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Advice to school boards from NYSSBA leader

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

With many education issues to tackle this school year, the leader of the New York State School Boards Association offers advice to board members. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with Executive Director of the Association Tim Kremer.    

“Your job, as a deliberative body, is to make smart decisions on behalf of your community and the expectation is you are well informed,” said Kremer. 

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Tim Kremer, Executive Director of NYSSBA.

Kremer’s organization works to serve more than 600 local school boards and BOCES boards. As elected leaders, school board members vote on important policies for school districts. It affects about 2.7 million children statewide.

“We really try make sure that the school board realizes the mission. You know this isn’t about you.  I will even tell school boards you don’t want to ever be the story. You never should be the story,” declared Kremer.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Board of Education at recent meeting in October.

WBFO News asked Kremer what letter grade he would give the Buffalo Board of Education.

“Oh I’m not going there. You think I’m crazy, in fact, I love all my school boards,” replied Kremer. “But I would tell you that’s not an easy place and these urban school districts are under enormous pressure from a lot of special interest groups. There's are all kinds of things that pull school board apart in different directions and it’s really hard for them to keep coming back, but they have to, they have to recognize that when it is all said and done, these kids need that kind of place where they know there are people who are working collectively together for their benefit and not fighting amongst themselves."

A major issue many school districts and board are now facing in the state is water testing for lead. Kremer organization jumped on board right away telling school boards they must test and fix any problem. The association lobbied for the passage of the bill that now requires testing and remediation. Kremer says his association wants to 'be part of the solution'. But Kremer he did point out the biggest issue always comes down to resources.

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