Advocacy Newsbriefs – February 2018

Get Ready for Advocacy Month

Legislative Summit 2018 logoFebruary kicked off NYS PTA’s advocacy efforts with our Legislative Summit/Lobby Day. It was an incredible event that empowered 100 local NYS PTA leaders to come together to go to the Capitol in Albany to Take Action on key issues impacting children, families and communities. To read the stories of advocacy, click HERE.

Through the #TakeActionTuesday each week NYS PTA members are asked to click on the TAKE ACTION button to send a message to our legislators on the following key issues: Support a $2 billion investment in school aid, support and expand school mental health programs, no student should ever go hungry, a meaningful diploma for all students, support for recovery high schools and the prevention and treatment of heroin and opioid abuse, career and technical education, a proven pathway to success, supporting English language learners and their families, supporting our youngest learners, meaningful family engagement matters, and protect children from tobacco and e-cigarette use. Keep an eye on your emails for advocacy alerts or click HERE.

Wellness

Open Access Centers for those in need of substance use disorder services: Governor Cuomo has recently awarded more than $4 million to develop 10 24/7 Open Access Centers that will provide immediate support for New Yorkers in need of substance use disorder services. These centers will be located statewide and will further advance the governor’s aggressive efforts to combat addiction and address the public health problem of addiction to prescription opioids and heroin in New York State. The primary goal of these Open Access Centers is to ensure addiction treatment services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone in need of substance use disorder services. Click HERE to read more.

Amended budget to include wellness and juvenile protection initiatives: Governor Cuomo has announced 30-day amendments to the FY 2019 Executive Budget, including legislation to protect New York taxpayers from federal tax increases. Some other amendments include: to provide flu vaccines to children ages 2-18, regardless of the ability to pay, to protect children from sex offenders, to ban the sales of synthetic marijuana (K2), to combat the fentanyl crisis, and to allow DASNY to assist with construction related to Raise-the-Age. Read more HERE.

Special Education

Testing accommodations allow many students with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers. NYSED has released a manual that provides information to assist stakeholders to make appropriate decisions regarding these accommodations. For further information click HERE.

NYSED has also released information regarding due process procedures including impartial hearings. For additional information. Read more HERE.

NYSED has a page that provides information regarding both high school diploma and non-diploma exiting credential options for students with disabilities. You can access important information about these options on this page. A new document regarding Superintendent Determination of Graduation with a Local Diploma form is available HERE.

There is still time to share your opinion on the proposed alternate pathway of local diploma for specific students with disabilities. Click HERE to read more. Feedback is due February 26, 2018. Comments can be sent to spedpubliccomment@nysed.gov.

The Trump Administration released the budget for the 2019 fiscal year. One of the highlights was more than $13 billion to maintain programs as well as discretionary grants. A fact sheet about the budget can be found HERE.

Education

HS Pathway options: NYS Board of Regents received an update on Graduation rates and had a significant discussion over equity and access to high quality HS Pathway options. They are still looking to improve access in Big 5 Cities and noted the accomplishments of Yonkers in moving grad rates forward. Click HERE to read more.

The Regents discussion can be viewed HERE.

Equity in education resources: Shared by the Regents Research Workgroup can be reviewed HERE.

The Board of Regents and Commissioner Elia are attempting to revise the APPR system imposed by Governor Cuomo. Read more HERE.

Commissioner Elia sent an invitation to all New York teachers to participate in an online survey regarding APPR by March 7. Click HERE to read more.

The Regents budget request was discussed by legislators at the joint Senate and Assembly hearing which can be viewed HERE.

You can always register HERE for Commissioner Elias Parent Update newsletter.

March Awareness Events

Gender Equality Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

National Nutrition Month

National Development Disabilities Awareness Month

National Hemophilia Awareness Month

National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

March 4-10: Teen Tech Week

March 5-9: National School Breakfast Week

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 10: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 12-18: Brain Awareness Week 

March 21: Kick Butts Day