Politics

Schools Awash In Free Cuomo Cash – Will students get their fair share?

cuomo-edu-hero1

 

 

Love him or hate him,  the man knows how to bring home the education bacon.

 

 

 2015-2016 Education aid by the numbers:

$1.67 billion increase (7.65%) + $2 billion in Smart bonds (9.1%)  = $3.6 billion tidal wave.

All of the budgetary hand wringing and apologizing in Albany has resulted in a 

Jaw Dropping 16.5% spending increase in one year! 

It’s party time at the biggest employer in YOUR town!

 

Strings attached?

Who cares? Your school is going to need extra mattresses to hide this much money.

 

A local multi-million dollar spending festival is about to begin…

 

Right now school boards across NY are busy tossing out the “we’re starving” budget from last week and replacing it with a shiny new example of where to stash those free greenbacks so they can  still claim they’re starving. With all of this extra cash,  it’s going to be a tough job this year.   Those financial wizards of the purposefully vague & confusing spending plans haven’t seen this kind of money swamping in at least 2 years. For them, this is the after-party… Let the good times roll with billions in EXTRA Free Cuomo Bucks!

 

Parents need to get on the  feeding frenzy festivities…

Time is short – the big money will vanish fast into the annual industry standard excuse… the mysterious “unfunded mandate”. According to media wonk’s – everything from floor mops to ergonomic chairs are mandated and unfunded.  Make your plans now & get your piece of the hot fair share action.  Don’t think twice about school employees… they  got their contract cash coming no matter what the budget big shots say.

 

Suggested party plans…

Not sure what to ask for? Don’t bribe the teacher with a free apple, DEMAND every classroom spending budget be tripled with FREE money from the pseudo-gods of Albany!  The teachers know where to spend that classroom money better than any fat cat school bureaucrat. Give em’ a classroom spending spree of mind numbing epic proportions!  Remember… classroom spending accounts really are for the children!

 

Your friends are invited too…

Everybody knows there is power in numbers… band together with your rebel friends -show up to that budget meeting and  yell louder than anyone else!  Dive head first into this annual cash orgy – show those special interests and board scrooges how to party!

 

100% Guilt Free…

Don’t try to fix this year’s problem – that’s ancient history. Be Progressive! Demand they back up those cash laden dump trucks into the future classrooms of your own children. Be self centered – Be greedy – It’s OK! Your efforts will help every child behind yours for years to come… there is no shame in that!

 

Ignore those pesky media claims…

Those jerks wouldn’t have the guts to print this headline “Schools bursting with cash” …that would wipe out a year’s worth of sob stories.  They need this money to go away fast to save those ad dollars & to keep you away from the biggest multi-million dollar spending party in town. No need to RSVP!!! Get in there and fill up the student swag bag!

 

Act Fast… this is a limited time offer…

Final budgets are due soon for the big vote in May… we’re talking extra billions to be spent in the next 6 weeks!  This kind of free money bonanza may not come around till the next election season. Hurry – billions in Free Cuomo Bucks will disappear faster than a 3rd world aid package!

 

Send No Money Back Guarantee!

Nobody ever sends pre-approved free money back to Albany.  Act now! Get the student’s fair share today!

 

 

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A06777 NY Senate Opt Out Bill – In a Readable Format

WhyDad.net It looks like we are getting closer to some kind of bill from Albany regarding parent opt out rights with a controversial bill introduced by Catherine Nolan.  Jim Tedesco claims  portions of his bill were plagiarized to create the Nolan bill below.

His main concern is the new bill leaves out the requirement that parents are notified of their rights. We liked that part of the Tedesco bill, we also like a portion of Catherine Nolan’s bill that directly addresses protections for parents who opt out in section 3 below. Unfortunately those protections are extended to people who have a vested interest in the results (or lack of). This problem along with Jim Tedesco’s observation makes this bill in need of revision.

 

 

By reading this document you agree:

A. that this webpage is not an official copy the Ao6777 NYS Senate bill which can be found here – http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=%0D%0A&bn=A06777&term=2015&Summary=Y&Text=Y

B. this webpage may contain errors.

C. this webpage is for entertainment use only.

If you disagree, stop reading and visit google.com

 

 

 

A06777 text:
St a t e  o f N e w Yy o r k
________________________________________________________________________

6777

2015-2016 regular sessions

iIn a s s e m b l y

April 2, 2015
___________

Introduced by m. Of a. Nolan, russell, arroyo, blake, colton, cook, fahy, kaminsky, linares, lifton, o’donnell, scarborough, silver, simon, solages, thiele, otis — multi-sponsored by — m. Of a. Glick, hevesi, magee, markey, mosley, rivera, walker — read once and referred to the committee on education

An act to amend the education law, in relation to providing parents with the right and authority to exempt their children from taking standardized assessments

The people of the state of new york, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

.

section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 319 to read as follows:

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S 319. Student exemption from standardized assessments.

1. A parent of a student or person in parental relationship to a student shall have the  right and authority to exempt such student from taking standardized assessments, including but not limited to the state third grade through eighth grade math and english language arts assessments, a state field  test assessment or a state assessment administered for purposes of, or pursuant to, section three thousand twelve-c of this chapter. The parent of a student or person in parental relationship to the student shall notify the school principal in writing or other verifiable means, as determined by the school district, at any time prior to the administration of such assessment or assessments.

2. The school shall offer to students exempted by their parents or persons in parental relation from a standardized assessment pursuant to this section alternative educational or enrichment programs during the time that such standardized assessment is administered.

3. There shall be no retaliation or other negative action against a student, parent, teacher, principal or building administrator, school building or school district in response to a parent’s exemption of a student from standardized assessments pursuant to this section.  –Emphasis  by whydad.net
s 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

Related –

 

 

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Merryl Tisch – Your kids are stuck in the middle of a labor argument.

