NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... March 2014

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

NYS PTA Receives National PTA Outstanding State Advocacy Award

NYS PTA honored with National PTA Outstanding State Advocacy Award
NYS PTA is very proud to have been recently honored with the National PTA Outstanding State Advocacy Award for its work to educate families, teachers and communities about the Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS PTA is mentioned in an article entitled “National PTA Advocacy Awards Winners” in the February/March 2014 edition of Our Children. For general questions and comments about National PTA and for subscription information, email: info@pta.org.

March is a Time for Wellness Advocacy

Just a Bill
  • Bills S4588 and A8285: Establishes an emergency opioid overdose prevention pilot program whereby police agencies and certain public high schools could administer Naloxone to persons who have overdosed on an opioid.
  • Bills S4623 and A7003: Requires health insurance companies to cover drug and alcohol abuse and dependency treatment services.
  • Bills S6251 and A8345: Requires the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, in consultation with the NYS Education Department, to identify or develop materials on problem gambling among school-aged youth.
  • Bill S597: Relates to regulations for indoor air quality in ice skating rinks using ice resurfacing equipment.
  • Bill A8178: Makes the restrictions relating to smoking in public areas applicable to electronic cigarettes.
  • Bill A6393: Increases the purchasing age for tobacco and tobacco products from 18 years of age to 19 years of age.
  • Bill S4863 and A7105: Increases the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years old to 21 years old.
If you would like to receive updates or contact specific committees related to wellness issues, here are the names of the chairpersons of the Senate and Assembly committees. Remember, there is power in PTA.

NYS Senate Committees: www.nysenate.gov/committees NYS Assembly Committees: assembly.state.ny.us/comm/

Assembly Democrats Pass Child Care and Family Leave Reforms

NY babies need paid family leave
The Assembly passed a reform package last week they say will address the state's "child care crisis" and provide paid family leave.

The series of bills was developed following a December 2013 report from the Assembly's six-member Child Care Commission, which made recommendations for reforming and investing in high-quality and accessible child care.

For more information, click here.

Due Process Complaint Form

The NYS Education Department has released additional information about the Due Process Complaint form that is required under federal law.

School districts must provide information to parents about the availability of this form. This information can be found here

Changes to Special Education Impartial Hearings

NYSED has issued a new memo that will provide additional guidance regarding changes to special education impartial hearings. The effective date was February 1, 2014. This memo can be found here.

School Nurse-to-Student Ratio

School Nurse
Are there enough school nurses in your school? The National Association of School Nurses recommends a ratio of 1:750 well students. Click here to learn more.

If the student population includes those with special needs, the 750 number should decrease. The New York State Association of School Nurses reports in their position paper of the changing roles of the school nurse, as well as the changes in the risks identified in the students. To read it, click here.

Recently, we have been promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Your school nurse is a part of that team. Very often the school nurse may be the only medical provider a student sees during his/her school years.

As PTA members, we approved the Resolution below to ensure coverage of a school nurse in your school buildings. It can be found in “Where We Stand” at nyspta.org. Use your PTA voice to promote the resolution and proper school nurse-to-student ratios.

SCHOOL NURSES – 2009 (R-’02, R-’95, R-’88);
1. Encourage its units and councils to assess with the staff and school boards of their districts the risks of having inadequate health care for students. 2. Urge the State Education Department to mandate a full-time registered nurse in every school building.
March 2014
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In the Spotlight

“The Common Core Learning Standards” Video

NYS PTA believes in the value of the Common Core Learning Standards in an increasingly challenging and international economy. We also believe in the NYS Regents’ movement to produce graduates who are career and college ready.

In this regard, NYS PTA Education Coordinator Dr. Bob Aloise was interviewed in a video that explains what the Common Core Learning Standards are, while contrasting fact versus myth. This video is available for use throughout the state and may be accessed by visiting our Common Core information page here.
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“Advocacy is at the heart of PTA's mission and vision. Taking action provides both parents and PTA leaders with the resources to become more involved with their community at home and their community across the nation.”

IDEA Full Funding Act

IDEA FundingAn important piece of legislation has been introduced into Congress. The Bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act (H.R. 4136) would ensure that the federal government pays its full share. IDEA, which was supposed to be funded at 40%, is currently at 15.3%.

If passed, the bill would gradually increase IDEA funding from its current level of $11.6 billion to $37.2 billion by fiscal year 2024. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) will introduce his version of the bill in the Senate later this month.

While the legislation may not pass, it will allow people to express their concerns to the elected officials about this important topic. For more information, click here.

Tool Kit on Teaching and Accessing Students with Disabilities

Tool KitThe US Department of Education Office of Special Programs has created a Tool Kit that provides information to ensure all students with disabilities receive a quality education.

The Tool Kit, which will be updated as necessary, covers such areas as assessment, instructional practices, behavior and accommodations. For more information, click here.

Dates to Remember

For a complete listing, click here.



Did You Know...
The NYS Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August. To access the 2014 meeting schedule, agendas, materials and webcast opportunities, go to: www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings.

Our mailing address is:
One Wembley Court
Albany, NY  12205
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