Member Highlight

NYS PTA Advocacy Calendar for 2017-2018 is Now Available: The NYS PTA Advocacy Calendar is a tool to help guide regions, councils and units in their advocacy activities for the year.

NYS PTA Convention

November 3-5 is the NYS PTA Annual Convention in Niagara Falls. This event is key to advocacy efforts, where members from across the state adopt the positions NYS PTA uses to support children, youth and families. For more Convention information and registration click here.


Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Expanding Unlimited Sick Leave Benefit for New Yorkers Who Participated in 9/11 Response Efforts: On the anniversary of 9/11, the Governor signed legislation to expand unlimited sick leave benefits for public sector officers and employees who developed a qualifying health condition as a result of their heroic response to 9/11 rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts at World Trade Center sites. Under the bill (A7901A/S6398), individuals would be eligible for unlimited paid leave at 100 percent of their regular salary dating back to the time of their diagnosis. Read more HERE.

New Opioid Funding for Upstate Communities: Governor Cuomo announced the distribution of $25 million in federal funding to address the opioid crisis in New York. This funding will expand critical initiatives in New York’s ongoing effort to confront the opioid epidemic. Additionally, it will be used to add and enhance treatment services for people struggling with opioid use disorders throughout the state in high need areas, including mobile treatment, telehealth capabilities, and the expansion of medication-assisted treatment. Also included is support for statewide prevention and recovery programs. Read more HERE.

Juvenile Protection

Gang Violence Prevention on Long Island: Governor Cuomo has deployed a new Gang Violence Prevention Unit for at risk Suffolk County schools to crack down on MS-13 gangs. This new unit, consisting of 10 state troopers, will be sent to the top 10 high-risk Suffolk County schools that currently serve as ground zero for gang activity and recruitment. They will work to stop gang violence before it starts and identify early warning signs of gang activity, and will also coordinate closely with the Suffolk County Police Department to launch an “Educate the Educators” program. This will help teachers and faculty recognize the early warning signs of gang involvement and recruitment. Read more HERE.

Special Education

ABLE Act for Medicaid Programs: The federal government has issued a letter to state Medicaid directors providing guidance on the implications of the ABLE Act for state Medicaid programs. The ABLE Act enables individuals with disabilities to save money in tax advantaged accounts. Read additional information about this program HERE.

Office for People With Developmental Disabilities: The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) provides services for individuals with disabilities throughout New York. Parents should contact them to see what services may be available for their children. Additional information can be found HERE.

Natural Disasters and Children With Special Needs: Children with special needs may be extremely vulnerable during natural disasters and emergencies. Parents need to prepare before an emergency happens. The following links have excellent resources for families.

Preparing for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

Special Populations: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Natural Disaster Resources for Families Affected by Autism

Suicide Prevention: Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is important to have access to resources and discuss suicide prevention. The Pacer Center has information about bullying prevention. These links have information and resources for individuals and families.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicide Prevention

Family Engagement

Progress on Funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers: On September 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment (DeSaulnier-Thompson #166) to provide $10 million in funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers. This funding would provide grants to states to promote and implement evidence-based family engagement strategies. Although included in ESSA, the SFECs have not been funded by Congress. While this is a great first step, the program will still need to be voted on as part of the final bill sent to the Senate, and to the President for signature. To learn more about Statewide Family Engagement Centers, click HERE.


2018 NYS Teacher of the Year: Congratulations to Christopher Albrecht, a fourth grade teacher at Fred W. Hill School in Brockport Central School District.

The Board of Regents adopted newly revised English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards. Next Generation Learning Standards was revised with input from educators and parents and can now be reviewed HERE.

The Board of Regents approved the NYS Every Student Succeeds Act plan.

The Board of Regents Revises Teachers Certification Requirements: “changes will: phase-in a revised passing score on the edTPA teacher certification exam; extend the safety net for those candidates who do not pass the edTPA; and amend the eligibility requirements to use a Multiple Measure Review Process in certain cases.” Public comments will be accepted through November 13, 2017. Read more HERE.

SUNY Charter Teacher Certification Proposal: Both the Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and SED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia jointly provided comments in opposition to the SUNY Charter School Institute’s proposal to reduce teacher certification requirements. Read more HERE.

DACA: There is government support from both the governor’s office and NYSED for those impacted by DACA. Executive actions were taken to support students and families.

Chancellor Rosa And Commissioner Elia Statement On Executive Actions On DACA

The State of New York 9/8/17 – “Protecting Our Dreamers”

October Awareness Events

American Heart Walk

Eat Better, Eat Together Month

Children’s Health Month

Domestic Violence Month

Health Literacy Month

Healthy Babies Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Crime Prevention Month

National Dental Hygiene Month

National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month

National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month (SIDS)

Talk About Prescriptions Month

Home Eye Safety Month

National Bullying Prevention Month

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Stop America’s Violence Everywhere Today (SAVE)

International Walk to School Month

October 1-7: National Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 4: Walk to School Day

October 8-14: National Fire Prevention Week

October 9-13: National School Lunch Week

October 10: World Mental Health Day

October 11: National Coming Out Day

October 15-21 National Teen Driver Safety Week

October 16-20: National Health Education Week

October 16-20: National School Bus Safety Week

October 23-31: National Red Ribbon Celebration / National Plant the Promise Week

October 24: Food Day