National PTA Advocacy

#StopCutsToClassrooms: National PTA has launched the #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign to demand Congress address the need for increased Federal funding for public education. To learn more about #STOPCutsToClassrooms and to take action, click HERE.

National PTA Board of Directors Amends Position Statement: Rights and Services for Undocumented Children In June, the National PTA Board of Directors amended the position statement regarding the rights of undocumented children and public education. “PTA recognizes that the United States began as a country of immigrants and that the resulting blend of cultures enriches our nation. The National PTA also believes that all children residing in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, have the right of access to a quality public education, adequate food and shelter, and basic health care services.” To view the document, click HERE.



Naloxone Availability Across NYS: Governor Cuomo’s office recently announced that NYS will now help defray the cost of purchasing naloxone (which is used to reverse the effect of heroin and opioid overdose) at pharmacies, by contributing up to $40 toward the co-pay. The program is funded through the state’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program and will enable people with health insurance that covers prescription drugs, to be eligible for state aid to buy naloxone.

E-cigarettes Banned on Public and Private School Grounds in NYS: Governor Cuomo signed legislation which bans the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York. School grounds include any building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds contained within a public or private pre-school, nursey school, elementary, or secondary school’s property. It also includes any vehicles used to transport children or school personnel. Cuomo states, “Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools. This measure will further this administration’s efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms and help create a stronger, healthier New York for all.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized a rule that extends its regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah and pipe tobacco, as part of its goal to improve public health. However, the FDA expects that manufacturers will continue selling their products for up to two years while they submit applications, and an additional year while the FDA reviews a new tobacco product application.

Special Education

The US Department of Education updated its IDEA website with information for parents and educators. Included is information about the decision to extend the comment period for regarding regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification. The comment deadline is September 20, 2017.

NYSED released this memo describing the changes in the Changes to the New York State Procedural Safeguards Notice: Rights for Parents of Children with Disabilities, Ages 3-21.

The Board of Regents issued updated information regarding General Education & Diploma Requirements options for students.

Bullying does not take a vacation: Many students, especially those with disabilities, are often bullied. There are 173 schools in New York that are participating in an educational program entitled No Place for Hate. The Anti-Defamation League has information and resources on their website for both inside and outside the classroom.



Commissioner Elia’s Parent Letter is issued monthly to update parents and the general community. Highlights from the August letter include:

Full draft on NY ESSA Plan and Revised ESSA Plan Summary were submitted to the governor and expected to be approved by the NYS Board of Regents at the September Board of Regents meeting.

July Presentation to Regents and Accountability Measures are important to School Improvement and Shared Decision-Making Teams, as they begin goal setting for 2017-2018 School Year.

44 Colleges and Universities offering Liberty Partnerships will offer comprehensive pre-collegiate/dropout prevention programs and services to youth in urban, rural and suburban communities of Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Southern Tier, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, Mid-Hudson Valley, NYC and Long Island. Please also review the requirements for the New York Liberty Partnership Program. Ask your school leaders to participate in this program to help at-risk students in middle and high school.

Are you interested in visiting Albany for a free monthly tour of the NYS Education Building?  Visit the Office of General Services website for more information about weekday tours, special exhibits and the history of the Capitol, Empire State Plaza, and the Empire State Plaza Art Collection.

Click HERE to join NYSED’s mailing list.

The New York State Board of Regents last met on July 17-18. Archived video portions of the meeting can be found on the site (only for Public Sessions that were filmed). The next meeting, scheduled for September 11-12, will have agenda items posted from September – through the meeting. Highlights of the July session included:

Learning Standards Updates – ELA, Math, Early Learning Task Force.

ESSA Plan Updates and Presentations – are found on the Office of Accountability website. Multiple slide presentations can be found in the blue box on the middle of this page.

Issues of Integration within NYC Schools were shared through presentations of IntegrateNYC, Epic theater ensemble, and NYC Appleseed. Epic Theater Ensemble has appeared at NYS PTA events.

NYC Students advocated for better integration of NYC schools, offering multiple plans and asked for student inclusion in NYC school decision-making.

Promoting Diversity Statewide provided rich discussion of NYS history, policy review, maps of racial and socio-economic concentrations, and student data, showing a clear picture of this important agenda item. We recommend looking at this material as you begin your advocacy work this year.

Updates on My Brothers Keeper and the Office of Family Community Engagement grant work were shared.

Principal Preparation Project and recommendations from the Advisory Team will lead the agenda for the coming year as the pipeline for school leaders is a concern.

Multiple Pathways to Diploma and graduation requirements are clearly illustrated in this PowerPoint presentation. It is useful to share at your PTA meetings.


Family Engagement

Family engagement plays a huge role in the success of our children: Many people do not know the difference between involvement and engagement. This school year, become engaged in your school community. Become a partner with your child’s teacher, as well as your district. Listen to each other and make sure you both understand your mutual goals for success. Be a parent member on district committees working to set up policy and procedure. Know your community and reach out and engage your parents.


September Awareness Events

Baby Safety Month

Campus Fire Safety Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

National Food Safety Month

National Pediculosis Prevention Month/Head Lice Prevention Month

National Preparedness Month

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10-16: Suicide Prevention Week

September 11: National Day of Service and Remembrance

September 17-23: National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 20: National School Backpack Awareness Day

September 21: International Day of Peace

September 21: RAINN DAY: Raise Awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses

September 27: National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

September 29: World Heart Day