Advocacy Outreach Committee

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April 11, 2018

We need state tests to make sure all students are progressing ... 

In this video (courtesy of Lo-Hud), Ann Rose Santoro of the Port Chester School District says that the Next Generation Learning Standards were a collaborative effort of teachers, administrators and parents.


March 23, 2018

Lakeland School District Board of Education adopts petitions regarding Special Education Summer funding and School Safety funding.

We urge residents to contact their local representatives to take action on these resolutions.

SPECIAL EDUCATION SUMMER COSTS
Whereas under current law, the state reimburses all school districts for 80 percent of the cost of special education provided to children with disabilities during July and August; and

Whereas the Executive Budget proposes to shift to a wealth-adjusted reimbursement structure, with the state share to range from 25 percent to 90 percent;

Whereas 95 percent of schools would be forced to increase payments of average wealth per pupil; and 

 Whereas the Division of the Budget estimates this proposal would shift $70 million in costs annually to school districts, starting in the next school year; and 

 Whereas this shift, combined with proposed School Aid increases dedicated to categorical initiatives, reduces the aid increase schools could use to fund ongoing costs to $599 million – less than half the amount the Education Conference Board estimated necessary to preserve current services; and 

 Whereas Districts would be expected to accommodate this new cost within their budgets and tax caps causing cuts  to other spending and services to accommodate this new state-imposed cost; 

 BE IT RESOLVED that the Lakeland Central School District urges the State Senate and Assembly to reject the proposal to shift summer special education costs to school districts.  

SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING

Whereas, the safety of all children in our schools is of paramount importance; and

 Whereas the proposed 5% reduction to the current Federal education budget would include $425 million in cuts to mental health and school safety programs, such as the School Emergency Response to Violence Program and Project Prevention Grants; and

 Whereas in the past five years, 439 students and staff members have been shot in more than 239 school shootings across our Country; and

 Whereas a need for greater access to mental health services for students and families in our schools and communities is consistently ranked as a top funding priority by the majority of Superintendents in New York State; and

 Whereas we believe that every child has the right to a safe school environment that has an appropriate level of security; and

 Whereas a proactive approach to school safety practices and increased access to mental health services for students and families in our schools and communities are essential elements of a safe school environment; and
Whereas a coordinated effort at the Federal and State levels, supported by law enforcement and community engagement, is needed to protect our communities and our schools;

 NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that:

 The Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District implores Federal and State Leaders to take immediate action to:

  • Provide additional funding to schools and communities for adequate mental health, social, and guidance services and resources for the purpose of prevention, support, and response;
  • Provide funds for districts to upgrade their facilities if internal safety audits find there is a need for improvements;
  • Provide funding for essential security personnel and related professional development for all staff, as determined by the local school district

 RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District calls upon the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate to implement a reasoned and rational approach to address firearm safety;

 RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District affirms that the civic engagement of students who are speaking out for school safety, support for mental health services, and legislation to address firearm safety needs to be heard;

 RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District opposes any reductions in federal or state funding for education that would cut mental health or school safety programs; and

 FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Lakeland Central School District calls upon the Governor, NYS Assembly and NYS Senate provide support and funding for local school districts to implement appropriate school safety measures and mental health initiatives.

 The New York State School Boards Association has updated their legislative advocacy page with the announcement of the Governor's Executive budget.


Governor Cuomo Bans E-Cigarettes in Schools
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.750 / A.611), which will immediately ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State.

"Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools," Governor Cuomo said. "This measure will further this administration's efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms and help create a stronger, healthier New York for all."   Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Ban the Use of E-Cigarettes In Schools link

 New York State Board of Association Memorandum of SUPPORT
 
Join NYSSBA in supporting this important legislation (S.4283, Murphy/A.5965, Galef), read the information below.