WhyDad.netLast night two very accomplished women of education (Diane Ravitch, Former Asst. Secy. of Education  and  NY Regents Chancellor, Merryl Tisch) had their moment to air their points of view on an MSNBC talk show.  Their discussion surrounded opting out of , the value of, the frequency of and the length of –  standardized testing.

During the conversation, the ladies looked very apprehensive as the other side spoke, which makes one wonder if these two were placed in a room alone, would there be real saloon like cursing? All kidding aside, Chancellor Tisch left us with what is perhaps the most honest point of the show:

 

“I would hope that parents would understand that if we had not linked thru policy… the evaluation of teachers to the testing, I think more kids would be showing up for testing. Actually I would say to our parents, that our kids have gotten caught in a labor dispute between the governor and the teachers union and our kids are paying the price. “

 .

For all that it is worth, thank you Chancellor Tisch and Diane Ravitch for making some excellent points and counterpoints.   Now will both of you please sit down somewhere and figure out how to get students out of the bargaining table negotiations…. and please fix the curriculum.

.

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MN. Moms: children warned – no lessons if they don’t opt out. Alleged opt out forgeries ensue?

WhyDad.net

 

Two mothers in Minnesota have written opinion letters which claim teachers promoted the parental right of opting out of the state standardized tests directly to students. While doing so, teachers allegedly warned the students that school lessons (government services) would be missed if they didn’t opt out. If the allegations are true, the Minnesota parental right to chose to refuse does not seem to be a true right or a choice in any sense.

 

Here are the quotes-

 

Beth Hawkins – “Test anxiety: Is it the kids or the teachers who are driving opt-outs?”  Minn Post 03/19/15

“Last Thursday my son, who is typically a reliable narrator, came home from Southwest High School with what I initially imagined was a tall tale. He told me I’d be getting an emailed version of the form Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) asks parents who object to the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) to sign. I should agree to exempt him, he explained, because teachers were warning kids that anyone who took the annual state proficiency exams would miss a lesson that would be delivered at that time and would thus risk falling behind. His friends were either asking their parents to sign or forging their signatures.”

 

Lynnell Mickelsen  – “6 thoughts about the opt-out movement -Are Teachers Trying To Dump The Evidence?” Star Tribune 03/23/15

“According to the girl, her 10th-grade English teacher had handed out the forms to everyone in class and had urged them to get their parents to sign it. The teacher said that if enough students opted out of the Minnesota Comprehensive Exams, eventually the state would stop giving them. He also said he’d conduct regular classes for everyone opting out, leaving the impression that those who took the test would fall behind.””

 

In prior articles we suggested that allowing teachers to directly promote test refusals was a conflict of interest that would inadvertently produce an atmosphere of fear, coercion or worse. The allegations above seem to depict all three and a very poor solution that results in no teacher accountability or observance of parental rights.

Thankfully there are other organizations that are on the right track. For example,  the Delaware PTA is at least mindful of the possibility of fear and intimidation occurring and the largest teachers union in NY (NYSUT) has advised their members that talking directly to students/parents may have legal problems. For now, these solutions seem to be the best that parents, professionals and the taxpayer can hope for in order to avoid Minnesota’s “wild west” approach.

 

In conclusion and once again… refusing the state tests should remain a personal choice and right without influence from teachers and administrators who have a vested interest in the results.

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Delaware PTA – opt out is a personal decision – will address concerns of fear and intimidation

 

It was suggested that our concerns of incentivizing fear and coercion for vested interests were poorly conceived…

 

On  3/24/2015, the Delaware PTA issued a statement in support of a parents right to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

 

 “Delaware PTA will not encourage any parent to opt their child out of the test. We firmly believe each decision and subsequent reason for opting out is unique. We also firmly believe that this is a personal decision that must be made by the parental unit.”

 Later on in the statement, they felt it necessary to include this language:

“Address parent/teacher concerns of fear and/or intimidation regarding the parent opt out”

The Delaware Opt Out movement seemed to be happy with the positions taken by their PTA “This is a HUGE step in the opt out movement Delaware parents! “

 

Hats off to the Delaware PTA for their willingness to recognize all of the concerns raised by their members.

 

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Think Before Signing The Common Core Parental Refusal Act Petition

cautionwhydad

 

In the Facebook group Stop Common Core In New York State, parents have begun posting a variety of allegations concerning direct discussions between teachers and students regarding the NY standardized tests. Some of them are quoted below:

 

 

 

  • “My son (5th grade) comes home from school and tells me that his teacher is practically begging him to talk me into changing my mind about refusing the tests. Apparently she’s worried that none of her other students (he’s in a 12:1) will be able to pass the tests and she knows that my son will (and he would, but it’s so not the point). Where does she get off begging my son and making him feel guilty about doing exactly what his mother told him to do!!”
  • “Mom I don’t want to take the standardized tests this year. My teacher said we can opt out and all you need to do is write a refusal letter.””

In our article titled Superintendent Paladino was right for the wrong reasons , we commented that it was wrong for teachers to talk directly to parents about the tests when they have a vested interest in the results. We suggested that doing this would inadvertently remove a parents right to refuse without fear, coercion or worse. As a hypothetical example, we put forth this scenario:

 

… imagine you are a parent and your child’s teacher talks to you about test refusals.  After the conversation, what do you do if you were planning on your child taking the test?  If you allow the test to be taken anyway, will this teacher take it out on your child at school? Will the last regular grade of the year be mysteriously low? Will your child be marked as testing trouble by other teachers in the future?

The negative mental questions a parent can think of are limitless.  As a parent, your only logical choice is to refuse the test to avoid any questionable activity by the teacher now or in the future

 

Constitutional Questions.

