Dear LHEC Superintendents and Board Members, 


The LHEC Steering Committee has continued to advocate in support of public education in our region. We are pleased that so many of our priorities made it into the State budget and subsequent legislation. 


Advocating for Regional Public Ed 


The LHEC Steering Committee consists of representatives of the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents, and the school boards associations of Dutchess, Rockland, and Westchester-Putnam counties. Committee members meet monthly throughout the year, and bi-weekly through the legislative session. In addition, the Steering Committee: 

  • Solicits recommendations and feedback on advocacy issues from their respective organization. 
  • Works actively with Ostroff Associates to review impact of potential legislation and assist individual districts with specific legislation based on their needs. 
  • Invites subscribing district superintendents and board members to a discussion of key public education issues with local state legislators at the LHEC Legislative Panel in December. 
  • Updates subscribers on state budget issues and provides state aid analysis for all regional districts for both the executive budget and enacted budget state aid runs. 
  • Provides updates and an end of session legislative summary (see below). 


Legislative Update 


The 2023 New York State Legislative Session has concluded, and we will keep LHEC members updated when legislation of interest is acted upon by the Governor. 


The following legislation was acted on and passed by both Houses of the Legislature this Session and are either awaiting action by the Governor or have been acted on by the Governor: 


LHEC Supports legislation that: 

  • Directs the Commissioner of Education to issue guidance to school districts for developing programs to attract underrepresented candidates into teaching.  
  • Establishes a Task Force on Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.  
  • Requires that school districts consider design principles and strategies, pursuant to guidance issued by the Commissioner of Education, in their five-year capital plan as part of a comprehensive approach to providing a healthy, secure, and safe school environment (The Safe Schools by Design Act. Note: This bill was amended based on our feedback to ensure school districts maintain flexibility, including changes such as removing public access to safety designs.  
  • Provides that the tax base growth factor includes the value of new assessment exempted under a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement being added to a community. 
  • Proposes a removal of the constitutional debt limitation currently imposed upon small city school districts. This proposal passed both houses in the 2022 and 2023 legislative sessions, as required, and will appear for approval by the voters on the next general election ballot because it amends the NYS Constitution.  
  • Removes the requirement where a municipal corporation, school district, or district corporation issues indebtedness to finance certain costs of planning.  
  • Permits school-based health centers (SBHC) to remain out of Medicaid managed care. 
  • Includes digital materials within the definition of library materials in K-12 schools. 
  • Allows members with 10 years or more of service to transfer public retirement systems.  


LHEC has Concerns regarding legislation that: 

  • Relates to licensing for athletic trainers and would add athletic trainers as mandated reporters.  
  • Requires specific procedures, including appointing a hearing officer, for removal and disciplinary actions against public employees. Note: LHEC has issued a Memo of Opposition and will be meeting with the Governor’s office to discuss our concerns with this bill.  
  • Requires the Board of Education of every school district serving high school students to establish an elected student government. 
  • Authorizes the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF) to merge with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) with CREF ceasing to be a corporate entity and TIAA as the surviving entity. 
  • Permits the families of wrongful death victims to recover compensation for emotional anguish. Note: LHEC has submitted a Memo of Opposition based on the potential costs and insurance implications of this bill. 
  • Includes public schools within the provisions of current law designed to require public employers to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence. 


LHEC has No Position/Neutral on legislation that: 

  • Requires schools to provide teachers with written informational material on the use of epinephrine auto-injectors.  
  • Requires the Commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations prohibiting a teacher, administrator, officer, employee, or agent of any school in NYS from using corporal punishment. 
  • Enacts the “STAR Credit Bill of Rights” and establishes the Office of the STAR Ombudsman to ensure STAR recipients are provided with resources and information about their rebates.  
  • Relates to expanding access to advanced courses to improve educational equity. 
  • Expands current law to include BOCES, charter schools, and nonpublic schools in the requirement to provide access to voter registration and pre-registration applications for students.  
  • Declares Asian Lunar New Year a school holiday. 


Legislation of interest that did not pass both houses: 

  • Extends the pause of the current annual professional performance review process and returns local control to school districts. 
  • Directs the Commissioner of Education to conduct a study on Foundation Aid to make recommendations on modifications to the current formula. 



The LHEC Steering Committee 

The LHEC Steering Committee

Chair: Kelly Lappan, - DCSBA

Kim Fontana - LHCSS

Sandi Jeanette - RCSBA

Kevin McCahill - LHCSS

Barbara Parmly - WPSBA

Emily Rubin Persons - WPSBA

Joseph Ricca - LHCSS

Ray Sanchez - LHCSS

Marjorie Schiff - WPSBA

LHEC Administrator: Karen Belanger