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April 28, 2015

Vol. 4, Issue 4

WPSBA members at NYSSBA State Issues Conference - Albany

Across the Board

           A WPSBA Publication


You are cordially invited to our
53nd Annual Meeting
& Dinner Program
Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Keynote Speaker - Regent Judith Johnson

Join us as we hear from newly appointed Regent Judith Johnson and honor outgoing Regent Harry Phillips, Jr.

Crabtree's Kittle House
6:30 pm, Reception;  7:15 pm - 9:30 pm, Dinner & Program
11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua, NY 10514 


$54 per person - RSVP through your District Clerk


Registrations and cancellations must be received by Fri., May 22. 

Late cancellations and no-shows will be charged to your district.

In This Issue

Negotiations Roundtable

What's new in the world of contracts and negotiations? Find out at our upcoming Negotiations Roundtable.  BOE members, school attorneys & superintendents will share info on negotiating the new APPR, current trends, and recently negotiated contracts.

Fri June 5th; 8 AM - 10 AM

WPSBA Offices

450 Mamaroneck Ave. Harrison, NY

Continental breakfast served. Free to member districts.

To register, CLICK HERE

Data Mining - A Treasure Trove At Your Fingertips

WPSBA posts a multitude of regional school district data on our website, which has been shared via email or at programs throughout the year. We regularly dis-aggregate regional data from SED and other State agency reports, and work to transform it into user-friendly yet meaningful spreadsheets. In the words of a LoHud reporter who references our data, "Wow! What a treasure trove of data!" Please let us know if there is other information that would be useful to your district.
If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to reference our historic school board vote data, as well as the  2015-16 State Aid data reports (GEA, Foundation Aid, 2015-16 State Aid, 2015-16 State Aid vs 2008) which were included in the April 17th WPSBA Weekly School District Budget Survey, and are posted online. It's interesting to note that despite four years of GEA reductions, on average, the state has only reduced our regional GEA by two-thirds!

President's Message
Susan Elion Wollin, WPSBA Pres.

Dear Board Colleagues: 

It's a bit tricky to spin it in any positive way.
     From our perspective, the Governor's 2015-2016 Budget did little to address the challenges facing public education.  The changes in teacher evaluation went against what we counseled.  While money was set aside to help failing schools, there was no addressing the problem of unfunded mandates.  And while it is a step in the right direction with some additional aid earmarked, it is nowhere near what we have cumulatively lost through the Gap Elimination Adjustment policy we have lobbied against.
So what does that mean for us?
     It means we redouble our focus back to what we can control, and that is our local school districts.  We must continue the important work of setting school policies, passing budgets, and encouraging community involvement, all guided by doing what is best for our students. 
      As we approach our annual budget vote and trustee elections, let's continue to do our best to encourage folks who respect the importance of public education and are committed to ensuring quality schools get involved.

     Let's continue to expand our advocacy strategies, to build even broader coalitions, perhaps with connections to those with differing perspectives, in order to be more proactive and creative in our approach to messaging.  We must thank our dedicated legislators who did listen to us in the pursuit of sound initiatives and fair funding and help them in this mission.

     The one thing we can't do is give up.  The goal of a superior public education for every child is simply too important.
     Thank you for all you do, on behalf of our Westchester and Putnam students!

New & Noteworthy

We'd like to take a moment to tip our hats to....

Ms. Madeline Smith, Board of Education Member at Pelham UFSD who was named an Advocate of the Year by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

Dr. James Langlois, Superintendent of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES who was named the 2015 New York State School Superintendent of the Year by the New York State Council of School Superintendents  (NYSCOSS).

Ms. Alita McCoy Zuber, Assistant Superintendent of Business at the Ossining UFSD who was named one of Education Week's 2015 Leaders to Learn From.

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