NYAPT has engaged in advocacy for student and school bus safety for many years. We are proud of our impact on many key laws and regulations that govern our school transportation in New York. We believe our efforts help to keep our children and our school bus fleets safe and secure.
As professionals, we accept the responsibility for advocating before and educating public officials objectively and honestly about the needs of school transportation. We take our role as advocates very seriously. The safety and lives of our children are at stake.
We are also intensely aware of the need to identify and execute measures that will make our operations ever more efficient without compromising safety. Our advocacy efforts include recommendations that enhance performance, accountability and cost efficiency.
The foundation for our advocacy efforts is our annual School Transportation Legislative Agenda which formulates key issues that we believe need to be enacted by the State Legislature and the Governor in the year ahead.
This year’s Agenda as adopted by our Board of Directors focuses on the following key issue areas:
CLICK HERE to review discussion points for each of the elements of our Legislative Agenda.
CLICK HERE to review a copy of our 2013 Legislative Agenda in brochure format.
Link to the Bill Text (S.5028-Young/A.7350-Magnarelli)
Link to Bill Text (S.5122-Flanagan / A.6835-Thiele)
Link to Bill Text (S.5503A-Fuschillo / A.8052-Lupardo)
Link to Bill Text (S.5557-Flanagan/A.7060-Nolan)
Link to Bill Text (S1347-Maziarz/A.837-Ryan/A.1862-Montesano
It is a goal of the NYAPT Board of Directors to ensure that NYAPT offers comments on each piece of legislation that comes before the Legislature dealing with school transportation or school bus safety. A matrix of our positions on specific legislative proposals will be published shortly before January 1st so as to be updated as the 2013 and 2014 Legislative sessions proceed.
CLICK HERE to review a table displaying legislation introduced into the State Legislature accompanied by NYAPT positions and position statements (Support or Opposed)
The NYAPT Board of Directors has adopted a framework for addressing the issues that were raised following the three DWI arrests of school bus drivers in New York State.
The framework addresses what we believe to be potential gaps in the testing and observation procedures as well as items that should be addressed to further tighten down the system, including additional penalties and recommended school board policies.
The framework will be shared with legislators and policy makers in the hopes of building an increasingly responsive and thorough system to complement the process that has served us well over the past two decades or more.
As with any such response, this framework does not question the validity of the current operations and procedures. However, our review of the system showed areas in which some changes and/or additions would be of benefit to the overall safety of our children.
CLICK HERE to review a copy of the Framework entitled “THERE IS NO DWI IN SCHOOL BUS SAFETY.”
The State Board of Regents has offered its proposal for School Aid for the 2013-2014 school year. The Regents focused on four key principles to ensure that funding will be available to help school districts re-gain their balance and be able to meet the rigorous core curriculum and teacher review standards that are being put in place this year.
The Regents Proposal includes a 3.5% assumed increase in General Support for Public Schools (about $709 million). It also includes re-allocation of a competitive grants program contained in the fiscal plan to a new Pre-Kindergarten program targeted to higher need districts and at-risk students.
The Regents also called for establishment of a task force to review expense based aids (such as Transportation and Building aid) and to develop recommendations for reforms to those aids that might drive more funds into general operating aid. The Transportation Aid projection in the Regents proposal showed a year-to-year $63 million increase—once again a smaller increase than the previous year included. This shows further efforts and success in the pupil transportation community for implementing efficiencies and cost-saving measures.
The Regents also proposed a more active and supportive role for BOCES and for a multi-year financial planning strategy for
school districts. They also recommended that the newly implemented growth index (used to gauge the amount of additional
state aid that can flow to districts) be modified in favor of a multi-year index that would smooth the index out over the years, thereby making it more predictable and less volatile.
CLICK HERE for a copy of the entire Regents proposal.
On Friday, March 16, 2012, NYAPT Executive Director, Peter Mannella, appeared as a witness before the State Mandate Relief Council at the University at Buffalo. The Council is a statutorily created body charged with identifying and acting on potential mandate relief measures.
NYAPT presented the Council with a discussion about school transportation, its values, its expenses, and areas in which its costs could be reduced. Read a copy of the text of the NYAPT Mandate Relief statement.
The CBC offered in its report that the state’s Transportation Aid formulas provided little incentive for school districts
to be economical or efficient in their transportation operations, and even went so far as to suggest that the formula
encouraged poor management decisions and actions.
The report acknowledged that the costs were affected by the extent of the services that New York offers students across the
board, including but not limited to non-public students, special education students and even students living within the statutory mileage limits. The report called for modifications to the formula to make it more progressive and to target transportation funding away
from districts with higher wealth ratios.
NYAPT has issued a statement in response to the CBC report (CLICK HERE). That statement underscores the value of school transportation and suggests that the state and organizations like CBC could be supportive of efforts to reduce or eliminate mandates, such as those included in NYAPT’s legislative agenda. The NYAPT statement also explains the factors that drive transportation costs and how transportation managers across the state have taken drastic steps to reduce the overall cost of transportation over the past four years.
NYAPT members are encouraged to review the reportof the Citizens Budget Commission as it will be reviewed by state policymakers
as we enter the 2013 budget season. NYAPT members are also encouraged to review the NYAPT statement and to share it with local school officials.
The NYAPT Board of Directors has adopted formal and structured position statements on several issues of importance in the school transportation industry. These statements are statements of principle and policy and do not deal with specific legislative or budgetary proposals. They are intended to provide an industry and New York perspective on issues or emerging trends that affect school bus safety. We encourage the public and the news media to be aware of these positions and to contact our NYAPT office or our membership for further discussion on any or all of these topics. Current updated statements relate to:
NYAPT is pleased to report that the State Senate and Assembly have passed the following legislation so far this year. [ read more ]
There is an opening for the Transportation Supervisor in a shared arrangement between the Geneseo Central School District and the Livonia Central [ read more ]
At a press conference in the State’s Legislative Office Building this morning, the New York Association for Pupil Transportation announced [ read more ]