 

The Bill of Rights guarantees every American citizen a variety of individual freedoms that may be enjoyed without fear, coercion or reprisal from the government. Teachers are government employees and if the above allegations are true, they may have instilled a coercive atmosphere into children and their parents.  There should be no protection for this kind of activity as it is a breeding ground for government corruption and tyranny.

 

The Common Core Parental Refusal Act Expands The Problem.

 

In NY, a few well meaning politicians have written a bill to dispel the confusion surrounding parental rights in refusing test participation by ensuring parents are aware of their right to refuse. An action that is nearly moot at this point unless you live in a cave. Nonetheless, a required statement like this will certainly serve as a reminder of parental rights long after this controversy settles down.

The real problem lies within a sentence on the petition website produced by these politicians:

The bill protects teachers from being penalized in their evaluations due to a lack of student participation

We believe the statement nearly guarantees (and incentivizes) teachers will turn up their attempts to persuade children and parents to refuse a test instead of placing their monetary & labor concerns where they belong; with their union representatives who are supposed to negotiate with elected public servants who represent the interests of people.  As we have said before, refusing the state tests should remain a personal choice and right without influence from teachers and administrators who have a vested interest in the results.

 

In conclusion, we would hope the writers of this petition consider the rights guaranteed to all Americans are not be used as a bargaining chip in an Albany labor dispute.

 

Related –

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NY’s education tax credit proposal in a readable format.

WhyDad.netAs requested, below is a copy of Governor Cuomo’s Executive budget proposal for the Education Tax Credit Program as reformatted by Whydad.net.

 

A plain language description detailing a comparison of the Governor’s proposal, the NYS Assembly version and the NYS Senate version may be found at Investined.com

 

 

 

By reading this document you agree:

A. that this webpage is not an official copy the 2015 NYS executive budget proposal which can be found here in all CAPS.

B. this webpage may contain errors.

C. this webpage is for entertainment use only.

If you disagree, stop reading and visit google.com

 

Executive budget – State of New York
________________________________________________________________________

Senate-Assembly

January 21, 2015
___________

In senate — a budget bill, submitted by the governor pursuant to article seven of the constitution — read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the committee on finance

In assembly — a budget bill, submitted by the governor pursuant to article seven of the constitution — read once and referred to the committee on ways and means
Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “education tax credit act”.

 

The education law is amended by adding a new article 25 to read as follows:

 

Article 25 Education tax credit program section

  • Short title.
  • Definitions.
  • Approval to issue certificates of receipt.
  • Applications for approval to issue certificates of receipt.
  • Application approval for certificates of receipts.
  • Revocation of approval to issue certificates of receipt.
  • Reporting and recordkeeping.
  • Joint annual report
  • Commissioner; powers.

 

Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the “education tax credit program”.

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Definitions.

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For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
1. “authorized contribution” means the contribution amount that is listed on the contribution authorization certificate issued to a taxpayer.
2. “contribution” means a donation paid by cash, check, electronic funds transfer, debit card or credit card that is made by a taxpayer during the taxable year.
3. “educational program” means an academic or similar program of a public school that enhances the curriculum or academic program of the public school, or provides a pre-kindergarten program to a public school. For purposes of this definition, the instruction, materials, programs and other activities offered by or through an educational program may include, but are not limited to, the following features:

(a) instruction or materials promoting health, physical education, and family and consumer sciences; literary, performing and visual arts; mathematics, social studies, technology and scientific achievement;
(b) instruction or programming to meet the education needs of at-risk Students or students with disabilities, including tutoring or counseling; or
(c) the use of specialized instructional materials, instructors or instruction not provided by a public school.

4. “educational scholarship organization” means an entity that:

(a) is exempt from taxation under paragraph three of subsection (c) of section Five hundred one of the internal revenue code;
(b) uses at least ninety percent of the qualified contributions received during the calendar year and any income derived from qualified contributions during such year for scholarships;
(c) provides more than fifty percent of its scholarships during a calendar year to eligible pupils who reside in a household that has an income not to exceed one hundred fifty percent of the income qualification required for the reduced price school lunches under the national school lunch act, provided however for the purposes of an educational scholarship organization fulfilling such requirement, an educational scholarship organization may enter into an agreement with another educational scholarship organization or organizations to jointly report their scholarship information to meet such requirement;
(d) deposits and holds qualified contributions and any income derived from qualified contributions in an account that is separate from the organization’s operating or other funds until such qualified contributions or income are withdrawn for use;
(e) provides scholarships to eligible pupils for use at not fewer than three qualified schools; and
(f) is approved to issue certificates of receipt pursuant to this article.

5. “eligible pupil” means a child who is:

(a) a resident of this state;
(b) of school age in accordance with subdivision one of section thirty-two hundred two of this chapter or who is four years of age on or before december first of the year in which such child is enrolled in a pre-kindergarten program;
(c) attends or is about to attend a qualified school; and
(d) resides in a household which has a federal adjusted Gross income of two hundred fifty thousand dollars or less, provided however, for households with three or more dependent children, such income level shall be increased by ten thousand dollars per dependent child, not to exceed three hundred thousand dollars.

6. “local education fund” means a not-for-profit entity which:

(a) is exempt from taxation under paragraph three of subsection (c) of section five hundred one of the internal revenue code;
(b) is established for the purpose of supporting at least one public school or a public school district located in this state;
(c) uses at least ninety percent of the qualified contributions received during the calendar year and any income derived from qualified contributions during such months to support the public school or schools or public school district or districts that such fund has been established to support;
(d) deposits and holds qualified contributions and any income derived from qualified contributions in an account that is separate from the fund’s operating or other funds until such qualified contributions or income are withdrawn for use; and
(e) is approved to issue certificates of receipt pursuant to this article.

