NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... December 2014

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

In This Issue

In the Spotlight
In the Spotlight...
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Lawmakers Poised for Debate over More Charter Schools

Charter vs Public Schools
Charter school supporters and critics in New York State are preparing for what they say will be a big debate over whether to allow more of the privately run, but publicly funded, schools.

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Republicans who lead the state Senate support more charter schools. But teachers’ unions and many of the Democrats in the state Assembly say they weaken public schools.

The conflict is expected to be one of the top issues facing lawmakers when they begin their 2015 session in January.

To read more, click here.

Resources for New Resolutions Passed at 2014 NYS PTA Convention

At the recent NYS PTA Convention, three new wellness resolutions were passed. Here are some resources for you to share with your members to use for education and advocacy:

Social Host Law: Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and Youth: Education for HIPAA Right to Privacy and Health Care Proxy:

New Above the Influence Toolkit

Above the Influence
The Partnership for Drug Free Kids has developed a new Above the Influence Toolkit. This resource is useful for youth ages 12-17 years old to “boost confidence and prevent risk-taking behaviors, including alcohol and drug abuse.”

For more information, click here.

Parent Guides to Student Learning

Parent roadmaps
Parent roadmaps are available in English language arts/literacy, to provide guidance to parents about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning in grades K-8.

These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year, so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.

They can be found in English and Spanish here.

SUNY System OK’s Affirmative Sexual Consent Policy

New York's state university system has adopted a new definition of sexual consent that requires a clear, affirmative agreement between partners, part of a larger effort to reduce sexual violence on college campuses.

On December 2, the SUNY Board of Trustees announced that it formally approved the new policy, which will apply to more than 463,000 students on all 64 state campuses. Under the new “yes means yes” standard, silence cannot be interpreted as permission to engage in sexual contact, and consent may be withdrawn at any time.

For the full article, click here.

December 2014
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In the Spotlight

Federal Legislation Update

School funding
Recently, Washington has taken action on several PTA priorities, including continued federal funding of education, high-speed Internet access in schools, and reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

Federal appropriations
FY2015 Appropriations: On Thursday, December 11 the House passed a bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2015). This bill, referred to as “CRomnibus”, combines both Continuing Resolution (for the Department of Homeland Security) and Omnibus (everything else including education funding), passed narrowly in the House with a vote of 219-206.

To read more, click here.

New York Selected for Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables for Schools

Fruits and Vegetables
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that New York is one of eight states chosen to participate in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables, as directed by the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill.

New York schools will be able to increase purchases of locally-grown fruits and vegetables for school meal programs.

To learn more about the program, click here.

Design for the Environment: How to List a Chemical on the Safer Chemical List

Design for the Environment The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to expand the Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL) with chemicals in new and existing functional component classes.

NYS PTA’s Cooperating Partner, the Healthy Schools Network, is awaiting evaluation of the DfE and other labels from the Northeastern States Work Group. It is important to provide this information on chemical safety to your schools in order to insure students have a safe learning environment.

To read more, click here.

Wellness Toolkit and Advocacy Positions

Holiday stress
Holiday celebration can lead to holiday stress. Check the NYS PTA Wellness Toolkit and Calendar for timely information on wellness advocacy and resources.
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.

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