CAS Legislative Update
Welcome back to the second half of the 2021-2022 school year. I hope you enjoyed your holiday break. Governor Hochul gave her first State of the State address the first week in January in which she outlined her education plans to attract additional teachers, additional mental health resources for schools, provide additional funds to higher need districts and ensure more New Yorkers earn a college degree.
Governor Hochul identified enrollment in State teacher programs declining. She proposes accelerating the teacher certification process and temporarily remove the cap on how much certain retired teachers can earn if they return to teaching while earning a pension. She did not elaborate on which teachers could be eligible. The Governor also proposed eliminating the controversial teacher certification test.
Mental Health in Schools
There is a growing concern about the mental health of students throughout the pandemic. The Governor proposes providing state grants to local school districts providing mental health support, as well as a new state support system that would match federal funds to school districts dedicated to mental health. The governor also proposes a program whereby SUNY and CUNY students, in education related fields, receive academic credit and other service requirements to volunteers who help with tutoring, mental health services, hunger prevention and after school activities.
Governor Hochul proposed fully funding Foundation Aid, the state’s funding formula that gives additional funds to higher needs districts by the 2023-2024 school year.
Governor Hochul set a goal of having two-thirds of New Yorkers obtain a college degree by 2030. Her plan is to expand access to college-level courses in high school and provide some tuition relief for students. She also proposed expanding tuition assistance to 75,000 part-time students by eliminating a rule that they must earn 24 credits the year before they want assistance to start.
Governor Hochul put forward a plan to increase enrollment in SUNY schools by one-third, to over 500,000 students, with enrollment and completion rates reflecting the state’s diversity. She proposed recruiting and supporting top faculty and staff; providing affordable credentials and degrees to all kinds of learners; doubling sponsored research; start-ups and patents so SUNY can catalyze economic innovation and good jobs about the state.
The governor proposes that students who graduate will be prepared for their careers without a crushing loan debt by streamlining the application process, simplify and improve the SUNY transfer process and jobs acceleration to build bridges between education and work.
Senate Legislation – January 2022 – Charter Schools
The Senate Education Department met on January 10, 2022. Of particular interest is Senator Liu’s bill S7666, which would strip SUNY Board of Trustees of its authority to grant new charter schools. Senator Liu’s bill would grant the Board of Regents authority to grant new charter schools.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee said his committee will undertake the same bill in light of SUNY’s attempt to “circumvent” the current cap on charter school expansion.
Council of Administrators & Supervisors
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