7. “non-public school” means any not-for-profit pre-kindergarten program or elementary or secondary sectarian or nonsectarian school located in this state, other than a public school, that provides instruction at one or more locations to an eligible pupil in accordance with subdivision two of section thirty-two hundred four of this chapter.

8. “public education entity” means a public school district or a public school in this state, provided that such public school district or public school:

(a) deposits and holds qualified contributions and any income derived from such qualified contributions in an account that is separate from the public school or public school district’s operating or other funds until such qualified contributions or income are withdrawn for use; and
(b) is approved to receive authorized contributions and issue certificates of receipt pursuant to this article.

9. “public school” means any free elementary or secondary school in this state pursuant to article eleven of the constitution, but shall not include a charter school authorized by article fifty-six of this chapter.

10. “qualified contribution” means the authorized contribution made by a taxpayer to a public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization listed in the contribution authorization certificate issued to the taxpayer for which the taxpayer has received a certificate of receipt from such entity, fund or organization. A contribution does not qualify if the taxpayer designates the taxpayer’s contribution to an entity or organization for the direct benefit of any particular or specified student.

11. “qualified school” means a public school or non-public school located in this state.

12. “scholarship” means an educational scholarship or tuition grant awarded to an eligible pupil to attend a qualified school in an amount not to exceed the tuition charged to attend such school less any other educational scholarship or tuition grant received by such eligible pupil or his or her parent, parents, legal guardian, or legal guardians for such eligible pupil’s tuition; provided, however, in the case of an eligible pupil attending a public school of a district of which such pupil is not a resident, the amount of the educational scholarship or tuition grant awarded may not exceed the tuition charged by the public school pursuant to paragraph d of subdivision four of section thirty-two hundred two of this chapter, but only if the school district of which such pupil is a resident is not required to pay for such tuition.

13. “school improvement organization” means a not-for-profit entity which:

 (a) is exempt from taxation under paragraph three of subsection (c) of section five hundred one of the internal revenue code;
(b) uses at least ninety percent of the qualified contributions received during the calendar year and any income derived from qualified contributions during such months to assist public schools or public school districts located in this state in their provision of educational programs, either by making contributions to one or more public schools or public school districts located in this state or providing educational programs to, or in conjunction with, one or more public schools or public school districts located in this state;
(c) deposits and holds qualified contributions and any income derived from qualified contributions in an account that is separate from the organization’s operating or other funds until such qualified contributions or income are withdrawn for use; and
(d) is approved to issue certificates of receipt pursuant to this article. Such term includes a pre-kindergarten program or not-for- profit entity that allows the taxpayer to choose to donate to a program, project or initiative for use in a public school.

.

Approval to issue certificates of receipt.

1. Public schools and public school districts. All public schools and public school districts shall be approved to issue certificates of receipt for qualified contributions in accordance with section forty-two of the tax law, provided, that such public school or public school district shall not be approved if either:

(a) such public school or public school district fails to deposit and hold qualified contributions and any income derived from qualified contributions in an account that is separate from the school or school district’s operating or other funds until such qualified contributions or income are withdrawn for use; or
(b) the commissioner has revoked such approval for such public school or public school district pursuant to section twelve hundred fourteen of this article.

2. School improvement organizations, educational scholarship organizations and local education funds. No school improvement organization, educational scholarship organization or local education fund shall issue any certificates of receipt without filing an application pursuant to section twelve hundred twelve of this article and receiving approval pursuant to section twelve hundred thirteen of this article.

 

Applications for approval to issue certificates of receipt.

Each school improvement organization, educational scholarship organization and local education fund shall submit an application to the commissioner for approval to issue certificates of receipt in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner, provided that such application shall include:

(a) submission of documentation that such school improvement organization, local education fund or educational scholarship 2 organization has been granted exemption from taxation under paragraph Three of subsection (c) of section five hundred one of the internal revenue code;
(b) a list of names and addresses of all members of the governing board of the school improvement organization, local education fund or educational scholarship organization; and
(c) an educational scholarship organization shall provide criteria for the awarding of scholarships to eligible students.

 

Application approval for certificates of receipt.

1. In general. The commissioner shall review each application to issue certificates of receipt pursuant to this article. The commissioner shall publish criteria used to determine selection and establish an appeals process for applications that are not approved.

2. Notification. Applicants shall be notified of the commissioner’s determination within five business days of the determination. Revocation of approval to issue certificates of receipt. The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of taxation and finance, may revoke the approval of a school improvement organization, educational scholarship organization, local education fund, public school or public school district to issue certificates of receipt upon a finding that such organization, fund, school or school district has violated this article or section forty-two of the tax law. These violations shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following:

(a) failure to meet the requirements of this article or section forty-two of the tax law;
(b) the failure to maintain full and adequate records with respect to the receipt of qualified contributions;
(c) the failure to supply such records to the commissioner, department of taxation and finance, or the department when requested; or
(d) the failure to provide notice to the department of taxation and finance of the issuance or non-issuance of certificates of receipt pursuant to section forty-two of the tax law; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not revoke approval pursuant to this section based upon a violation of tax law unless the commissioner of taxation and finance agrees that revocation is warranted; and provided further that the commissioner shall not revoke approval pursuant to this section when the failure to comply is due to clerical error and not negligence or intentional disregard for the law. Within five days of the determination revoking approval, the commissioner shall provide notice of such revocation to the educational scholarship organization, school improvement organization, local education fund, public school, or public school district and to the department of taxation and finance. The commissioner shall establish an appeals process for determinations revoking approvals.

 

Reporting and recordkeeping.

