The NYS School Boards Association is asking the state Legislature to take up four initiatives related to Hurricane Sandy.
First, it’s asking for the state to exempt school districts from the 180-day attendance requirement for state aid. Right now, the state education commissioner can waive up to five days for a district.
The NYSSBA is also requesting that districts be allowed to spend money this year—beyond what was approved by voters—for unseen expenses related to the Superstorm. Similarly, it wants the state to waive voter approval requirements for capital expenditures related to storm damage, to ease restrictions on borrowing and to remove restrictions for tapping into dedicated reserve funds (like repair reserve funds).
Long-term, the School Boards Association is asking lawmakers to approve an exemption from the tax-levy salary cap for capital expenditures resulting from a federal or state emergency.
NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy Kremer said:
“Right now, many of those communities hit hardest by Sandy are dealing with the loss of basic necessities – food, power, fuel and shelter. But as life slowly begins to return to normal, schools will be facing a slew of issues as they sort through legal requirements.”