioned ending deductibility of state and local taxes, referred to as “SALT.” Any reduction in SALT deductibility would be damaging for New York State and ultimately for schools. House leadership now plans to release its actual tax reform legislation this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, National Policy, State Budget | Comments Off on SALT and Schools

Education, the economy and the election

May 14th, 2017 by Robert Lowry

We are reviving our blog after a hiatus of over a year. This post first appeared in the January 2017 edition of the Council’s monthly newsletter. We will be returning to themes that it covers in future posts.

In my travels around the state and other encounters last fall, I was impressed by stories of pain superintendents shared – not stories of pain within their schools, although there were those, but pain in the families and communities they serve.

At one regional stop, a superintendent told a state legislator, “Our kids’ teeth are worse than they used to be,” and, “Some of our kids come to kindergarten never having seen a dentist.”

Others told of grandparents raising children, because their actual parents were afflicted with substance abuse or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. When asked by a legislator how parent engagement might be encouraged, a few said of the parents in their communities, “They’re doing the best they can.”

Some explained how school buildings are the only sites for youth and adult communities services in their regions.

In December meetings of our State Legislative Committee, superintendents shared counts of opioid deaths in their communities with executive and legislative staff and explained their efforts to provide health and mental health services in their schools.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Achievement Gap, National Policy, Politics | Comments Off on Education, the economy and the election

Home Room, October 3, 2011

October 3rd, 2011 by Robert Lowry

In this post:

  • Cuomo on Triborough
  • Silver on taxes
  • SED on paperwork
  • Fellows on loan
  • Buffalo News on cyber-bullying

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, Leadership, Legislation, National Policy | 1 Comment »

President unveils NCLB waiver plan

September 25th, 2011 by Robert Lowry

On Friday, President Obama unveiled his administration’s long-awaited plan to authorize states to gain waivers from specific requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

State Education Commissioner John King attended the White House event and issued a statement saying the Board of Regents will start discussions on the waiver opportunity at its October meeting and that the State Education Department will seek recommendations from stakeholder groups and accountability experts.

Council members are well represented on the stakeholder group SED will consult.

The requirements for obtaining waivers resemble those of the Race to the Top competition, so New York should be well-positioned to gain approval.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: National Policy | Comments Off on President unveils NCLB waiver plan

Racing to the Top: Time Lines

October 22nd, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Here is an interesting and/or intimidating item — a set of detailed time lines for projects to be undertaken by the State Education Department and various partners (including school districts) under the state’s Race to the Top grant. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Guidance and Announcements, National Policy | 1 Comment »

Waiting for “Waiting for Superman” UPDATED

September 10th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

A forthcoming movie promises to stir up education politics across the country when it begins appearing in theaters on September 24.

“Waiting for Superman” is the latest effort from Davis Guggenheim, director of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the film about global climate change that helped Al Gore win both an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize.

New York Magazine has a preview that is worth reading for its insights into national education politics.

I’ll probably write more on this some day soon.

UPDATE:  Here is a comment on the movie from New York State United Teachers.

Category: National Policy, Politics, Teachers | Comments Off on Waiting for “Waiting for Superman” UPDATED

How New York Made it to the Top

September 1st, 2010 by Robert Lowry

A few last words on the Race to the Top competition, before turning more to the substance of what New York’s $696.6 million grant will mean for schools and students…

Here is a chart comparing how scores changed between the first and second rounds of the Race to the Top competition on each of the criteria used to evaluate applications for New York and the averages for all the other finalists in each round.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, National Policy | 2 Comments »

Putting Race to the Top $ into Perspective

August 30th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

I’ve been fielding questions about when districts might receive funding from the state’s Race to the Top grant and how much.

The short answer is I don’t know and it will likely take some time to resolve.

A longer answer might begin, “We all have other things to focus on while the financial details of the Race to the Top grant get worked out.”

As we tried to indicate to school district leaders considering whether to sign memoranda of understanding in support of the state’s application in January and again in June, the primary reason for doing so should be that the grant would provide financial support for valuable state-level initiatives not available from any other foreseeable source, not for its impact on district finances.

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It’s official: New York in Race to the Top winners’ circle

August 24th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

New York is among nine states and the District of Columbia announced today by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan as winners of second round funding from the federal Race to the Top program.

New York will receive the maximum grant possible, just under $700 million, to be used over a four-year period.

New York achieved the second highest score among the winning states.  Massachusetts had the highest score. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, National Policy | 1 Comment »

New York wins Race to the Top funding

August 24th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Various sources are reporting that New York is among the winning states for round two federal Race to the Top grants.  The official announcement will come later today.

See here and here for example.

Category: Finance, National Policy | Comments Off on New York wins Race to the Top funding