1. Reporting. Each educational scholarship organization, school improvement organization, local education fund, public school and public school district that receives qualified contributions shall report to the commissioner and the department of taxation and finance by january thirty-first of each calendar year. Such report shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner in consultation with the commissioner of taxation and finance.
2. Recordkeeping. Each educational scholarship organization, school improvement organization, local education fund, public school and public school district that issued at least one certificate of receipt shall maintain records including:

(A) notifications received from the depart- ment of taxation and finance;
(b) notifications made to the department of taxation and finance;
(c) copies of qualified contributions received; (d) copies of the deposit of such qualified contributions;
(e) copies of issued certificates of receipt;
(f) annual financial statements;
(g) in the case of school improvement organizations, educational scholarship organizations and local education funds, the application submitted pursuant to section twelve hundred twelve of this article and the approval issued by the commissioner; and

(h) any other information prescribed by the commissioner. Such records shall be maintained by the entity or organization for five years.

 

Joint annual report.

On or before the last day of may for each calendar year, the commissioner of taxation and finance and the commis- sioner, jointly, shall submit a written report as provided in subdivision (k) of section forty-two of the tax law.

 

Commissioner; powers.

The commissioner shall promulgate on an emergency basis regulations necessary for the implementation of this section. The commissioner shall make any application required to be filed pursuant to this article available to applicants within sixty days of the effective date of this article.

 

The education law is amended by adding a new section 1503-a to read as follows:

Power to accept and solicit gifts and donations.

1. The trustees or boards of education of all school districts organized by special laws or pursuant to the provisions of a general law are hereby authorized and empowered to accept gifts, donations, and contributions to the district and to solicit the same.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or of any other general or special law to the contrary, the receipt of such gifts, donations and contributions made pursuant to article twenty-five of this chapter, and any income derived therefrom, shall be disregarded for the purposes of all apportionments, computations, and determinations of state aid.

 

The tax law is amended by adding a new section 42 to read as follows:

Education tax credit.

(a) definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the same definition as in section twelve hundred ten of the education law: “authorized contribution”, “contribution”, “educational program”, “educational scholarship organization”, “eligible pupil”, “local education fund”, “non-public school”, “public education entity”, “public school”, “qualified contribution”, “qualified school”, “scholarship”, and “school improvement organization”.

.
(b) allowance of credit. A taxpayer subject to tax under article nine-a or twenty-two of this chapter shall be allowed an education tax credit against such tax, pursuant to the provisions referenced in subdivision (1) of this section, with respect to qualified contributions made during the taxable year.

.
(c) amount of credit. The amount of the credit shall be the lesser of seventy-five percent of the taxpayer’s total qualified contributions or one million dollars. If the taxpayer is a partner in a partnership or shareholder of a new york s corporation, then the cap imposed by the preceding sentence shall be applied at the entity level, so that the aggregate credit allowed to all the partners or shareholders of each such entity in the taxable year does not exceed one million dollars.

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(d) information to be posted on the department’s website. Beginning on the sixteenth day of january of each year, the commissioner shall maintain on the department’s website a running total of the amount of avail- able credit for which taxpayers may apply pursuant to this section. Additionally, the commissioner shall maintain on the department’s website a list of the school improvement organizations, local education funds and educational scholarship organizations approved to issue certificates of receipt pursuant to article twenty-five of the education law. The commissioner shall also maintain on the department’s website a list of public education entities, school improvement organizations, local education funds and educational scholarship organizations whose approval to issue certificates of receipt has been revoked along with the date of such revocation.

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(e) applications for contribution authorization certificates. Prior to making a contribution to a public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization, the taxpayer shall apply to the department for a contribution authorization certificate for such contribution. Such application shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the department. The department may allow taxpayers to make multiple applications on the same form, provided that each contribution listed on such application shall be treated as a separate application and that the department shall issue separate contribution authorization certificates for each such application.

.
(f) contribution authorization certificates.

1. Issuance of certificates. The commissioner shall issue contribution authorization certificates in two phases. In phase one, which begins on the first day of january and ends on the fifteenth day of january, the commissioner shall accept applications for contribution authorization certificates but shall not issue any such certificates. Commencing after the sixteenth day of january, the commissioner shall issue contribution authorization certificates for applications received during phase one, provided that if the aggregate total of the contributions for which applications have been received during phase one exceeds the amount of the credit cap in subdivision (h) of this section, the authorized contribution amount listed on each contribution authorization certificate shall equal the pro-rata share of the credit cap. If the credit cap is not exceeded, phase two commences on january sixteenth and ends on november first. The commissioner shall issue contribution authorization certificates on a first-come first serve basis based upon the date the department received the taxpayer’s application for such certificate; provided, however, that if on any day the department receives applications requesting contribution authorization certificates for contributions that in the aggregate exceed the amount of the remaining available credit on such day, the authorized contribution amount listed in each contribution authorization certificate shall be the taxpayer’s pro-rata share of the remaining available credit. For purposes of determining a taxpayer’s pro-rata share of remaining available credit, the commissioner shall multiply the amount of remaining available credit by a fraction, the numerator of which equals the total contribution amount listed on the taxpayer’s application and the denominator of which equals the aggregate amount of contributions listed on the applications for contribution authorization certificates received on such day. Contribution authorization certificates for applications received during phase one shall be mailed no later than the fifth day of february. Contribution authorization certificates for applications received during phase two shall be mailed within twenty days of receipt of such applications. Provided, however, that no contribution authorization certificates for applications received during phase two shall be issued until all of the contribution authorization certificates for applications received during phase one have been issued.

