In an effort to keep our school leaders informed in this fast-changing environment we are experiencing amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, we are posting important resource links and updates as they become available. We realize that these are difficult times for schools, students, and their families. Please know that CNYSBA is your partner along the way and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for questions and assistance.
New York State
School Capital Projects
Also, on Friday, Governor Cuomo announced additional prohibitions on non-essential construction projects, preventing them from continuing in New York. This includes all non-emergency school capital projects. The Empire State Development agency has updated their guidance on the issue, available here.
School Board and Budget Elections Postponed
Today, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.13. Included within this executive order is the announcement that all school elections are to be postponed until at least June 1, 2020. From the executive order:
Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.
Cost of Childcare
Also included in today’s executive order, Governor Cuomo suspended a portion of section 414 of Education Law. In doing so, school districts are now permitted to pay for the cost of providing childcare services. This is a technical correction to previous executive orders mandating that school districts continue to provide childcare to students, with an emphasis on providing these services to healthcare workers and first responders.
Special Education Services
On Friday, SED released a “Questions and Answers” guidance document regarding the provision of services to students with disabilities, including English Language Learners with disabilities. Included in this document is guidance regarding IEP processes, continuity of learning resources, nonpublic school special education programs, and preschool special education programs. That guidance document is available here.
Opening of Bids
Executive Order 202.11, signed on Friday by Governor Cuomo, modifies requirements regarding public opening of bids. From the executive order:
Section 103(2) of the General Municipal Law, Section 144(1) of the State Finance Law, Section 376(8)(a) of the Education Law, and Section 359(1) of the Public Authorities Law to the extent necessary to allow the non-public opening of bids; provided, however, that, where practical, public entities shall record or live stream bid openings so that the public has the opportunity to view such bid openings;
Governor’s Executive Order 202.4 closing schools for 2 weeks (3/16/20)
The New York State Education Department recently issued updated guidance in accordance with Executive Order 202.4, which requires that school districts, charter schools, and non-public schools close no later than today, March 18, 2020, for a period of two weeks, ending March 31, 2020 due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Suspension of law allowing the attendance of meetings telephonically or other similar service:
Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, to the extent necessary to permit any public body to meet and take such actions authorized by the law without permitting in public in-person access to meetings and authorizing such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding and that such meetings are recorded and later transcribed;
Open Meeting Law
§104. Public notice.
5. If a meeting will be streamed live over the internet, the public notice for the meeting shall inform the public of the internet address of the website streaming such meeting.
6. When a public body has the ability to do so, notice of the time and place of a meeting given in accordance with subdivision one or two of this section, shall also be conspicuously posted on the public body’s internet website.
Governor’s Executive Order 202 declaring a state disaster emergency (3/7/20)
NYS Department of Education
OCFS Guidance on Emergency Childcare (3/19/20)
NYSED Updated Guidance for schools (3/18/20)