The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Diana M. Hinchcliff


Final Review of the Regents Federal Legislative Agenda: Federal Legislation and Education in New York State, 2006


February 6, 2006


Goals 1-6






Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the final draft federal legislative agenda for 2006?


Proposed Handling


The final draft federal legislative agenda for 2006 will be discussed at full Board on February 13.


Procedural History


This document summarizes the federal legislative priorities of the Board of Regents and is brought before the Board for approval.




That the Regents approve the final draft federal legislative agenda for 2006.


Timetable for Implementation


Distribution to Congress by end of February.


Federal Legislation and Education in New York State 2006

The University of the State of New York ✦ The State Education Department ✦ Albany, New York 12234 ✦





Regents of The University

ROBERT M. BENNETT, Chancellor, B.A., M.S. ................................................................... Tonawanda
DELAIDE L. SANFORD, Vice Chancellor, B.A., M.A., P.D. ............................................. Hollis
AUL B. COHEN, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. ................................................................................. New Rochelle
AMES C. DAWSON, A.A., B.A., M.S., Ph.D. ................................................................... Peru
NTHONY S. BOTTAR, B.A., J.D. ....................................................................................... North Syracuse
ERRYL H. TISCH, B.A., M.A. .......................................................................................... New York
ERALDINE D. CHAPEY, B.A., M.A., Ed.D. ..................................................................... Belle Harbor
RNOLD B. GARDNER, B.A., LL.B. ................................................................................... Buffalo
ARRY PHILLIPS, 3rd, B.A., M.S.F.S. ............................................................................... Hartsdale
OSEPH E. BOWMAN, JR., B.A., M.L.S., M.A., M.Ed., Ed.D. .......................................... Albany
ORRAINE A. CORTÉS-VÁZQUEZ, B.A., M.P.A. ............................................................... Bronx
AMES R. TALLON, JR., B.A., M.A. .................................................................................... Binghamton
ILTON L. COFIELD, B.S., M.B.A., Ph.D. ........................................................................ Rochester
OHN BRADEMAS, B.A., Ph.D. ........................................................................................... New York
OGER B. TILLES, B.A., J.D. .............................................................................................. Great Neck

President of The University and Commissioner of Education


Deputy Commissioner for Office of Operations and Management Services


Director, Office of Governmental Relations


Federal Relations Representative


The State Education Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital sta­tus, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation in its educa­tional programs, services and activities. Inquiries concerning this policy of nondiscrimination should be directed to the Department’s Office for Diversity, Ethics, and Access, Room 530, Education Building, Albany, NY 12234.  This publication is available on the State Education Department website, This publication can be made available in a variety of formats, including Braille, large print or audio tape. Call 518-486-5644.





Table of Contents



 Introduction  ............................................................................................... 1
 No Child Left Behind Act  ...........................................................................  5
 Workforce Investment Act: An Overview  ....................................................  8
 a) Workforce Investment Act, Title I  .....................................................  9
 b) Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II  .............................  11
 c) Vocational Rehabilitation Act, Title IV  .............................................  12
 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act  ............................  15
 Higher Education Act  .................................................................................  17
 Early Childhood Education  .........................................................................  20
 Information and Cultural Resources  ............................................................  22




The Board of Regents, the University of the State of New York and the New York State Education Department

Established by the New York State legislature in 1784, the Regents of the University of the State of New York form the oldest, continuous state education entity in America. The Regents are responsible for the general supervision of all educational activities within the state, including presiding over the New York State Education Department. The mission of the State Education Department is to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all the people in New York.

The University of the State of New York (USNY) is the nation’s most comprehen­sive and unified educational system encompassing all the institutions, public and private, that offer education in the state. It consists of the State Education Department as well as all elementary, secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, libraries, museums, public broadcasting, records and archives, pro­fessions and vocational and educational services for individuals with disabilities.

The Regents identified six goals for lifelong education, encompassing infancy through senior years:

  Every child will get a good start.

  Every child will read by the second grade.

  Every student will complete middle level education ready for high school.

  Every student will graduate from high school ready for work , higher educa­tion and citizenship.

  People who begin higher education will complete their programs.

  People of all ages who seek more knowledge and skill will have the fullest opportunity to continue their education.


These goals require the partnership and collaboration of all the USNY members. They also call for a new view of federal funding—as a linked continuum of sup­port for each person throughout their life.



The Regents of the University of the State of New York form the oldest, continuous state education entity in America.


Importance of the Federal Role

The Regents believe that the federal government has a historically defined role in education that should be maintained and coordinated with state and local activities. Education is a state responsibility and a local operating function, with most funding properly coming from state and local sources. Federal funding should be a supplement directed toward specific needs, particularly to pursue equity and access.