2. Contribution authorization certificate contents. Each contribution authorization certificate shall state:

(i) the date such certificate was issued;
(ii) the date by which the authorized contributions listed in the certificate must be made, which shall be no later than november thirtieth of the year for which the contribution authorization certif- icate was issued;
(iii) the taxpayer’s name and address;
(iv) the amount Of authorized contributions;
(v) the contribution authorization certificate’s certificate number;
(vi) the name and address of the public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund or educational scholarship organization for which the taxpayer may make the authorized contribution; and
(vii) any other information that the Commissioner deems necessary.

 3. Notification of the issuance of a contribution authorization certificate. Upon issuance of a contribution authorization certificate, the commissioner shall notify the educational scholarship organization, public education entity, school improvement organization or local education fund of the issuance of the contribution authorization certificate to a taxpayer. Such notification shall include:

(i) the taxpayer’s name and address;
(ii) the date such certificate was issued;
(iii) the date by which the authorized contribution listed in the notification must be made by the taxpayer;
(iv) the amount of the authorized contribution;
(v) contribution authorization certificate; and
(vi) any other information that the commissioner deems necessary.

(g) certificate of receipt.

1. In general. No public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization shall issue a certificate of receipt for any contribution made by a taxpayer unless such public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization has been approved to issue certificates of receipt pursuant to article twenty-five of the education law. No public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization shall issue a certificate of receipt for a contribution made by a taxpayer unless such public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization has received notice from the department that the department issued a credit authorization certificate to the taxpayer for such contribution.

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2. Timely contribution. If a taxpayer makes an authorized contribution to the public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization set forth on the authorization certificate issued to the taxpayer no later than the date

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By which such authorized contribution is required to be made, such public education entity, school improvement organization, local educa- tion fund, or educational scholarship organization shall, within thirty days of receipt of the authorized contribution, issue to the taxpayer a written certificate of receipt; provided, however, that if the taxpayer contributes an amount that is less than the amount listed on the taxpayer’s contribution authorization certificate, the taxpayer shall not be issued a certificate of receipt for such contribution.

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3. Certificate of receipt contents. Each certificate of receipt shall state: (i) the name and address of the issuing public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization; (ii) the taxpayer’s name and address; (iii) the date for each contribution; (iv) the amount of each contribution and the corresponding contribution authorization certificate number; (v) the total amount of contributions; and (vi) any other information that the commissioner deems necessary.

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4. Notification to the department for the issuance of a certificate of receipt. Upon the issuance of a certificate of receipt, the issuing public education entity, school improvement organization, local educa- tion fund, or educational scholarship organization shall, within thirty Days of issuing the certificate of receipt, provide the department with notification of the issuance of such certificate in the form and manner prescribed by the department.

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5. Notification to the department of the non-issuance of a certificate of receipt. Each public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization that received notification from the department pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section regarding the issuance of a contribution authorization certificate to a taxpayer shall, within thirty days of the expiration date for such authorized contribution, provide notification to the department for each taxpayer that failed to make the authorized contribution to such public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization in the form and manner prescribed by the department.

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6. Failure to notify the department. Within thirty days of discovery of the failure of any public education entity, school improvement organization, local education fund, or educational scholarship organization to comply with the notification requirements prescribed by paragraphs four and five of this subdivision, the commissioner shall issue a notice of compliance failure to such entity, program fund or organization. Such entity, program fund or organization shall have thirty days from the date of such notice to make the notifications prescribed by paragraphs four and five of this subdivision. Such period may be extended for an additional thirty days upon the request of the entity, program fund or organization. Upon the expiration of the period for compliance set forth in the notice prescribed by this paragraph, the commissioner shall notify the commissioner of education that such entity, program fund or organization failed to make the notifications prescribed by paragraphs four and five of this subdivision.

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(h) credit cap. The maximum permitted credits under this section available annually to all taxpayers for qualified contributions for calendar year two thousand sixteen and all following years shall be one hundred million dollars. The maximum permitted credits under this section for qualified contributions shall be allocated fifty percent to public education entities, school improvement organizations, and local education funds and fifty percent to educational scholarship organizations.

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(i) additions to the credit cap. Unissued certificates of receipt. Any amounts for which the department receives notification of non-issuance of a certificate of receipt shall be added to the cap prescribed in subdivision (h) of this section for the immediately following year.

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(j) other requirements; miscellaneous. 1. Record keeping. Each taxpayer shall, for each taxable year for which the education tax credit provided for under this section is claimed, maintain records of the following information: (i) contribution authorization certificates obtained pursuant to subdivision (f) of this section, and (ii) certificates of receipt obtained pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section.

 

Regulations.

The commissioner is hereby authorized to promulgate and adopt on an emergency basis regulations necessary for the implementation of this section.

(k) joint annual report. On or before the last day of may for each calendar year, for the immediately preceding year, the commissioner and the commissioner of education shall jointly submit a written report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the chairman of the senate finance committee and the chairman of the assembly ways and means committee regarding the credit. Such report shall contain information for articles nine-a and twenty-two of this chapter, respectively, regarding:

(i) the number of applications received;
(ii) the number of and aggregate value of the contribution authorization certificates issued for contributions to public education entities, school improvement organizations, local education funds, and educational scholarship organizations, respectively;
(iii) the geographical distribution by county, to the extent feasible, of
(a) the applications for contribution authorization certificates, distribution by the county, to the extent feasible, of
(b) the public education entities, school improvement organizations, local education funds, and educational scholarship organizations listed on the issued contribution authorization certificates; and
(iv) information, including geographical distribution by county, to the extent feasible, of the number of eligible pupils that received scholarships, the number of qualified schools attended by eligible pupils that received such scholarships, and the average value of scholarships received by such eligible pupils. The commissioner and designated employees of the department and the commissioner of education and designated employees of the department of education shall be allowed and are directed to share and exchange information regarding the school improvement organizations, local education funds and educational scholarship organizations that applied for approval to be authorized to receive qualified contributions; and the public education entities, school improvement organizations, local education funds, and educational scholarship organizations authorized to issue certificates of receipt, including information contained in or derived from application forms and reports submitted to the department of education or the commissioner of education.

