Saratoga County

Lawmakers pass lead contamination testing bill

School districts across the state will be required to test water taps for lead contamination under a

School districts across the state will be required to test water taps for lead contamination under a law passed by the state Legislature in its final hours of work last week.

Schools will conduct regular tests, as determined by the Health Department, and will be given state aid to make necessary upgrades when lead is detected.

Lead contamination problems in Flint, Mich., have raised nationwide concerns over school drinking water supplies. As some Capital Region districts have started to move toward more testing, schools in Amsterdam and Niskayuna have detected levels of lead in isolated locations. Schenectady schools plan to test all of its water sources over the summer.

New school buildings will be exempt from the testing requirement.

Teacher evaluation deadline extended

ALBANY — A deadline requiring school districts to establish new teacher evaluation plans or risk the loss of state funding was pushed to the end of the year.

In the final legislative push of the session, lawmakers moved the Sept. 1 deadline to Dec. 31, giving districts a reprieve on a task few had completed.

The evaluation plan deadline was part of a controversial state law that created a new teacher evaluation system that gave significant weight to student test scores. The link to test scores has been effectively removed by the Board of Regents, but districts are still required to develop plans that use locally developed measure in evaluations.

Assembly Democrats and education groups had pushed for eliminating the funding link all together. The delay was rolled into a broader end-of-session agreement.

Area high schools hold graduations this week

Public high school graduations kick off this week, with districts across the Capital Region celebrating commencement.

Ballston Spa and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake start a week of events with commencement ceremonies Wednesday at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Venues like SPAC and Proctors will be booked solid for the second half of the week as graduate after graduate earn their diplomas.

Schenectady High School’s ceremony will be at Proctors on Friday morning.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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