The Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting on Monday, April 12, 2021 via video conference. Regent Luis Reyes opened the meeting with reflective thoughts condemning the increasing incidence of harassment being experienced by Asian-American students in our schools. He cited data showing that, as schools continue to reopen, Asian American students are not attending school due to fears associated with the increasing number of violent incidents.
Chancellor Young then introduced a draft framework for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative which will support a call to action for schools across the state to develop policies that address discrimination and promote inclusiveness. During his review of the proposal, the Chancellor stated that “we are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history when the country appears to be ready to address its long history of racism and bigotry.” Through this initiative, he hopes that the Board of Regents, NYSED, and school districts across the state will collectively implement policies and curriculum reforms, improve workforce diversity, and further implement culturally responsive practices at all levels.
In the coming months, Board of Regents members and NYSED staff will:
- Formally adopt a policy statement based on the principles detailed in the framework.
- Establish a Workgroup to provide policy direction and recommendations.
- Make resources relating to culturally responsive education practices more available to educators.
The link below includes the full text of the draft Chancellor Young presented.
An amendment was approved which will require School Safety Plans to include protocols for responding to a declared state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. It is anticipated that the amendment will be presented for permanent adoption at the September 2021 Board of Regents meeting.
NYSED Chief Financial Officer, Phyllis Morris discussed the recently approved 2021-22 Enacted NYS Budget. After providing an overall comparison of the Board Regent’s proposed budget and the actual enacted budget figures, Ms. Morris reviewed specific categories and their adjusted funding allocations. Some key aspects of the budget addressed in the presentation include:
- A $1.4 billion Foundation Aid increase with a three-year phase-in schedule.
- Items previously under consideration for change or elimination by the legislature were restored, including proposed consolidation of state aid categories, reduced reimbursement aid, and cutting STAR reimbursements for districts.
- Increased funding for expansion of pre-kindergarten programs.
- Summary of the plan for reimbursement of pandemic-related transportation costs.
- Summary of federal stimulus relief funding New York State is expected to receive.
During the presentation, Commissioner Rosa expressed ongoing frustration with the NYS Division of Budget over the release of stimulus relief funds to school districts.
The link below provides a detailed summary of the budget presentation.
Earlier this year the Spring interscholastic season was extended to June 30, 2021. An amendment was passed clarifying that student athletes scheduled to graduate this June, may complete their season even if their school’s graduation ceremony occurs prior to June 30.
With regards to the edTPA Teacher Performance Assessment, the Board approved an amendment extending previously adopted flexibility for teacher candidates who complete student teaching/clinical experiences during 2021-22 academic year.