(l) cross references. For application of the credit provided for in this section, see the following provisions of this chapter:
(1) article 9-a: section 210-b; subdivision 50;
(2) article 22: section 606, subsection (ccc);

Paragraph (b) of subdivision 9 of section 208 of the tax law is amended by adding a new subparagraph 22 to read as follows:

The amount of any federal deduction for charitable contributions allowed under section one hundred seventy of the internal revenue code to the extent such contributions are used as the basis of the calculation of the education tax credit allowed under subdivision fifty of section two hundred ten-b of this article.

Section 210-b of the tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 50 to read as follows:

Education tax credit.

(a) allowance of credit. A taxpayer shall be allowed a credit, to be computed as provided in section forty-two of this chapter, against the tax imposed by this article.
(b) application of credit. The credit allowed under this subdivision for any taxable year shall not reduce the tax due for that year to less than the amount prescribed in paragraph (d) of subdivision one of section two hundred ten of this article. If the amount of credit allow- able under this subdivision for any taxable year reduces the tax to such amount or if the taxpayer otherwise pays tax on the fixed dollar minimum the excess allowed for a taxable year may be carried over to the following year or years for up to five years and may be deducted from the taxpayer’s tax for such year or years.

Subparagraph (b) of paragraph 1 of subsection (i) of section 606 of the tax law is amended by adding a new clause (xli) to read as follows:

(xli) education tax credit amount of credit under under subsection (ccc) subdivision fifty of section two hundred ten-b

Section 606 of the tax law is amended by adding a new subsection (ccc) to read as follows:

(ccc) education tax credit.
Allowance of credit.

A taxpayer shall be allowed a credit to be computed as provided in section forty-two of this chapter, against the tax imposed by this article. If the amount of credit allowable under this subsection for any taxable year shall exceed the taxpayer’s tax for such year, the excess allowed for a taxable year may be carried over to the following year or years for up to five years and may be deducted from the taxpayer’s tax for such year or years.

Subsection (g) of section 615 of the tax law is amended by adding a new paragraph 3 to read as follows:

With respect to an individual who has claimed the education tax credit for qualified contributions pursuant to subdivision (ccc) of section six hundred six of this article, the taxpayer’s new york itemized deduction shall be reduced by any charitable contribution deduction allowed under section one hundred seventy of the internal revenue code with respect to such qualified contributions.

Severability.

If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such inva- lidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.

This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable years beginning on or after january 1, 2016; provided however, notwithstanding the foregoing, this act shall not take effect unless the legislature enacts, by no later than march 31, 2015, a chapter of law identical to legislation submitted by the governor pursuant to article vii of the new york constitution as part d of legislative bill numbers s.2006 and a.3006 relating to the establishment by the president of the higher education services corporation of an application form and procedures that shall allow a student applicant that meets the requirements
Set forth in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) or subparagraph (ii) of paragraph b of subdivision 5 of section 661 of the education law to apply directly to the higher education services corporation for applica- ble awards without having to submit information to any other state or federal agency.

 

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Kingston Superintendent Padalino Was Right For The Wrong Reasons.

cautionwhydad

Below is a video of Tory Lowe from the group Kingston Action For Education. In the video she is addressing a crowd at a school meeting which includes Kingston Superintendent Padalino.  Tory Lowe’s main points are to inform parents of their right to refuse the upcoming state tests and to inform people that teachers are being prevented from telling parents about their rights. At :48 she asks the teachers  if any of them are allowed to speak to parents and the voice replies are “no” or “not us”.  Later on she addresses Superintendent Padalino and asks him if he is OK with teachers sending information home and having conversations with parents about refusing the test.

In his answer, Superintendent Padalino focuses on why the tests are needed and how the results are useful to him. He is in favor of these tests and very clearly not in favor of teachers promoting test refusals.

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The superintendent is correct, but not for his stated reasons.

Although Mr. Padalino gives reasons for his data driven needs, there is a glaring problem with teachers being allowed to speak directly to parents to advocate for refusals. Namely, these tests are made to judge the teacher and not the student. The “high stakes” are the teachers “high stakes” and have little if any repercussions for the vast majority of students (this may change in the future). Any teacher who directly discusses test refusals with a parent (or student) has a major conflict of interest. Such discussions may also be inadvertently taking away a parents right to choose to take or refuse the test.

… For example, imagine you are a parent and your child’s teacher talks to you about test refusals.  After the conversation, what do you do if you were planning on your child taking the test?  If you allow the test to be taken anyway, will this teacher take it out on your child at school? Will the last regular grade of the year be mysteriously low? Will your child be marked as testing trouble by other teachers in the future?

The negative mental questions a parent can think of are  limitless…   As a parent, your only logical choice is to refuse the test to avoid any questionable activity by the teacher now or in the future.  Basically,  a conversation like this can effectively cancel your right to make a decision without fear, coercion or worse.

We aren’t the only people to see problems.

According to NYSUT, this may be a legal matter and advises the following at the bottom of their test refusal fact sheet:

Locals and individual union members who advise parents or students to opt out of state tests may face risks.

  • A teacher who, in conversations with students or parents, takes a position on testing contrary to the school district’s educational program may potentially be subject to disciplinary action, e.g. charges of misconduct or insubordination. The Supreme Court has held that when a public employee speaks in his/her capacity as an employee, the speech is not constitutionally protected
  • However, because standardized testing is a matter of public concern, a local speaking as a union, or an individual member speaking as a parent or citizen, about educational concerns over standardized testing, for instance, in a letter to the editor or in a statement to the Board of Education, is protected by the U.S. Constitution at least so long as they are not encouraging other parents or students to opt out from a test. -bolding & underline by whydad.net

We believe NYSUT is referring to certain cases in this matter:

We also believe that NYSUT was 100% correct with their advice to locals and members regarding what they may and may not do/say.

