View this email in your browser
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with NYS PTA. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.

December 2015


February 27-28, 2016

NYS PTA Legislation/Education Conference
Albany, NY

February 29, 2016

NYS PTA Lobby Day
Albany, NY

March 8, 2016

NYS PTA Virtual Lobby Day

March 19, 2016

NYS PTA PARP Conference
Melville, NY

In the Spotlight

The Governor’s State of the State/Budget Message

While the governor’s education message in this week’s State of the State message was far less contentious than in past years, the fiscal proposals were a disappointment.

Here is an outline of increases the Governor proposes for state aid to schools.

  • Basic Foundation Aid: $266 million of $4.3 billion currently owed to schools.
  • Gap Elimination Aid: $189 million of $434 million currently owed. The remainder is proposed to be eliminated next year.

Click here to read more.

Legislation Updates

New Senate Committee Assignments: The NYS Senate committee assignments for 2016 are posted here.

Wellness/Health Updates

My Preparedness: Staying Healthy and Resilient Youth Video Challenge: Youth between ages 14 and 23 can send a video up to 60 seconds long that answers the question,” How are you helping family, friends and community protect their health during disasters and every day? Submission deadline is March 28. Click here for more.

Electronic Cigarette Ads Reaching More Middle and High School Students: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7 in 10 middle and high school students (more than 18 million young people) are seeing print, internet and media advertisements. Read more here.

NYS PTA has a position about electronic cigarette ads. This can be viewed in Where We Stand.

Combat Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Campaign: As part of the NYS Combat Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse campaign, Governor Cuomo has recently announced the launch of a new “Kitchen Table Toolkit”. The toolkit features two new videos that parents, teachers and community members can use to help begin conversations with youth about the dangerous consequences of heroin and prescription painkiller use plus the health risks associated with them. Find the videos here.

Kratom: The New York Times reports that yet another drug has appeared in head shops and convenience stores. Kratom is categorized as a botanic dietary supplement and therefore beyond regulatory reach of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers it a “drug of concern” since there is anecdotal evidence that it may be addictive. The FDA issued an alert about Kratom; read it here. To learn more about Kratom, click here.

The DEA also has a resource guide for drug abuse here.

Indoor Tanning Risks: The FDA proposes new safety measures for indoor tanning devices. Due to the risks of indoor tanning devices such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation, increasing risk of eye injury, skin damage and skin cancer, the FDA wants to restrict the use of these devices to adults age 18 and older. There are opportunities to comment on the proposed rules until March 21, 2016. Please read the article in its entirety here.

In Defense of Food: Are you confused about diet? Does it seem that nutritional guidelines frequently switch course and self-contradict? Are we thinking about food more and enjoying it less? Are we still too fat? If you are feeling this way, you are not alone. Shedding some light on the subject is food journalist Michael Pollan, in a new public television show In Defense of Food. Find out more here.

Juvenile Protection and Safety

Governor Cuomo recently signed an Executive Order to separate teens from adult prisoners. This order directs the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, in collaboration with the NYS Office of Children and Family Service, to implement a plan to remove minors from adult prisons in the state. Read the entire announcement here.

Education News

NYS Education Department Meetings of the Board of Regents

The Regents met on December 14-15. The Board of Regents meeting items are posted online.

By clicking here, you can review all the actions, reports and presentations discussed. On this page, each committee report and agenda item has a link to the different documents.

Some issues to review include:

  • Policy change to regulations regarding graduation requirements, which would extend the appeal process to include appeal of scores for the safety net local diploma for students with disabilities.
  • A transition score will replace the 3-8 ELA or Math score for APPR, and the use of the state assessment for evaluation is advisory only until Spring 2019.

Click here for more.

Special Education News

The Cerebral Palsy Foundation has launched a new campaign to help people interact with those with disabilities. To try out what Apple’s Siri and CEO Tim Cook have done, grab your iPhone and ask Siri “How do you start a conversation with someone who has a disability?”. You will like the answer.

An article by the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to learn more and take a larger role in advocating for kids with special needs. They should be able to work with parents to ensure that kids get the services they need. The report can be found here.

NYSED has posted several documents of interest to our members. There is also a link for school districts to apply for an exception to the one percent cap on proficient or above scores based on alternate achievement standards. The documents can be found here.

January/February Awareness Events

One Wembley Court, Albany, NY, 12205