While federal funds comprise a relatively small proportion of total education spending, they are pivotal and important resources to support the nation’s learn­ing system. Federal programs should serve special population groups such as the economically and educationally disadvantaged, people with disabilities, the gift­ed and talented, persons needing occupational education and students in high cost graduate or professional programs who are being trained for a national mar­ket. Federal programs also should recognize the pivotal role that state education agencies play in all facets of education nationwide, respect the rights of states and localities to design and manage education systems within their jurisdictions according to their own constitution or statute and provide adequate funding for administrative tasks that states and localities must complete to meet federal statutory requirements.

Federal Legislation and Education in New York State 2006, the New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department’s federal agenda, outlines the Regents legislative priorities for the second session of the 109th Congress. Its focus is on laws due for reauthorization and includes recommendations for statutory amendments to other laws to effect improved programs and services. For more information contact the State Education Department, Office of Governmental Relations at 202-659-1947 (Washington, DC) or 518-486-5644 (Albany, NY).


The 108th Congress

Congress approved and President Bush signed into law legislation that reautho­rized the federal child nutrition programs. The new law makes nutritious meals and snacks available to more children in school and in programs outside of school and in childcare, and will improve the quality of food in schools. The New York State Education Department supported expanding the Lugar pilot pro­gram for summer food programs, which Congress included.

Congress also reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The House and Senate passed legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, which includes the Rehabilitation Act and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. The bills did not go to conference.

Both chambers attempted to come to agreement on reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, the welfare reform law enacted in 1996. Congress extended the law until March 2005.

Bills were introduced in the House and Senate to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act but the Senate was unable to bring its bill to the floor.

Work on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act began in earnest in 2004 but with little progress. The House introduced and passed several bills that would affect various programs under the law. The Senate held hearings but did not act on any legislation.


Education Funding in Federal Fiscal Year 2005

The 108th Congress passed government-wide $388.4 billion omnibus spending legislation, which included $56.6 billion for the Department of Education, a $944 million increase over FY 2004. This was significantly less than the Bush administration’s request and the levels set in House and Senate bills passed ear­lier. All non-defense programs except homeland security took a 0.83 percent across-the-board cut.

Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act received significant increases but ultimately were funded at levels lower than in earlier House and Senate bills. Limiting the increases to these programs allowed Congress to restore funding to several programs that were slated for elimination, including Title V of the No Child Left Behind Act, which provides grants to states for inno­vative education programs. Title V was funded at $200 million, $97 million less than in FY 2004.

Higher education was funded at $2.13 billion, up from $2.09 billion in FY 2004. Pell grants received a small increase from $12 billion to $12.4 billion, with the maximum grant amount frozen at $4,050.

The National Endowment for the Arts was funded at $123 million, $2 million more than last year’s level. The National Endowment for the Humanities was funded at $140 million: $5 million more than the FY 2004 level.


The 109th Congress: First Session

The House and Senate both introduced legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act. The House passed its bill. The Senate bill was approved in com­mittee but not passed by the full Senate.

The five-year reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was included in the Deficit Reduction Act that was passed by the Senate chamber in December 2005 and the House chamber in February 2006. The new law significantly increases participation rates and grants the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services new authority to determine what counts as work.

President Bush’s fiscal year 2006 budget request proposed eliminating Perkins programs; however, the House and Senate committees and chambers passed reauthorization bills.

After several years of effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, some progress was made in the first session. Both the House and Senate committees passed reauthorization measures and some provisions were included in the Deficit Reduction Act approved by the Senate chamber in December 2005 and the House chamber in February 2006. Both chambers extended the remaining provisions in current law through March 31, 2006.

Head Start child development reauthorizing legislation was considered in House and Senate commmittees and passed in the House chamber. However, the Senate companion bill did not reach the chamber for consideration.



No Child Left Behind Act

Funding for No Child Left Behind in New York State

FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006

Title I                                      $1,241,954,420             $1,226,676,199             $1,212,979,524*

Total NCLB programs            $1,920,735,504             $1,871,716,956             $1,791,407,090*

* Estimate


Purpose of the No Child Left Behind Act

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) mandates educational standards and holds states, school districts and schools accountable for the performance of all stu­dents. While NCLB is not due for reauthorization until the 110th Congress, the 109th Congress should address allocation of Title I funds and accountability requirements.

Title I. Title I provides aid to improve academic achievement for disadvantaged students. Funding allocations are made according to census data. While New York will receive an overall minimal increase in its state allocation for fiscal year 2006-2007, 10 percent of the school districts in the state will lose funding, including New York City, the largest and neediest, and 75 other districts, some of which are in small cities and rural areas, according to U.S. Education Department preliminary information released on December 16, 2005.

