New York State Education Department

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The state Board of Regents is taking steps to make it easier for teachers to become certified in New York. But the state education commissioner denies that it’s a lessening of requirements.

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The New York State Education Department hearing on whether Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo Board of Education for leaking private information from the board's executive sessions could conclude as early as Tuesday. On Monday, day three of the proceedings, the petitioners seeking Paladino's removal rested their case. And the Buffalo businessman and former Republican gubernatorial candidate's defense began.

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New York state is in the midst of getting public input for its version of the Every Student Succeeds Act. That federal legislation, also known as ESSA, is what is following the No Child Left Behind law. The state is conducting 13 public hearings to get feedback on a proposal that lets states have more leeway as they develop education priorities.

Among other things, New York’s draft ESSA plan takes some of the emphasis on math and English language arts and spreads it to science and social studies. That makes social studies teachers kuje Nick Stamoulacatos happy.

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Testing season has begun in schools across New York state. It’s unclear how many students will join the opt-out movement this year, but state officials said they have tried to answer some of the concerns from parents and teachers that spawned the movement.

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The Trump administration’s decision to rescind protections for transgender students will not affect New York state, according to the state’s education commissioner and legal experts. But they say the action nevertheless sends a “terrible message” to transgender teens.

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Oswego school officials hope a public hearing on its budget crisis Tuesday will alert state lawmakers to what they call a broken funding formula. The school district is wrestling with declining tax revenues and reserve funds, which has resulted in a proposed budget that cuts more than 50 jobs.

"This is an era of financial difficulty for our district that we have to weather over the next three years after this year," said Oswego City School District Superintendent Dean Goewey, the architect of the controversial budget that slashes more than $5 million.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State speech was far less combative than in the past when it comes to education. But, education groups say while they are pleased that Cuomo has reversed his previous unpopular positions, they say his school aid funding proposal still falls short.

The governor, who has attacked components of the public school system as an “education bureaucracy” that must be broken, instead stuck to the positive in this year’s State of the State address.

“We will not rest until our K-12 system is the best in the nation,” Cuomo said.

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The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics released the top spending lobbyists in an effort to influence state government during the 2015 legislative session, finding that education and real estate groups were the biggest spenders.

The top spenders thus far in 2015 correlate with the top issues this year: fights over the future of public education and New York City’s rent regulations.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

New York state has a new education commissioner. The New York State board of Regents, after a lengthy closed door session, chose MaryEllen Elia, a former western New York school teacher who was most recently the superintendent of a large school district in Florida.

Elia, a Lewiston, NY native who taught in public schools in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst early in her career, says she is glad to be “coming home” after many years away.

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State Senate Republicans say they will break a long-standing tradition of boycotting the election of new Regents. They now say they will attend a joint legislative session, and that many will vote “no” over dissatisfaction with the Common Core.  

It’s uncertain whether all four of the incumbent Regents members will be re-elected.  

Senate Education Chairman John Flanagan says Republican Senators will be attending a joint session of the legislature Tuesday to appoint members to the New York State Board of Regents to new terms. But he says many GOP members plan to vote no.

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Almost three dozen speakers fired questions at state Education Commissioner John King and other state officials in Fayetteville Tuesday, during the latest central New York forum on the new Common Core curriculum. Most of the complaints about the more rigorous curriculum have been heard before, but the bigger question now is if anything can be changed.

The debate over common core ranges from timing...

"Why were the assessments not phased in, in a more deliberate manner?"

To the impact of poverty on education...

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei has a to-do list for himself and the community when it comes to education. The Syracuse-area Democrat released a six-point plan this week that arises from listening sessions he held across the 24th Congressional District earlier this year.

Maffei says one of the key things that stuck with him during the sessions, was the extent of morale problems among educators across the 24th Congressional District. And he says that's one thing he hopes his proposal can tackle.  

State Education Commissioner John King is holding a forum in Albany this evening on the new Common Core curriculum standards in New York's schools, a change that has been controversial in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered some support to King and top state education officials, who have received much criticism for the implementation of Common Core.

Cuomo said he understands that change can be difficult, even when it’s the right choice.

A large number of schools across the state will receive $87 million to be used for technology. The state Education Department announced that low-income public and charter schools will be receiving a voucher that can be used to purchase computer software, hardware and equipment needed for computer networks and technology infrastructure.