Schools raise alarm about new election leave law
Jun 13, 2019 1:00 pm
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union school officials are raising concerns about a new law that requires employers to provide workers with three days off to vote in elections. The law was inserted into the 2019-20 budget package in April and applies to all employers, but school officials say it could be especially problematic for them since they will have to hire a large number of substitute teachers, bus drivers and other school employees, all on the same day. “This language was inserted in the state budget at the last moment without consulting the education community and does a great disservice to students and taxpayers who will be adversely impacted by these new requirements,” Michael Borges, executive director of the state Association of School Business Officials said in prepared statement. The association organized a petition seeking to exempt school districts from the new requirement that was sent to lawmakers this week. The petition was signed by the leaders of 365 local school districts and BOCES organizations, including officials from eight of the 12 school districts located in Columbia and Greene counties. If schools are not ultimately exempted from the measure, schools may simply closed down when elections are held, especially in November. However, the first test is soon. The upcoming June 25 local primaries could prove to be a challenge because they coincide with the state Regent exams, which are required for high school graduation and necessitate "all hands on deck in terms of staff," the petition says. Read the full story in the Times Union.