Accountability. The New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department have historically required accountability and are strong supporters of NCLB’s requirements. The mandate that schools demonstrate adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward meeting the law’s education standards for each of several discrete subgroups of students (economically disadvantaged, major racial and ethnic groups, students with disabilities and students with limited English profi­ciency) creates differentiated challenges for schools and sometimes results in an inaccurate picture of true performance. For example, urban schools and districts that must demonstrate progress for large numbers of disaggregated subgroups can show gains in performance but still fail to meet AYP goals. Furthermore, the current accountability requirements do not appropriately assess the progress schools and districts are making with students with disabilities.


The New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department have historically required accountability and are strong supporters of NCLB’s requirements.


Regents Priorities

1.   Fully fund NCLB. Provide funding at the level authorized by the law. Funding for educational technology grants, e.g. Title II-D Enhancing Education Through Technology, should be increased to keep pace with infla­tion.

2.   Extend hold harmless. Extend the four-year grandfather provision to the basic, targeted and education finance improvement funding grants (concen­trated grants are grandfathered) to allow school districts to adjust to future reductions in funding for these essential programs.

3.   Allow longitudinal data to be used to demonstrate adequate yearly progress. NCLB Section 1111(b)(3)(B) permits longitudinal data in a state accountability system but not as a way to demonstrate AYP. Use of longitudi­nal data for the annual grade 3-8 testing that goes into effect with the 2005­06 school year will enable schools and districts to demonstrate success in closing the achievement gap by measuring the aggregate change in perfor­mance of individual students over time. Districts and schools could use this data as an alternate means to achieve safe harbor. The U.S. Education Department’s initiative to pilot growth models in 10 states is a step in the right direction (a growth model tracks the progress of individual students over time.) However, some of the conditions required for approval may limit its effectiveness. Building on these pilots, states should be permitted to use longitudinal data as an alternate means to give schools and districts credit for achieving safe harbor.

4.   Provide a flexible definition of highly qualified special education teacher. States should have the discretion to allow special education teachers and rural teachers who are highly qualified in one subject to teach other subjects when working in consultation with another teacher who is highly qualified in that subject. This would provide increased flexibility in staffing special education classes and maintain the consultation teacher model.

5.   Create accountability measures that truly assess the achievement of stu­dents with disabilities. NCLB does not take into account the range of instructional levels and abilities of students with disabilities. NCLB recog­nizes that there is a small group of students (1 percent of the total population tested) with “significant cognitive disabilities” who can be counted as profi­cient on an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. Recently proposed U.S. Education Department regulations would take into account another small group of students with disabilities (2 percent of the total population) who may take an assessment based on modified standards that reduce the breadth and depth of material at the same grade level while not precluding the student from getting a regular diploma. New York applauds the effort to allow certain special education students to be mea­sured using modified standards and assessments. However, an alternate assessment for 1percent of the population and an assessment based on mod­ified standards for 2 percent of the population still does not take into account that within the 2 percent there is a sub-group of students with signif­icant cognitive disabilities (e.g., those with mild mental retardation) who are not able to meet grade/age level expectations even with appropriate instruc­tional programs and supports. It is not reasonable to expect these students to learn at the same rate or to learn the same level of content as their non-disabled peers. Nor is it reasonable to penalize schools that cannot meet NCLB adequate yearly progress (AYP) mandates due to the disparity in special edu­cation students’ learning abilities. Therefore, NCLB should be amended to recognize student results on assessments that measure performance toward modified state standards at the student’s appropriate instructional grade level for determining AYP. Achieving proficiency on these modified standards may not lead to a regular high school diploma, especially in states like New York where there is a commitment to very rigorous general education standards for students. Funding should be provided to help states that wish to develop these assessments or modify their existing assessments.

6.     Allow students with disabilities who need more than five years to graduate to be counted as graduates. Some students with disabilities need more than the standard four years to achieve the learning standards and meet gradua­tion requirements for a regular high school diploma. In calculating Adequate Yearly Progress in state plans, allow the determination of graduation rates to include students with disabilities who graduate from a secondary school with a regular diploma within the number of years established by their Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.

7.   Oppose any programs that would divert already limited federal funds away from public schools. President Bush’s budget proposal requests $100 million for a new America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids program. Parents of stu­dents attending schools identified for restructuring under NCLB could receive up to $4,000 per child for private school tuition, fees, and transportation costs. This proposal would not strengthen low-performing schools but instead would divert critical funds from them.



Over the next 20 years, the number of workers with postsecondary skills is projected to grow only 19 percent compared to a 138 percent increase from 1980 to 2000.


Workforce Investment Act: An Overview

Context for Federal Investment in Workforce Preparation

Our nation’s workforce competitiveness is tied directly to the skills, knowledge, credentials and supports that the education and vocational rehabilitation system provides. The Workforce Investment Act, enacted in 1998, recognized the need to connect the parts of the education system that address out-of-school youth and adults (vocational rehabilitation, adult education and family literacy, Perkins postsecondary vocational and technical education) with workforce develop­ment. Changes in the economy since 1998 have created new reauthorization challenges.

Increasingly some postsecondary education is required for living wage employ­ment and careers. Over the next 20 years, the number of workers with postsec­ondary skills is projected to grow only 19 percent compared to a 138 percent increase from 1980 to 2000. Workers with postsecondary credentials are more likely to be employed than those with a high school education or less. This is especially true for African Americans and women. In 2000, 87.8 percent of workers with a college degree were employed, a 12 percent higher employment rate than for those with just a high school diploma and a 40 percent higher employment rate than for those with less than a high school education.

As globalization accelerates, the unskilled American worker is at a distinct dis­advantage and more likely to be trapped in poverty. Not only are workers with postsecondary skills more likely to be employed in a knowledge economy, they are better buffered from job loss due to global competition. A national study of unemployment trends between 1996 and 1999 found that those with less than a high school education were unemployed 47 percent longer than college educat­ed workers and those with only a high school diploma were unemployed almost

23.5 percent longer than those with at least some college (Built to Last: Why Skills Matter for Long-Run Success in Welfare Reform, Karen Martinson and Julie Strawn, April 2003).


U.S. prosperity depends on a skilled workforce and proactive support andorganization for innovation. A higher skilled workforce is only the baseline requirement for global competitiveness. The bar for skills is rising, a result of competition from lower wage but increasingly better educated workers overseas and the demands of rapid technological change at home. Responding to global competition requires integrating workforce development and education with economic development efforts to support innovation.



Adult Education in
Action in New York

Mohammad and Farida Younus spoke three languages when they arrived from Pakistan but English was not one of them. Their youngest daughter Nazish is in kindergarten. Farida: “I knew no English when I came here, not even ‘how are you?’ I took citizen­ship classes and I passed citizenship. Now I take regular classes in reading and writing.” Mohammad: “Reading and speaking English is very impor­tant in the United States. It helps you find a good job. I found a good con­struction job. I read blueprints. I understand directions. Before some­body would speak to me in English but I didn’t know English. Now, they show me the address and I drive the company truck all over four boroughs. I read the street signs; I check the maps. “ Farida: “Nazish is going to Public School 7. She wants to be a doc­tor. Before I couldn’t fill out the forms, I didn’t know the ABCs. Now I help my daughter with her homework. Before, I cried when a letter came home with my child. Who will help me read this? Now I’m proud of myself; I can read the letter. Now I’m a citizen; this is my country. If I don’t know English, how can I help my country? How can I help my chil­dren?”



Workforce Investment Act, Title I

Purpose of Title I of the Workforce Investment Act

Title I requires that each of nearly 600 local workforce investment areas in the nation develop and administer a one-stop delivery system. Federal adult educa­tion, vocational rehabilitation and postsecondary vocational and technical edu­cation programs administered by the State Education Department are mandatory partners in every local workforce investment area and expected to contribute to the shared costs of one-stop delivery centers.

The New York State Commissioner of Education is a permanent statutory mem­ber of the State Workforce Investment Board. At the local level, district managers from the Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities sit on each of the state’s 33 local workforce investment boards as do agency-designated representatives from funded adult education and family literacy programs.

Regents Priorities

1.   Provide line item funding for one-stop delivery centers. Create a discrete funding appropriation to pay for one-stop delivery centers without diverting essential state administrative dollars from other programs. If this is not possi­ble where such authority is constitutionally separate from the governor, as in New York, authorize the chief officer of the state policy-making entity consti­tutionally responsible for the administration of adult education and family literacy, vocational rehabilitation and postsecondary Perkins vocational and technical education programs to receive and distribute funding.

2.   Maintain representation by key education and vocational rehabilitation partners designated by the state education agency on local workforce investment boards. Representatives can connect Workforce Investment Act planning and system-building with the educational and vocational rehabili­tation system.

3.   Support youth councils, maintain the balance between in-school and out-of-school youth programming and simplify the eligibility determination. Either maintain current requirements for youth councils or provide state workforce investment boards with authority to determine whether and how to establish youth councils. Enable up to 70 percent of funds to be used for in-school youth and 30 percent for out-of-school youth. Either maintain this split or empower state workforce investment boards to determine the appro­priate percentage. Allow programs to use school lunch eligibility as a proxy.

4.     Support postsecondary skills for youth and adults. Connect all programming to postsecondary study so youth and adults obtain the education, credentials and supports needed for living wage employment. Expand support for Individual Training Accounts, critical to American competitiveness.







Adult Education and Family Literacy Act
(Title II of the Workforce Investment Act)

Funding for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in New York State

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

Adult Education



State Grants





* Estimate

Purpose of Adult Education and Family Literacy Act

Title II provides out-of-school youth and adults over the age of 16 with the litera­cy, English language and GED preparation instruction needed to become effec­tive workers, parents, citizens and community members.


Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in New York State

Federal funds are combined with over $100 million in state discretionary grant and state aid funds for adult education and family literacy administered by the State Education Department to support approximately 260 programs serving over 140,000 students annually. New York’s system is the most diverse in the country and includes school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), public and private postsecondary institutions, community-based organizations, lit­eracy volunteer organizations, unions and library systems.

Regents Priorities

1.   Support health literacy. Create a 5 percent set-aside and expand appropria­tions to help adults who cannot understand English at least at a high school level obtain and understand the basic information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions.

2.   Reward good performance. Target incentive grant funds to states with high performing adult education programs that display exemplary performance in meeting or exceeding core performance indicators in the National Reporting System.

3.   Expand state leadership funding. Raise the ceiling for state leadership activi­ties from 12.5 percent to 15 percent to support staff development, state coor­dination with multiple agencies, expanded use of distance learning and technology, development and assessment of research-based instruction and program development and technical assistance targeted to raising perfor­mance and accountability.

4.   Keep the current maintenance of effort requirements. This is important to New York, which uses a contact hour-based state aid formula to provide sup­port.



Federal and state funds support 260 programs and over 140,000 students.





Vocational Rehabilitation Act (Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act)


Funding for the Vocational Rehabilitation Act in New York State


                                                                        FY 2004                      FY 2005                       FY 2006
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants       
$135,187,045               $135,944,496                                           $141,341,255*

                                                                                                                                               * Estimate


Purpose of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act


Title IV empowers individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, eco­nomic self-sufficiency, independence and inclusion. Universal access, a main principle of the Workforce Investment Act, holds promise for ensuring mean­ingful participation by individuals with disabilities in the full array of workforce activities.


Vocational Rehabilitation Act in New York State


The State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) is the designated state entity for voca­tional rehabilitation and independent living services. VESID local managers participate on all 33 local workforce investment boards. VESID staff is involved in the over 70 one-stop delivery centers in the state. VESID and its network of com­munity rehabilitation providers serve more than 60,000 individuals and place over 15,000 people into employment each year.


Regents Priorities

1.   Close the employment gap. Establish a funding formula for vocational reha­bilitation that ensures adequate support for increased service demand and the need to achieve quality employment outcomes. The formula must address the inequities in the current formula by ensuring that no state receives less than a cost of living increase when the total national appropria­tion increases.

2.   Increase emphasis on transition services for youth. Improve transition ser­vices without prioritizing students with disabilities over other eligible indi­viduals. Establish a dedicated funding source for transition services reflecting a formula that supports the cost of staff and services required to provide effective transition to post-school employment.

3.   Provide more support for independent living. Increase the appropriation for the Independent Living Services program based on the Consumer Price Index to meet emerging service demands, particularly those related to the Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision and the executive order for federal agencies to review their programs and practices in light of this decision.




Vocational Rehabilitation


“This is the first time I’ve had a job with benefits!” said Richard Dieu, a data entry operator at Quest Diagnostic Labin Syosset, Long Island. He is deaf. Mr. Dieu spent years working at low paying, part-time or temporary supermarket positions because that was all he could get. VESID provided him with computer skills training, placement assistance and interpreter services while he learned his new job. Quest HR Associates says of Mr. Dieu, “He has great attendance and productivity. Someone’s life depends on his work. It’s a tough job.”

Vocational Rehabilitation Funding in Action


Marty Lewis had a long history of short-term, dead end jobs when he came to VESID. In recovery, Marty also has a permanent injury to one hand and he has had a heart attack. Labor market information indicated that Marty’s dream of becoming a welder was practi­cal and together VESID and Marty start­ed the process. He successfully complet­ed a stick-welding program. VESID and the Buffalo one-stop center assisted in placement efforts. Marty entered their on workers Local #6 apprenticeship program. VESID bought his tools and equipment and paid his union dues. He is now a proud union welder at the fed­eral building being built in downtown Buffalo.


Richard Sicignano loves science. And he loves making other people love it too. He was a geologist until a motor vehicle accident left him a C7 quadriplegic. He now uses a wheelchair and has limited upper torso and arm strength. VESID modified his van so he could work at a part-time job while recovering. Richard really wanted to get back into science and with VESID’s assistance he got his master’s degree in education. He had several job offers and elected to teach earth science and environmental science at Ossining High School. He is earning over $54,000 a year.



Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical
Education Act

Funding for Perkins Vocational Education in New York State

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

Total State




Basic Grants




Tech Prep Grants





* Estimate


Purpose of the Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act

Perkins is a significant assist to the overall goal of creating a workforce prepara­tion system that can strengthen this nation’s ability to face the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world economy. The federal government has a vital interest in the quality and availability of career and technical education (CTE), not only to address the workforce needs of the 21st century but because CTE brings relevance to learning. From middle and secondary students who want to know why they need to learn math, science and other core academics to post­secondary students seeking employment skills, CTE helps educators at every level achieve education reform goals.

A strong financial investment by the federal government is necessary to maintain quality CTE programs. While New York state invests heavily in CTE programs, federal Perkins funds allow programs to innovate and improve program quality. This has continued even though CTE has shared little in the overall increase in education funding.


Perkins in New York State

The State Education Department administers the Perkins Act and provides quali­ty, relevant and rigorous CTE programs in schools, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and postsecondary institutions as a first choice option for students to achieve state performance standards. Perkins funds both secondary and postsecondary programs. Thirty-two percent of all secondary diplomas and 30 percent of all postsecondary degrees and certificates earned at less than the baccalaureate level are CTE credentials.


Even prior to the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, New York had made great strides in raising academic standards for all students. That progress contin­ues at the secondary level with Perkins funding, providing opportunities for stu­dents to achieve high academic standards. In the 2005-2006 academic year, the State Education Department awarded $36.2 million to 79 education programs to support approximately 325,000 students, including the seven special population categories: disabled; economically disadvantaged; individuals preparing for non-traditional careers; single parents; displaced homemakers; educationally disadvantaged; and individuals with limited English proficiency. Recent data shows that 70 percent of students served by Perkins funds were members of one or more of these special populations.

At the postsecondary level, Perkins funds support a wide range of innovative activities that not only enable students to reach their career goals but also pro­vide a smooth transition from the secondary to the postsecondary levels. In the 2005-2006 academic year, the State Education Department awarded $28.9 mil­lion to 62 education programs to support 200,000 students. Recent data shows that 80 percent of students served by Perkins funds were members of one or more special populations.


32% of all secondary diplomas and 30% of all postsecondary degrees and certificates at less than the baccalaureate level are career and technical education credentials.


In 2005-06, the State Education Department awarded a total of $65.1 million to 141 education programs to support approximately 525,000 secondary and postsecondary students.


Regents Priorities

1.   Do not include Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding as part of an education block grant. Target Perkins funds to struggling students to help them achieve high academic standards.

2.   State education agencies must continue to be the administrative entities for CTE funds.

3.   Provide separate funding for secondary and postsecondary CTE. CTE remains an important strategy for ensuring academic success for many stu­dents across the K-16 system. Maintaining two funding formulas ensures that appropriate resources are made available at all levels.



Higher Education Act

Selected funding for the Higher Education Act in New York State

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

Pell Grants




Perkins Loans –




Capital Contributions




Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants




Federal Work Study




Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership




Byrd Honors Scholarships





* Estimate

Purpose of the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act (HEA) supports states’ efforts to extend educational opportunity and maintain a highly skilled workforce and citizenry. It funds: stu­dent financial assistance; early outreach and student services; teacher quality development; and strengthening postsecondary institutions and the workforce.

Higher Education Act in New York State

Each year New York’s 271 degree-granting public, independent and proprietary institutions and 356 non-degree postsecondary vocational schools serve over a million undergraduate, graduate and first-professional students. In 2003-2004, these students borrowed over $3.6 billion from HEA loan programs and received over $1.1 billion in HEA grants and work-study wages. Pell grants went to over 385,000 undergraduates—approximately 1 of every 3 at four-year colleges and universities and 1 of every 2 at two-year colleges. New York has higher rates of college participation and completion than most other states. But, family income is not keeping pace with rising tuition prices, so Pell grants and federal loans cover a shrinking share of college costs and students rely increasingly on high-cost, private loans.


HEA’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) serves youth who would not otherwise prepare for high school grad­uation and college study. In federal fiscal year 2005, New York received $7.6 million from GEAR UP for statewide and partnership projects. The HEA’s TRIO programs in New York help low-income and at-risk youth prepare for and suc­ceed in undergraduate and graduate study. But TRIO and GEAR UP do not reach all eligible students.

The HEA’s Title II teacher quality programs help teachers meet state and federal standards for preparation, certification, induction and professional development and help schools recruit highly qualified teachers. Teachers in high poverty schools and teachers of shortage subjects such as math and science rely on Title IV loan forgiveness.


In 2003, New York students borrowed over $3.6 billion from HEA loan programs and received over $1.2 billion in federal grants and work-study wages.


