The Board of Regents conducted an abbreviated monthly meeting on Monday, May 4, 2020 via video conference. Chancellor Rosa began the session by recognizing Teacher Appreciation Week and praising the efforts educators are making to continue teaching and learning through virtual classrooms in this difficult time.
Regarding the COVID-19 crisis, Chancellor Rosa stated that a statewide task force will be appointed in the near future which will be charged with developing a framework for how to safely and effectively reopen schools.
Interim Commissioner Tahoe, along with several NYSED Deputy and Assistant Commissioners, provided Board members with an update of NYSED’s most recent response efforts to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Some of the key areas outlined in the presentation included:
o  Updates to the Child Nutritional Program
o  Guidance regarding the revision of Continuity of Learning Plans
o  Continuity of Learning Resource Page updates
o  Responding to questions regarding graduation requirements
o  Plans for Increased support for ELL students
o  Supporting Students with Disabilities
The link below provides a more detailed outline of the presentation. It summarizes the efforts that have been taken by the various NYSED Departments to support students and educators during the crisis, including links to resources and Guidance Documents.
The Board of Regents also adopted emergency amendments to address additional issues that have emerged due to the continued closure of school buildings. Areas of focus included:
o   School Accountability Status – 2019-20 data will not be used to identify any new schools as struggling or persistently struggling. Schools currently under receivership or identified as struggling or persistently struggling for 2019-20, will retain that status for 2020-21.
o  High School Diploma and Exam Requirements – Amendments were approved regarding the specifics for earning high school course credit and for completing the various diploma pathways.
o  Teacher and Administrator Certification – An Emergency COVID-19 Certificate was approved for School District Leader (SDL) and School District Business Leader (SDBL) candidates which provides a temporary exemption from passing the SDL or SDBL exam if all other program requirements were completed between the Fall 2019 and Summer 2020 semesters. This provision also applies to Transitional D programs.
Expiration dates for Initial and Provisional teaching certificates were extended from August 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021.
An Emergency COVID-19 certificate was approved for teacher candidates who have not been able to complete certification requirements due to the closure of test centers. The certificate is valid for one year and includes Summer 2020 graduates.
The link below provides more specific details on each of the items referenced above.
Board members were updated on the status of the 2020-21 enacted budget. The original Board of Regents proposal was compared to the allocations that are currently in the enacted budget.
The Division of Budget (DOB), however, is currently projecting a 13.3 billion dollar deficit due to the COVID-19 crisis which will likely result in significant reductions. The DOB is preparing a detailed proposal that itemizes the reduced allocations which is due to be submitted to the legislature in May.
Below is a link to the summary of the presentation.