 

Liability as far as the eye can see.

In the video the superintendent appears agitated at Tory Lowe which may explain why he didn’t elaborate on the legal aspects of allowing teachers to promote test refusals. It is one thing for a parent to convince another to opt out as there is no apparent liability to a district, it is an entirely different story to have officials and their representatives doing this. Although Tory Lowe and her group may want teachers actively convincing parents to opt-out, Superintendent Padalino’s rejection of the idea is likely avoiding years of costly litigation at the expense of the students and Kingston taxpayers.

We firmly believe Superintendent Padalino used the wrong reasons to defend the right policy. The reasons he put forth have critics on countless websites and in the press that detail every nuance imaginable. One of those websites stopcommoncorenys   does a good job at presenting a response to various claims in Superintendent Padalino’s reply.

In conclusion, opting out of the state tests should remain a personal choice and right without influence from teachers and administrators who have a vested interest in the results.

 

Side note: During our review of this article we noticed a newspaper discussing this particular meeting.

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20150224/forum-participants-say-ny-gov-cuomo-hurting-schools

 

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Opinion – Senator Gillibrand should apologize to NY moms, their children and probably resign.

 

 

moneycap A small update: As this opinion page is being spread around we’ve noticed Facebook is presenting various titles and descriptions. Take them with a grain of salt as they are not under our control. This this blog is not intended for political attacks (we think all politicians are nuts except the moderates) and when we find something we believe is important, we will post an opinion on it. In this case it’s the mysterious Hillary Clinton selected senator from NY and her “progressive” legislation.

A little history:

When it became apparent Common Core was hurting children, parents began to seek help from their elected officials. In fact, members of the group Stop Common Core In NY and many others have been frantically calling Senator Gillibrand’s office, writing letters and commenting on her Facebook pages. To date, she has allegedly ignored them and countless others who requested her official position, assistance and relief from the various abuses of Common Core.

Below are a few choice comments from her Facebook page (there are hundreds if not 1000’s more on other pages):

These these women and taxpayers were begging for Senator Gillibrand’s guidance and relief while likely being unaware that she seems to have had a leading role in Common Core.

 

Senator Gillibrand Common Core

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tearsSen. Gillibrand apparently wasn’t responding to the cries for help.

 

Like the ladies above we wondered where Senator Gillibrand stood on the issue of the Obama administration’s education initiative. For over a year we’ve watched for any clue to her position from the press. In that quest, we’ve been Googling her name + Common Core every few months and the results have always turned up stories where she would use the words “common” and “core” in different sentences but never addressing the program.

As of today, Nov 6th 2014, something changed since our last search (September) and Google is now prominently listing an old press release where Sen. Gillibrand is introducing her STEM focused initiative called “Voluntary Science and Mathematics Standards Act” and the “National STEM Education Tax Incentive for Teachers Act”. At the bottom of the document she touts support for the “American Standards Incentive Fund” which is/was a Department of Education grant program to encourage states to support Common Core Standards. All of these program descriptions appear to match the Race To The Top Program.

 

05/10/2011 Press Release:

To strengthen our students’ performance in science and technology, Senator Gillibrand is introducing the Voluntary Science and Mathematics Standards Act. The legislation would:

  • Encourage States and the National Assessment Governing Board to adopt the common core standards in mathematics and the next generation standards framework in K–12 science education developed by the National Research Council, along with professional development and aligned assessments that reflect the knowledge students need to enter college and careers to compete in the 21st century global economy.
  • Encourage States and the National Assessment Governing Board to align the State academic assessments in mathematics and science with the voluntary content standards in mathematics and science.
  • Encourage states to participate by having the U.S. Secretary of Education establish the American Standards Incentive fund to award competitive four-year grants to states that agree to adopt these voluntary mathematics and science standards as the core of their own mathematics and science content standards, and align their teacher certification and professional development to these standards.

 

NY needs politicians with backbones.

Politicians sometimes make laws that have negative effects and Common Core appears to be one of them. In most cases, the people who passed a bad law own up to their mistakes and attempt to correct the problems or repeal the law. In this case the Senator knew a significant amount of information on Common Core and the changes in education these women were seeking relief from. To paraphrase a distraught mother and educators comment, “you have staff to look into Common Core”.

Gillibrand’s staff could have assisted her in defending her legislation and explaining her support, yet she chose to hide by declining to acknowledge the pleas or disclosing her leading role in the matter. From our perspective, very few people fighting Common Core knew what her position was or if she was willing to do anything about the problems. If anything, she could have directed her distressed constituents to her press release without comment. At the very least, these women would then have known where Gillibrand stood and perhaps stopped seeking help from her.

In conclusion, Mr. Astorino had a better plan for education and perhaps he should be senator. At least he knows exactly what his children and every other non-private school student and their parents are going through. During his campaign, he listened to the people while she apparently couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge her own legislation. For that… she should pack her things and leave NY politics. Good or bad, we need people who will defend their ideas and actions.

 

Related Video:

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Page moved.

 

 

moneycap A small update: As this opinion page is being spread around we’ve noticed Facebook is presenting various titles and descriptions. Take them with a grain of salt as they are not under our control.  This this blog is not intended for political attacks (we think all politicians are nuts except the moderates) and when we find something we believe is important, we provide opinion on it. In this case it’s the mysterious Hillary Clinton selected senator from NY and her “progressive”  legislation.

You may find the the op-ed here

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