Regents Priorities

1.   Make college accessible for all. Title IV programs should be strengthened. Increase the maximum Pell grant to help low-income students go to col­lege. Pell grants should: provide an enhancement of up to $750 for stu­dents with negative expected family contributions; be available for year-round study at all institutions; be reduced, when shortfalls occur, only with Congress’ approval; and not be limited to a four-year period after the first award so that students who enroll part-time and receive prorated awards can complete their studies. Maintain Family Education Loans, Direct Student Loans and loan consolidation. Raise annual and aggregate limits for subsidized loans for all undergraduate, graduate and first profes­sional students. Raise authorizations for the Leveraging Educational Assistance Program (LEAP) to support need-based state grant programs such as New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Continue Title IV campus-based programs. Streamline the student aid delivery system to enable students to use a state-specific, online application for both federal and state aid. Raise authorization levels for GEAR UP and TRIO to serve more eligible low-income and first-generation college students. Need-based grants should not be reduced to fund merit-based grants.

2.   Support public school teachers, librarians and school leaders. Title II should support states and institutions of higher education that help public schools prepare, recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, professional librarians and school leaders. Title IV loan forgiveness programs should be extended and amounts forgiven should be increased. Title VII graduate education pro­grams should be aligned with Title II to address serious shortages of qualified teacher educators and enhance the qualifications of teachers in such hard-to-staff areas as mathematics, the sciences, special education and bilingual education.

3.   Expand higher education access for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are increasingly seeking postsecondary education. HEA Title IV early intervention and student assistance programs should address their needs and institutions of higher education should receive support for making reasonable accommodations.

4.     Strengthen higher education’s capacity to serve all students. Enable the National Center for Education Statistics to create a national, student-level system to track individual student progress and completion across postsec­ondary institutions and states. Reduce reimbursements that colleges must make to the federal government when students withdraw so that colleges have the resources they need to provide services to students without the threat of losing them. Maintain a limited federal role in tuition policy. Provide additional funding for public higher education institutions serving large populations of recent immigrant students. Increase financial support for older students. Expand campus-based programs such as Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Perkins loans and College Work Study.



New York State’s HEA Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant supports New York’s Teacher Recruitment Project. The project has enabled independent col­leges and universities to place approxi­mately 750 new teachers in New York City public schools in the past two years through the Teaching Fellows Program. Without HEA funds, these colleges and universities would not be able to help New York City meet its need for teach­ers in hard-to-staff subjects and schools.


HEA in Action in New York State

Quality early childhood education has been correlated with positive development of language and mathematics skills in young children and subsequent success in academic performance.


Early Childhood Education

Purpose of Early Childhood Education

Successful academic achievement for children in prekindergarten through grade 12 is linked to participation in high-quality early care and education activities. Four-year-olds who participate in high quality, developmentally appropriate prekindergarten programs are better prepared for and do better in school. Quality early childhood education has been correlated with positive develop­ment of language and mathematics skills in young children and subsequent suc­cess in academic performance. The Board of Regents will revise its early child­hood education policy paper in 2006 to reflect recent research and to be consistent with new program initiatives.


Early Childhood Education Programs in New York

New York has been viewed as a national leader in its implementation of univer­sal prekindergarten. When New York’s statute was enacted in 1997, fewer than 10 states had similar programs. Forty-six states now have some type of prekindergarten program. As a nation, we are moving toward an educational system that includes three and four-year olds.

Regents Priorities

1.   Provide universal access to prekindergarten. All four-year-olds, regardless of economic and social background, can benefit from an early start. Universally available prekindergarten ensures they have opportunities for quality early education experiences that result in enhanced readiness and greater potential for future academic success. Disadvantaged, low-income and other at-risk children especially need extra help to prepare them for gen­eral education.

2.   Ensure an available and qualified workforce. Require that early education programs, regardless of location and sponsorship, be staffed by certified teachers whose preparation has included instruction relevant to the educa­tion of very young children (birth through age 5).

3.   Provide early literacy instruction. Align early literacy instruction with states’ Reading First initiatives, ensuring that educational institutions have strong collaboration from other service providers.

4.   Create continuity of education. Align all components of early education programs, from child-focused practice to scientifically based reading initiatives, with the kindergarten and early elementary programs that children will be entering. Continuity between prekindergarten and kindergarten is especially important. Provide adequate funding for full day programming.

5.   Meet the needs of families. Ensure collaboration between child care and early education programs in ways that respond to the varied and multiple employment and care needs of students’ families.

6.   Allow flexibility to build on current efforts. This flexibility should include the authority for states to decide where the administration of the prekindergarten and early education programs will reside. Ensure that when states place the administration in other than the state education agency there are strong links between the state and local education agencies and the entities providing prekindergarten and early education programs. Extend flexibility to funding options. Allow states continued options to contract for services within the full continuum of the early education and care service delivery system.

7.   Provide adequate funding. Funding must be sufficient to support and sustain the implementation and expansion of quality programs. The funding must be predictable, thus allowing program administrators to engage in long-term, realistic and meaningful planning.

