In This Issue
In the Spotlight...
In a 20-page letter, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and soon-to-be
acting Education Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin offered a host of proposals
that would dramatically change education policy in New York State.
The letter, a response to a series of pointed questions from Governor Andrew
Cuomo’s office, is the first comprehensive look at the changes that the
Board of Regents and State Education Department are willing to support as
the Governor continues to push for controversial changes to the way teachers
are hired, fired and evaluated. The letter includes proposals around school
funding, improving school integration, and passing the DREAM Act.
While some of the changes were in direct response to issues raised by
Governor Cuomo’s office, others were unsolicited. Click
Read all of Governor Cuomo’s questions to Chancellor Tisch and Dr. King (as
outlined in a letter by his Director of State Operations, Jim Malatras)
, and the complete letter in response from Chancellor Tisch and
Acting Commissioner Berlin,
to read the NYS PTA response to this letter.
After a strong showing by Republicans in state-level elections last month,
lawmakers and governors—new and re-elected—are turning their attention to
the 2015 legislative sessions, where such issues as common standards,
testing and school choice are likely to dominate the education policy
Added to the political mix is a generally improving economic climate. This
could turn up the heat on lawmakers in many states to raise K-12 spending, at
a time when some are already re-examining how they allocate money for public
for the full article.
In the continuous discussions of revising the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA), the national Republican leadership is proposing
changes in the scope and timing of federally mandated student testing.
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has also called for overhaul of the
ESEA, although with different goals.
The ESEA is long overdue for a complete revision and adoption, and these
proposals are a glimpse into possible discussions in Washington.
To read more, visit:
It’s a sobering fact with significant impact on youth with disabilities: as they enter the work force, they earn 37 percent less (or
cents for every dollar) than their typically-developing peers do. Even those
who have a high school diploma earn $6,500 less per year. This is why it
continues to be important to advocate for PTA’s position that students with
disabilities must have a valuable high school diploma. The data comes from
the US Census and
Among the good news in December was the passage of the ABLE Act, a law that
will allow people with disabilities to open special accounts, modeled after
529 college savings plans, to pay for education and other expenses. While
this is a great first step, some issues remain to be taken care of before we
feel the full impact of the law. Each state now has to put regulations in
effect so that the accounts can be set up. See “ABLE Accounts: 10 Things You
. More information will
follow as the process continues.
These controversial learning standards have transformed the way the nation’s
youngest students are taught even the most basic of subjects.
For the complete story from the Buffalo News
NYS PTA now has a Mobile Phone App that we launched just before Convention!
If you haven't downloaded it yet, please go to your iTunes or Google Play
store and search for “NYS PTA”. You gain access to news, our Resource Guide
advocacy news, directory information, the PTA Online Store, Capwiz, Bylaws
EZ, events and much more.
If you are on the PTA website from your mobile phone or tablet, you can
click on the logos from the home page located in the lower left column.
Governor Cuomo has released proposed regulations for the Compassionate Care
Act medical marijuana program. Read more
At the last NYS PTA Convention, the Herbal Cigarettes Resolution was updated
to include the synthetic cannabinoid Spice. The US Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) has added an additional three new strains of synthetic
marijuana to their list of banned substances. Classifying these drugs as
Schedule I drugs is considered “necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a strong advisory to
consumers against the use of Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a product
marketed as a treatment for autism, cancer and other serious diseases.
According to the FDA, MMS “produces chlorine dioxide, a potent bleach,” that
when used as directed “can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”
warns: “Consumers who have MMS should stop using it immediately and throw it
Learn more about MMS warnings and misleading claims: