NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... February 28, 2012
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NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

In Agreement

One of the most striking parts of the Governor’s January budget proposal was a vow to impose his own teacher/principal evaluation system if a dispute between NYSED and teachers’ unions over implementation of the 2010 law establishing a new statewide evaluation system was not settled within 30 days. The prospect was averted when all parties announced a final agreement in mid-February. Each school district must now develop its own plan for implementation by mid-January 2013 or risk losing state aid increases slated for 2012-13 and 2013-14. For details on the evaluation system, see:
NYSUT article
Governor Cuomo's media release

SIG Funding Restored

NYS Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. has restored School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding for five of the ten suspended SIG school districts. King said the Albany, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady and Syracuse school districts have all now submitted acceptable teacher/principal evaluation and support agreements in accordance with their approved applications for federal SIG funding. Find out more here.

Health Updates

Aeroshot, an inhalable caffeine, is a new product that is being sold in New York and has raised concerns that it can be used as a club drug by young people. In response to US Senator Charles Schumer’s request that the Food and Drug Administration evaluate this product, the FDA has announced that it will conduct a full review to assess its safety and legality. Find out more here.

The CDC now recommends the HPV vaccine for boys and young men, and the hepatitis B vaccine for diabetics.

The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is being held on April 10 – 12, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

Special Education

The Office of Special Education has revised the mandatory NYS Procedural Safeguards Notice: Rights for Parents of Children with Disabilities, Ages 3-21. Revisions include updates in mailing addresses and website links, along with the title Office of Special Education in place of VESID.

School districts are not required to replace any previously duplicated copies to disseminate to parents, but should use the new version for new duplications of the notice. More information is available here.


Winter may be seen as a time to stay indoors, but a growing body of research shows that healthy minds and bodies need nature all year round. For children, regular outdoor play leads to many benefits for both mind (enhanced focus, problem-solving, self-discipline and creativity) and body (lower weight and better physical condition). Clearly it’s time to get out and inhale that brisk winter air!

For quick and easy ideas on how to get you and your kids out and about, go to the DEC’s online family newsletter “DEC Outdoor Discovery” or check out the Conservationist and its outstanding children’s section.

February 28, 2012


Seeking Flexibility

Based on six months of work by NYSED, in consultation with a Think Tank of education stakeholders that included NYS PTA, the Board of Regents approved New York’s ESEA (NCLB) Flexibility Request, which asks the US Department of Education (USDE) to grant NYS a waiver from several NCLB provisions the state would have been unable to fulfill. The USDE has already approved such waiver applications from ten states that had applied in November, and NYS will submit its application as part of Round 2, due by February 28, 2012. The USDE is expected to act in time to allow Round 2 states with approved requests to put their new provisions into effect for the 2012-13 school year.

Specific NYS waiver requests include: a new classification system for schools involved in the restructuring/reward process; school accountability measured by new growth and proficiency standards in place of the demand for 100% student proficiency by 2014; and reform of the NCLB provision to set aside 20% of Title I funds for Supplemental Education Services (tutorials), a policy widely perceived as costly and unsuccessful. The final waiver request will be posted on the NYSED website by February 29. A full report on the waiver process, with a timetable for implementation, is available here.

March Monthly Health Dates

"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."  

Did You Know...
The NYS Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August. To access the 2012 meeting schedule, agendas, materials and webcast opportunities, go to: www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings

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