March 27, 2019

ACTION ALERT: This Is the Last Week to Contact Your Legislator Before the State Budget Vote

Please call and email the Legislators in your area between now and the end of this week! There are only two weeks left before they have to pass the budget (April 1). 
  1. PLEASE THANK HIM/HER for supporting language in the one-house budget bill to stagger the school building condition survey. The next building condition survey is scheduled for next year – if we do not stagger the surveys now, we will have missed our opportunity to reduce the State Education Department's backlog and costs associated with capital projects.
  2. PLEASE ASK HIM/HER to support the proposal so it is included in the enacted budget.
Thank you!
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O'Hagan Recognized as a Suffolk County Administrator of the Year

The Council of Administrators and Supervisors honored eighteen outstanding public school administrators from Nassau and Suffolk Counties at the annual winter Delegate Assembly held on Thursday, March 14 at the Holiday Inn in Plainview.  Each award-winning administrator was nominated by his or her peers and selected by the award committee for exemplifying the highest qualities of school administrative leadership, achievement, vision, innovation and collaboration with parents, students, staff and administrators in their school community. 

Among them was SFA Member James O'Hagan, Director of Facilities III at the Three Village School District in Suffolk County.  Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!
Scholarship Application Deadline Is April 1

NYSSFA offers the Fred Hack Memorial Scholarship Program for dependent children of our Active and Affiliate members. Six $1,500 scholarships are awarded annually.

 Eligibility requirements:
  • Applicant must be a dependent child of an NYSSFA Active or Affiliate member who has completed one year of full-time continuous membership by April 1, 2018.
  • Applicant must be a student enrolled in or planning to enroll in a full-time program of study leading to an Associate's or Bachelor's Degree at an accredited post-secondary school.
  • Applicant must not have received a previous award more than twice.
  • Applicant must not have received a previous award in two consecutive years.
  • Applications for the 2018 Scholarships are due April 1, 2019. Download an application here.
For more information, contact Scholarship Management Services at 507.931.1682 or NYSSFA at 518.465.0563 or info@nyssfa.com.
Accreditation: Your Next Milestone in the Profession

SFMI's Accreditation programs enable members to broaden their knowledge, sharpen their skills and achieve key milestones that can move their careers forward. You'll be able to prove or gain competencies across the spectrum of facilities issues — from personnel management and technical systems to facilities management, safety and codes. We offer two different types of accreditation based on your membership.

Affiliate Members
Affiliate members can pursue the Affiliate Development Certification (ADC) program, which will upgrade your skills and open doors to professional development opportunities. With technology changing so fast, and communities asking more of their facilities, school districts actively seek leaders who have demonstrated their skills, experience and commitment to learning. The ADC communicates that you are committed to your field and to professional development, making you a more desirable candidate as you seek to move forward.

After successfully completing your ADC, you can move on to earn your Advanced Affiliate Development Certification (AADC), which consists of 13 additional competencies, an Accreditation Committee Review and interview. 

DOF Members
DOF members can pursue the Certified Director of Facilities (CDF) designation, which will will:
  • Provide verification of your knowledge and skills, proof that you are one of the best of the best
  • Open doors of opportunity
  • Offer a path to professional knowledge, growth and recognition
  • Provide opportunity to network among peers who have achieved certification and will serve as valuable career contacts
  • Offer opportunity for greater earning potential and career advancement.
If you have not worked five years in the operation and maintenance of educational facilities but you meet all the other requirements, you can obtain your Registered Director of Facilities (RDF) certificate. Then, at your fifth anniversary of working as a director of school facilities, you will receive your CDF.

If you have questions, please contact Mike Cocca at sfmi@nyssfa.com or 518.465.0563.
Buffalo Seeks Help Untangling Engineer Pay Arrangement

The Buffalo school district is bringing in help to unravel the controversial Civil War-era arrangement that it still uses to compensate its building engineers.

The Board of Education has agreed to spend up to $40,000 for a team of experts to come up with an alternative plan for maintaining the district’s schools and grounds.

In question is the unusual way the district pays its building engineers to provide custodial services, manage the grounds and maintain boilers and heating ventilation systems at individual schools.

The building engineers are salaried employees of the district who earn roughly $45,000 in base pay. But they, in effect, also act as independent contractors who get lump sum allowances to buy their own equipment and hire custodians to help them. That means they get to keep what they don’t spend from the lump sum allowances, a practice that dates back to the Civil War era and has long been criticized because there’s no accountability on how that money – which totaled $15.5 million last year – is spent.
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Florida Board OKs $8 Million Capital Project

An $8 million capital project to improve security, learning spaces and sports facilities in the Florida Union Free School District became a real deal on Thursday, when board members gave the funding structure its final approval.

Voters had approved the $7,985,804 project on Feb. 26. The board’s most recent action approved a bond resolution for $5,985,804, the amount needed to cover the $5.2 million that state building aid will pay. The rest of the funding will include $2 million from the district’s capital reserve fund and $785,804 from local property taxes.

The board estimates a taxpayer with STAR and a home assessed at $200,000 will see an $11 annual increase for five years; those with Senior STAR will see an estimated $8 increase.

About $3.9 million will be spent in each district school: Golden Hill Elementary and S.S. Seward. The largest expenditures will be for increased security, including construction of security vestibules at both schools.
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Salmon River Upgrades Won’t Raise Taxes

A $26.5 million capital project would bring upgrades to classrooms and facilities at Salmon River Central School.

Approved by the School Board in February, it will go up for public vote on Tuesday, May 21, at the same time as the annual budget vote.

"After careful collaborative planning, I am proud to announce that this project requires no additional taxes to the Salmon River CSD community,” Superintendent Dr. Stanley Harper said in a press release.
The project would pick up where the work overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2008 and 2013 left off.

Those earlier capital projects expanded the elementary, middle and high school areas, redesigned and enhanced the learning environment, improved safety through district-wide security enhancements, created a state-of-the-art fitness center and addressed basic infrastructure repairs, according to a district press release.
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Report: Millions Exposed to Lead in School Drinking Water

Millions of children nationwide are in danger of drinking lead-contaminated water – in their own school.

Moreover, at least 24 million children in the U.S. are at risk of losing IQ points due to low levels of lead exposure.

These are two of the startling findings contained in a report, “Get the Lead Out,” published Thursday by the U.S. Public Research Interest Group (USPIRG) Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center.

More than two-thirds of 31 states surveyed received “failing grades” in their efforts to make inroads into the contamination problem, the groups found in this follow-up to a 2017 report of the same name. Even the ones addressing the issue are not ridding their delivery systems entirely of lead, the report found, even though there is no such thing as a safe level of the neurotoxic metal, especially when it comes to children. 
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May 9-11, 2019 | Bear Mountain Inn

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October 12, 2019 | Saratoga Lake

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October 13-16, 2019 | Saratoga Springs

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Upcoming Events

March 5, 2019: Advocacy Day

March 6, 2019: Classrooms of the Future Summit

October 13-16, 2019: NYS School Facilities Managers' Annual Conference & Expo, Saratoga Springs, NY

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