Report of Regents P-12 Education Committee to The Board of Regents
Your P-12 Education Committee held its scheduled meeting on December 11, 2017. All members were present, except for Regent Hakanson, who was excused. Regent Young started the meeting by introducing the Superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, Dr. Roberto Padilla. Dr. Padilla introduced Linda Romano, a Health Science Teacher in his district, who was named national teacher of the year by the Association for Career and Technical Education. Ms. Romano started the Nurse Aide Program at Newburgh Free Academy which now has an enrollment of over 200 students.
Superintendent Determination Option for Certain Students with Disabilities to Graduate with a Local Diploma [P-12 (A) 1]
Your Committee recommends that paragraph (12) of subdivision (d) of section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended, as submitted, effective December 12, 2017, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to ensure that certain students with disabilities who are graduating from high school in January 2018 and thereafter are aware that they may be considered an eligible student for the superintendent determination option if they meet the requirements of the proposed rule. It is also necessary to ensure that superintendents are on notice that they must, upon the written request of a parent or guardian, make a determination as to whether certain students with disabilities are eligible for a local diploma, if the student meets the requirements of the proposed rule.
MOTION FOR ACTION BY FULL BOARD
Madam Chancellor and Colleagues: Your P-12 Education Committee recommends, and we move, that the Board of Regents act affirmatively upon each recommendation in the written report of the Committee's deliberations at its meeting on December 12, 2017, copies of which have been distributed to each Regent.
MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION
Senior Deputy Commissioner’s Report – Senior Deputy Commissioner Jhone Ebert updated the Committee on the following important initiative.
Next Generation Learning Standards Conference – On November 30 the Department held a conference on Next Generation Standards: Supporting All Students. This was a one-day professional learning opportunity to strengthen theoretical and practical knowledge to implement high quality, academically rigorous standards for all New York State students. Committee members recommended that Department staff ask districts to share with us their strategies for communicating with their constituents on the new standards and their plan to implement the standards in their classrooms. Staff will provide an update at a future meeting on those communication strategies.
Smart Schools Bond Act [P-12 (D) 1] – the Committee was provided with an update on the utilization of the Smart Schools Bond Act. Staff provided background information on the Smart Schools Bond Act and the Review Board process. Discussion focused on changes in the program as a result of the 2017-18 State Budget, such as changes to the sharing calculations for nonpublic schools and expanding the share available to religious and independent schools. New guidance, as well as accompanying IT system changes are well underway to reflect the change. In addition, a supplemental $25 million in loan funds for nonpublic school devices was made available under the new program – to assist nonpublic schools in districts that had already submitted Smart Schools Plans prior to the enactment of the program changes. Department staff will continue to work with districts to ensure that the Smart Schools Investment Plans that are submitted meet the requirements of the statute. When guidance reflecting the changes made in the 2017-18 Enacted Budget is approved, staff will contact districts affected by the new law to inform them of the changes.
Minimum Instruction Requirement for State Aid [P-12 (D) 2] – the Committee was provided proposed amendments to regulations relating to the minimum instruction requirement for State Aid. Staff reviewed current statute, regulation, and guidance and provided background on the 180-day Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee held five regional meetings around the State and gathered feedback from school districts and stakeholders. As a result of these regional meetings, the Department has advanced proposed amendments to regulations that would provide school districts additional flexibility when establishing their school calendars and clarity around existing procedures relating to the scheduling of examinations, superintendent conference days, and extraordinary weather conditions. The proposed amendment will be submitted to the Board of Regents at a future meeting.