Advocacy Newsbriefs is published monthly, except July and November.
March 2018 – Advocacy Newsbriefs
TAKE ACTION WITH NYS PTA
WE NEED YOUR HELP! NYS PTA is still taking action on key advocacy issues impacting children, youth and families. Click HERE to #TakeAction and sign up for advocacy alerts.
NYS PTA, alongside the Educational Conference Board, has issued a number of recent memos to the legislature before the April 1 State Budget deadline (we will update this page as new memos are issued):
- Reject 529 Plan Private School Vouchers
- Expand Student Access to CTE
- Reject School-Based Budget Reporting Mandates Memo FINAL
- Reject Special Education Cost Shift
- BOCES Facilities and the Property Tax Cap
- OPPOSE the “Education Affordability” Tax Credit
- Support Aid Forgiveness Memo
- Prior Year Aid Claims Memo
NYS PTA in Washington, DC
NYS PTA had a number of representatives attend the National PTA 2018 Legislative Conference and Capitol Hill Day.
Speakers at the conference included: US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos; Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools and Olympian Michael Phelps mother Deborah Phelps; President & CEO of Congressional Management Foundation Bradford Fitch; and Interim Executive Director of the Council for Chief State School Officers Carissa Miller.
NYS PTA was honored with the National PTA Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award for our advocacy work on e-cigarettes and ENDS, which resulted in legislation.
NATIONAL PTA ADVOCACY
- The STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909) – Support/vote YES & co-sponsor the bill
- The Gun Violence Research Act (H.R. 1478) – Co-sponsor & support the bill
- The Fix NICS Act (S. 2135 / H.R. 4434) – Co-sponsor & support both bills
- Title IV-A Block Grant Program – Adequately invest / fund
- Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) – Fund to authorized amount of $10 million & sign the “Dear Colleague Letter”
It is not too late to #TakeAction on these positions.
To read about the conference and advocacy efforts, click HERE.
On March 14, the STOP School Violence Act, HR 4909 overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives. This bipartisan bill creates a grant program to train teachers, students, school officials and local law enforcement on how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise. It also will construct anonymous reporting systems, and implement school threat assessment protocols to prevent school shootings before they occur. Now that the bill has passed the House, it is on to the Senate (S. 2495). To track the bill, click HERE.
Governor Cuomo has announced more than $1.6 million towards the expansion of mobile substance use disorder treatment and transportation services across New York. More than 20 vehicles have been purchased, with more expected in the coming months. The governor states, “While the nation struggles with an ongoing opioid epidemic, New York is doing everything in its power to expand treatment options and resources to anyone seeking to get on the road to recovery.” To see where these new services have been funded, click HERE.
Governor Cuomo has announced that for the third consecutive week, the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases has decreased across New York, since being categorized as geographically widespread. Recently, 3,692 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases were reported to the New York State Department of Health. Governor Cuomo states, “I am encouraged to see yet another decrease in the number of flu cases across the state, but we must remain vigilant against the spread of the virus. If you haven’t already been vaccinated, I urge you to do so and to please stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading the illness.” Health information regarding influenza can be found HERE.
Hunger Solutions NY released “The NYS School Breakfast Report.” This report shows the findings of school breakfast participation and how food insecurity is addressed across the state. To review the report click HERE.
Each year states are required to report differences in law, regulations and policy that are not required by the federal government. New York State’s document has been posted for public review and comments. Written public comment will be accepted until April 16, 2018. Emails should be sent to SPEDPUBLICCOMMENT@nysed.gov with “NYS Part B Application FFY 2018” in the subject line. Additional information can be found HERE.
The US Department of Education is proposing to delay for two years the December 19, 2016 regulations that would require states to aggressively address racial biases related to identification, placement and discipline for students with disabilities. The compliance date would change from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2020. The department also would like to postpone the date that children ages three through five be included in the analysis from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022. The rules were originally designed to address concerns about the over-representation of minority students in special education. Additional information about these proposed changes can be found HERE.
The US Department of Education will automatically direct users to the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website from the “Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004.” site beginning on April 30, 2018. Additional information can be found HERE.
The National Institute of Mental Health says one in five children will experience serious mental health issues, but 75% of them will not receive the care they need. Many families of special education students face these difficult issues which can be hard for parents to identify. Additional information about how to understand the warning signs and how you can help your child cope can be found at:
The April Awareness Calendar can be downloaded. This calendar includes websites PTA leaders can use to provide information to members.