NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... March 16, 2012

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

Track Your District Progress

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), the new statewide teacher evaluation system announced last month, gives school districts until January 2013 to submit plans for implementing the system in their local schools or face the loss of promised increases of school aid in 2013-14 and 2014-15. It also gives NYS Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. the right to review and approve or reject each local plan once it has been submitted to the state. Following up, the Governor’s office has created NY Students First, a website that enables interested persons to track the progress of each New York school district towards the goal of having its plan approved: www.governor.ny.gov/BuildingaNew1/ny-students-first.

Health Updates

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has launched a parent website: www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents. You can also become a facilitator in the NPTA-supported Power of Parents program by going to: www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/facilitator-trainings.

Two recent studies of American and European youth demonstrated a link between movies and alcohol consumption. Research published in the BMJ Open and Pediatrics indicates that the amount of drinking children and teens see in movies influences their own drinking habits. Both studies found that teens exposed to alcohol-fueled movies are likely to progress to binge drinking.

A study reported in USA Today shows that there is a growing percentage of 11th and 12th graders who do not see marijuana use as a distraction while driving. This is part of a trend indicating that marijuana is not viewed as a serious or dangerous drug.


Governor Cuomo Expands Successful "FreshConnect" Program
Almost 1.5 million New Yorkers live in areas with limited supermarket access. Expanding access to fresh food in underserved communities has been shown to both improve nutrition and lower costs related to obesity and diet-related disease, while also fostering community and economic development.

In 2011, Governor Cuomo launched the FreshConnect program to create new farmers' markets and support existing markets that provide fresh produce to high-need areas throughout the state. The initiative is now expanding to include not just farmers' markets, but other projects that connect underserved communities with New York farm products. Click here for information on potential projects and grant applications.


Warm temperatures signal the start of tick season, and tick-borne Lyme disease is common in many parts of New York. Lyme disease is an infection caused by a type of bacterium (spirochete) carried by deer ticks. An infected tick can transmit the spirochete to the humans and animals it bites. It is easy to miss tick bites, but important to take them seriously because an untreated infection may result in serious illness.

Follow these precautions to avoid contact with deer ticks. For more information, go to: aldf.com.
▪ Wear enclosed shoes and light-colored clothing with a tight weave
▪ Scan clothes and exposed skin frequently
▪ Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails
▪ Use insect repellant with DEET on skin or clothes
▪ Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls
▪ Keep long hair tied back
▪ Do a final, full-body tick-check at the end of the day
March 16, 2012


State Houses Pass 2012-2013 Budget Proposals

Early this week, both the Senate and Assembly passed one-house budget resolutions detailing each House’s version of the 2012-2013 State Budget. Most significantly for education, both the Senate and Assembly rejected the Governor's proposed increase ($50 to $250 million) in incentive performance grants and instead proposed using the residual $200 million to drive more money to high need, low wealth districts through a reformulation of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). The Assembly would also increase general school aid by adding an additional $178 million to 2012-2013 Foundation Aid. For details: sap.questar.org/news/03-12/031312.php.

March & April 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."  

Regents Schedules

NYSED has released the High School Regents Exams schedules for June and August 2012 as well as January, June and August 2013. Click here to see the schedules.

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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