School Board Leadership Teams Discuss Hot Issues for Upcoming Year
Cutline: Table top discussions get underway as school board leaders and superintendents discuss implications of current state issues on local school districts.
Nearly 40 representatives of the leadership teams in ECASB member districts convened for a back-to-school President's Reception highlighted by an update on hot issues and their implications for local school districts.
In an Albany update, Erie 1 BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Lynn Fusco outlined the changes and challenges ahead, starting with a new Commissioner of Education with key vacancies to be filled at the State Education Department. The vacancies include the Senior Deputy Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner, creating a "limited capacity of leadership at SED." While the positions are expected to be filled soon, the time needed to ramp back up will delay districts' efforts to move forward, she said.
Other changes include the new vendor, Questar Assessments, Inc. (not to be confused with Questar BOCES), contracted to develop the grades 3-8 math and ELA assessments. As part of its contractual agreement, the firm is required to include teachers in the design of the new assessments. Teacher involvement will help better children for the assessments, and understand the data to be gleaned to improve curriculum and instruction, Dr. Fusco said.
Posted on Monday, 31 August 2015 14:26
Education Law Conference Draws 200+
This year's Western New York Education Conference drew more than 200 paricipants, maintaining its status as the largest school conference in the state. School board members, superintendents and other school administrators convened at the Millennium for a day focused entirely on apsects of education law presented by area school attorneys. After an opening address on "Hot Topics" in education law by Jay Worona, Chief Counsel and Deputy Executive Director for the NYS School Boards Association, participants could select from nine different presentations offered throughout the day. Topics ranged from APPR, 3020a & Everything in Between (pictured above), to Board Operations, School Safety Plans, Student Discipline, Grievances and Arbitrations, and Discrimination Claims. An update on Special Education law was provided, as well as a "Legal Hodge Podge" that covered residency, homelessness, and transgender students' rights.
Posted on Thursday, 20 August 2015 11:48
New ECASB School Board Members Complete NYS-required 6-hr. Trainings
There are few requirements to run for school board - you must be 18, a U.S. citizen, a member of your district at least 30 days before the vote, and able to read and write. Once you're elected, however, two six-hour training courses are required by New York State before the completion of your first year in office. One is the six-hour Governance and Accountability Training and the other is a six-hour session in Fiscal Oversight and Responsibility. The Erie County Association of School Boards (ECASB) and Erie 1 BOCES, approved training providers, conducted these sessions on Saturday, June 6, and Saturday, June 13. ECASB congratulates these 21 new ECASB school board members for successful completion of the goverance training requirement: David Vohwinkel, Cheektowaga-Sloan; Dennis Priore, Clarence; Michael Montoro, Cleveland Hill; David Patton, Frontier; Jennifer Gernat, Gowanda: Richard D'Agostino and Joy Lamarca, Grand Island; Robbin List, Richard Schneider and Michael McGarry, Hamburg; Jane Sullivan, Iroquois, Andrew Gianni, Ken-Ton; Kathleen Chiavetta, Lake Shore; Kelly Depczynski, Lancaster; Cindy Strong and Brian Pilarski, Maryvale; Brandi LoBianco, North Collins; Elizabeth Casey and Garret English, Springville-GI; Heather Sternin and Brooke Kasprzak, Tonawanda; Shawn P. Lemay and Mark Mecca, Williamsville.
Posted on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 11:20
David Lowrey's Service to Education
Honored with Diana Miller Award
David Lowrey, from the Iroquois and Erie 2 BOCES Boards of Education, was honored as the 2015 Diana R. Miller Award recipient at the Erie County Association of School Boards Annual Dinner Meeting. Established in 1981 in honor of late Lancaster Board of Education member, the award recognizes individuals who have made contributions to the betterment of education and/or assisted ECASB in achieving its mission on behalf of public education.
"Mr. Lowrey had dedicated his life to the betterment of education through his career and unprecendented community involvement. An intelligent, resourceful, student-based leader, Mr. Lowrey has been a pillar of strength and support through numerous challenging times at Iroquois. He has established an unprecedented level of trust and accountability between the Board, teachers, staff and community. A lifelong learner himself, Mr. Lowrey constantly advocates and encourages the continuing development of Board members. Mr. Lowrey's impressive resume, along with his many years of involvement at the county and state level, verifies that he understands the true meaning of a board member's responsibility to serve the children of New York State through the betterment of education," observed Iroquois School Superintendent Douglas Scofield.
Posted on Friday, 05 June 2015 10:35
'Equity, not adequacy, is the funding issue'
Did you know that $1 out of every $10 spent on education in the U.S. is spent in New York State? So said David Little, Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association, at the ECASB "Albany Update" Winter Dinner program. "Equity, not adequacy, is the funding issue," he said. New York State is not in a position to institute new taxes even if it wanted to, he said, noting "We already have every tax in the nation, and we tax it at the highest rates."
Posted on Friday, 16 January 2015 09:27
Hamburg VP article re School Costs published in Buffalo News. Read it here.
ECASB Legislative Team Calls on Regents to Urge Legislative Action on APPR (3012-d) Moratorium
At its first meeting of the 2015-16 school year, the Legislative Team of the Erie County Association of School Boards by unanimous vote declared its first action of business to be issuing a letter urging the Board of Regents at its Sept. 16-17meeting to call for legislative action to enact a moratorium of at least one year before permanent implementation of the new APPR evaluation regulations. Read the letter here. Sign the petition at change.org here.
WNY'ers for Public Education Event: Carol Burris speaks on the impact of Common Core and high stakes testing, opt outs, education reform and local control at , at West Seneca West High School, with Diane Ravitch on live video feed. Click here for an information flyer.