By Kyle McCauley Belokopitsky, Esq., Executive Director

It’s go time.

And we really need your voice to help our children.

Governor Cuomo recently introduced his 2019-20 Executive Budget. Please see HERE for a preliminary summary of items that may be of interest to you and your family.

Why is this important?

Because the decisions made in the state budget greatly affect your child, their school, and your family in many ways.

And if not us, then who? Who will advocate for our children if not you?

NYS PTA will testify to the legislature on February 6, and will call for a $2.2 billion increase in school aid:

  • At least $1.31 billion increase in Foundation Aid, which is a third of what is due to schools;
  • $400 million increase in expense-based reimbursements to continue essential programs and services such as student transportation and special education;
  • $500 million for five priority areas, including strengthening school safety, supporting struggling schools and English language learners, and investing in college and career pathways.

Other NYS PTA budget policy positions:

  • Opposes waivers to special education laws and rules
  • Opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana
  • Supports Tobacco 21 by raising the minimum age to purchase cigarettes and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21
  • Supports funding for Recovery High Schools at $5 million
  • Supports funding for mental health programs in schools at $5 million
  • Supports full-day kindergarten and universal Pre-K for ALL
  • Supports increased access to Career and Technical Education programs
  • Supports school bus stop-arm cameras and increased fines for passing a school bus.

Our advocacy alerts will start soon. So be on the lookout every Tuesday until June for our “Take Action” emails, where YOU can easily send an email to YOUR state legislators and other policy makers on critical issues facing children, families and schools.

NYS PTA members are nearly 300,000 strong, and we proudly represent each and every one of New York’s 2.6 million school children.