NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs – May 2015

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

May 2015 – In This Issue

In the Spotlight


Board of Regents to Extend the Deadline for the New Teacher Evaluation System
School classroom
The NYS Education Department is planning to change the current November 2015 deadline of the controversial new teacher evaluation system. Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch has instructed the Education Department to shift that deadline to September 2016.

Click here to read more.


Proposed New Laws on Testing, APPR and Regents Selection
On May 4, Education Chairs Senator John Flanagan and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan jointly proposed legislation which would make major amendments to the APPR and other education-related laws, including reforming the way Regents are selected, extending the public comment period on APPR regulations, and establishing a committee to review standardized test content.

Click here to learn more about these and other education reform bills.

New Bill Establishes Protocol for Schools to Notify Parents of Suicidal Students

Senator John Flanagan and Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti have sponsored a new bill that would require schools to adopt policies and procedures to notify parents and guardians if a student expresses an intention to commit suicide.

Click here to read more.

Special Education

Children's mental health
Over six million children suffer from an emotional, behavioral or developmental issue. Three in four emerge early in life. One out of every three of these children do not have adequate insurance. Many of these kids receive special education services.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is important to raise awareness about the issues and causes integral to children's mental health across the country. The Federal government will propose new regulations that would require Medicaid to cover mental health services at the same level as other medical and surgical services. This means that Medicaid would be held to the standards established in the 2008 Mental Health Party legislation. Additional information can be found here.

The American Psychiatric Association is releasing a guide to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5). The resource, Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide To DSM-5, includes information about risk factors, symptoms and treatment options, as well as success stories, all in plain English.

More information about the American Psychiatric Association and the DSM-5 can be found here.

In the Spotlight

NYS PTA Testifies at State Learning Summit

Learning Summit Panel
At a day-long NYSED-sponsored Learning Summit on May 7, the NYS Board of Regents and members of the NYS Assembly heard input on a Summary of Evaluation Changes to current APPR legislation. The scope of changes is outlined here.

NYS PTA was invited to speak and coordinate overall parent input. Parents led by NYS PTA and a range of other parent/community organizations provided testimony highlighting common recommendations and areas of difference. See the video here.

Recorded testimony may be viewed here. Support documents and research papers by the national experts can be viewed at this site as well.

More Summit news here.

Health and Wellness

Electronic Cigarettes: Public Health Comment
E-cigarettes and teens statistics
The Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products will be holding a public comment session on electronic cigarettes through July 2. More information can be found here.

There will also be a workshop for the public to attend either in person or online, from June 1-2, 2015.

Make your voices heard! Use the new NYS PTA e-cigarette resolution in “Where We Stand” for guidance. Click here to register.

May Awareness Events
To see more events for this month and other dates, go to the NYS PTA Wellness Toolkit Calendar.

Juvenile Justice

Formerly Incarcerated Youth Share Their Stories to Support the Raise the Age Campaign

Raise the Age Campaign
In late April, to gather support for raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York, formerly incarcerated youth, along with their family members, shared their stories and spoke of the harsh realities faced by 16 and 17 year olds who have been prosecuted as adults.

Click here to read more.
Did You Know...
The NYS Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August. To access the 2015 meeting schedule, agendas, materials and webcast opportunities, go to: www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings.

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