Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Busy Time in Education

Since my last message, we have been extremely busy. As mentioned in my last posting, the governor threw us a curve ball this year by tying the budget to education reform. In response to the governor’s proposal which included keeping the state aid runs hostage, NYS PTA responded on our own and in some situations in partnership with the Educational Conference Board with the following:

  • Published an Article from President in Fast Facts about Testing Stand. Click here to read. (Please note that it was brought to our attention that some documents housed on our website with old information concerning our stand were being accessed from the search function even though they were not actively linked to our pages. Those have been remove and replaced with the updated information.)
  • Published and shared our Issues Briefs and Talking Points on: Funding our Schools and Assessing Teacher and Student Performance.
  • Released Educational Conference Board (ECB) position statements on School Funding, Career and Technical Education and multiple Pathways to Graduation, Property Tax Caps, Immigration and English Language Learners (ELL) and Challenges Associated with an Unplanned and Unanticipated Influx of Unaccompanied Minors.
  • Sent ECB letters to Governor Cuomo requesting that Executive Budget State Aid detail be released. Click here for first letter. Click here to read the follow-up letter.
  • Gave Testimony to the NYS Joint Legislative Committees as presented by our Executive Administrator Rick Longhurst in reaction to the Governor’s Executive proposals and reform agenda. Click here to read.
  • Published a Legislation Summary document. Click here to read.
  • Sent a Letter to Governor Cuomo concerning his statement on failing teachers. Click here to read.

Legislation/Education Conference and Lobby Days: We also joined with our members from NYS PTA at our Legislation/Education Conference in Albany where we continued the conversation on the above topics and heard from specialists in the field who are dealing with these issues on a day-to-day basis.

The day after, we brought 26 advocates to meet with our state senate and congressional staffs to share our opinions and ask for their support with the above issues. Our member advocates throughout the state joined our ranks to share their views on virtual lobby day where over 5,000 letters were sent to our legislators about assessing teacher and student performance and funding our schools.

Advocating for Family Engagement in Education Act in Washington: We then took our advocates to Washington, DC where we were honored to receive a co-sponsorship from Senator Chuck Schumer for the Family Engagement in Education Act. Our hope is to continue to receive this support from the rest of the federal legislators representing New York. Those we met with were very open to supporting this important legislation.

Thank you for continuing to Communicate to Advocate with us for the children of NYS!


NYS PTA® President
Communicate to Advocate!