NYS PTA Offers Final Budget Priorities: Calls for support for ALL students, funding for drug abuse prevention/treatment and Raise the Age

Posted March 28, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Gracemarie Rozea, PresidentKyle McCauley Belokopitsy, Esq., Executive Director
518-452-8808 (office)
518-817-3017 (cell)

March 27, 2017 (Albany) – As budget negotiations draw to a close this week, NYS PTA offers priorities for negotiations on behalf of the parents and families of New York’s 2.4 million school children.

The NYS PTA calls for:

  • $2.0 billion increased investment in our public schools, including $1.5 billion for continued programs and $500 million for high priority areas, including:
    • support for Pre-K, English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities
    • expansion of Career and Technical Education and support (CTE)
    • real fiscal and programmatic support for community schools and struggling schools, not a set-aside
    • support for classroom teachers;
  • A commitment to a three-year full phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula;
  • An increase in BOCES reimbursement and salary cap as it relates to CTE programs, and similar support for Special Services Aid for the Big 5 City School Districts;
  • Opposition to the expansion of the charter school industry and efforts to expand funding for charters, especially without further accountability;
  • Including the previously passed tax cap modifications for BOCES capital expenses and PILOT agreements in allowable exemptions and calculations;
  • Continued opposition to voucher-like programs that would divert scarce resources away from public schools;
  • Support for a $45 million increase for programs and services as detailed in the Executive Budget related to heroin and opioid abuse prevention and treatment;
  • Inclusion of e-cigarettes and other vaping products in the Clean Indoor Air Act and a full ban on the marketing of e-cigarettes and vaping program to children; and
  • Revising the age of criminal responsibility for juvenile offenders from 16 years of age to 18 years of age with increased support for prevention and rehabilitation of juveniles in the criminal justice system.

“We look to our legislators and Governor Cuomo in these last days to ensure ALL children are supported,” NYS PTA President Gracemarie Rozea shared. “Besides traditional education issues, raising the age of criminal responsibility for juvenile offenders is a NYS PTA priority, as is fully funding evidence based prevention and treatment of heroin and opioid abuse.”

Kyle Belokopitsky, NYS PTA Executive Director added, “We are pleased there seems to be agreement on further regulation of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Now we need an outright ban on their marketing to our children. We look forward to meaningful conversations surrounding school aid, and renew our call for a $2.0 billion investment in our children.”

NYS PTA is committed to making every child’s potential a reality and looks forward to working with New York State officials to see that every child’s dream is achieved.

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