Take Action for a Meaningful Diploma for ALL Students


Every child in New York deserves access to a meaningful high school diploma, one that will allow all students to successfully transition into a career or college experience.

Current regulation allows for many options for a high school diploma, such as:

  • Regents with Advanced Designation;
  • Regents;
  • Local Diploma (in limited circumstances);
  • The 4+1 Multiple Pathway; and
  • A Superintendent Determination for certain students with disabilities.

Approximately 17% of our students have a disability, and we must see that each child is adequately supported.

Under a new Emergency Rule, which will be adopted as final in the coming months, a Superintendent is now allowed to make a local determination that a student with a disability has met standards for a local high school diploma even when:

  • The student has not been successful at demonstrating proficiency on one or more Regents exams required for graduation; and/or
  • The student does not meet graduation requirements through low pass safety net (55-64) or compensatory net options.
  • The student’s parent must submit a written request to the superintendent to be considered for this option. This diploma pathway is available only for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), not a Section 504 accommodation plan.

You can read more about the Superintendent Determination here.

You can also read NYS PTA’s priority issue paper on diplomas here.

Please email all members of the NYS Board of Regents the following message (please copy and paste the message into your favorite email program):


As a member of NYS PTA, I strongly support a meaningful diploma for ALL students and other safety net options for students with disabilities.

As a member of NYS PTA, I fully support the recent Emergency Regulation, adopted by the Board of Regents, which allows a “Superintendent Determination” for graduation with a local diploma.

However, the new Superintendent Determination is not retroactive. Unfortunately for the last few years, many students with disabilities left high school without a meaningful diploma. In some cases, they received a Career Development and Occupational Studies Credential (CDOS).

Since this credential is not a diploma, it is not accepted by many employers or the military.

Now that the Superintendent Determination has been implemented, we need a solution for those individuals, who may be over the age of 21, who may or may not have earned a CDOS, but who have departed high school without a meaningful diploma.

Regrettably, these young adults will not be given the opportunity to re-enter school to attempt to qualify for one. Statistics show that students with disabilities, even with a high school diploma, earn 37% less than their peers.

As a member of NYS PTA, I strongly support regulatory action which would allow a diploma option for ALL students who may not have qualified before.


Here are the names and emails of every member of the NYS Board of Regents:

Chancellor Betty A. Rosa: Regent.Rosa@nysed.gov
Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown: Regent.Brown@nysed.gov
Roger Tilles: Regent.Tilles@nysed.gov
Lester W. Young, Jr.: Regent.Young@nysed.gov
Christine D. Cea: Regent.Cea@nysed.gov
Wade S. Norwood: Regent.Norwood@nysed.gov
Kathleen M. Cashin: Regent.Cashin@nysed.gov
James E. Cottrell: Regent.Cottrell@nysed.gov
Josephine Victoria Finn: Regent.Finn@nysed.gov
Judith Chin: Regent.Chin@nysed.gov
Beverly L. Ouderkirk: Regent.Ouderkirk@nysed.gov
Catherine Collins: Regent.Collins@nysed.gov
Judith Johnson: Regent.Johnson@nysed.gov
Nan Eileen Mead: Regent.Mead@nysed.gov
Elizabeth S. Hakanson: Regent.Hakanson@nysed.gov
Luis O. Reyes: Regent.Reyes@nysed.gov
Susan W. Mittler: Regent.Mittler@nysed.gov

You can also click here to download a text file with all the emails listed above.