8.   Align requirements for standards, curriculum, assessment and data reporting.




New York has successfully established a state funded prekindergarten program. One hundred ninety-three districts throughout the state have implemented prekindergarten programs. The state has designed a program that flows funds through school districts and requires funded collaboration with community-based providers and that all teachers regardless of setting meet teacher educa­tion certification requirements.

Improved scores on statewide testing, increased curriculum alignment regard­less of setting, improved quality of instruction in community-based pro­grams and shared professional develop­ment among collaborative providers are evidence of success. Additionally, the prekindergarten programs have been ideal settings for integrating preschool children with special needs. A longitudi­nal study by the Rochester Children’s Project found that prekindergarten pro­grams closed the achievement gap for four year-olds.


Early Childhood Education in New York State Millions of books, serials, manuscripts, archives and other documents residing in New York state libraries, historical societies, museums and other repositories are at risk due to their physical instability, poor storage environment, use and exposure to disasters.


Information and Cultural Resources

Purpose of Information and Cultural Resources in New York

The Office of Cultural Education (OCE) comprises the State Library, the State Museum, the State Archives and the Office of Educational Television and Public Broadcasting. These institutions are responsible for increasing the knowledge and information resources of state and local governments, businesses and indi­viduals.

OCE supports research, operates programs and develops collections that serve the long-term interests of the State’s institutions and residents. The State Library, the State Archives and the State Museum provide services directly to individuals and government. OCE distributes aid to libraries and library systems, holders of histori­cally important records, local governments and public broadcasting stations and provides instructional television services through its Public Broadcasting Program.



Purpose of the E-rate Program

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required that elementary and secondary schools and libraries be offered discounted access to telecommunications ser­vices for educational purposes. Consequently, the Federal Communications Commission established the Schools and Libraries Universal Support Mechanism, popularly known as the E-rate program. E-rate is funded through the Universal Service Fund supported by a fee charged to telecommunications providers that they in turn pass along to consumers.

The E-rate program provides funding to telecommunications vendors to support discounts of between 20% and 90% to schools and libraries for telecommunica­tions, Internet access and internal connections (cabling and network infrastruc­ture needed for access by multiple users). The discount rate for each school and library depends on their rate of participation in the National School Lunch Program and their urban/rural status. Each year’s funding is capped at $2.25 bil­lion and unused fund balances can be rolled over to following years. Annual requests for E-rate funding far exceed the monies available.

The FCC in 2004 determined that the E-rate program should be subject to the Antideficiency Act. The Antideficiency Act prohibits committing funds not actu­ally accrued, so E-rate could not make funding commitments to school districts and libraries for the upcoming fiscal year.  Late last year, Congress temporarily exempted E-rate from the Antideficiency Act until December 31, 2006.


The E-rate Program In New York State

New York’s schools and libraries received $384.9 million in E-rate funds through discounts for services in 2002, $436.4 million in 2003 and almost $339.9 mil­lion in 2004. Without continued, uninterrupted E-rate funding schools and libraries, especially in rural and low-income areas, will not be able to install the technology that students, educators and library users need to access critical information.

Regents Priority

Exempt the E-rate program permanently from the Antideficiency Act. Without this exemption, the program could once again be unnecessarily disrupted caus­ing schools and libraries to delay or eliminate education technology needs.



Purpose of the USA Patriot Act

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT ACT) amended more than 15 federal statutes, including laws governing criminal procedure, com­puter fraud and abuse, foreign intelligence, wiretapping, immigration and privacy of student records. This law expanded the authority of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to gain access to business, med­ical, educational and library books, records, papers, documents and other items, including stored electronic data and communications (Section 215). It also enhanced the government’s surveillance capabilities, including wiretaps and phone devices to include Internet and electronic communications.

The USA PATRIOT Act was due to expire at the end of 2005. Lack of agreement between the House and Senate over reauthorization legislation resulted in two temporary measures to extend the law until March 10.


Since its inception in 1998, the New York State Archives has been awarded three grants for conservation treatment of the Dutch Colonial manuscripts, the Native American treaties and land papers and papers related to the American Revolution and early espionage.


The USA PATRIOT Act in New York State

Libraries served with a search warrant issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act may not disclose the existence of the warrant or the fact that records were produced as a result of the warrant. Patrons may not be told that their records were given to the FBI or that they are the subject of an FBI investi­gation.

Regents Priority

Any bill to reauthorize the USA PATRIOT Act must require law enforcement to demonstrate probable cause before obtaining business, medical, educational and library books, papers, documents and other records. The FBI should be required to obtain court approval for any search warrant. A reauthorized law should sunset no later than four years from the date it takes effect.


Information and Cultural Education Programs in New York State

The Museum and Library Services Act, reauthorized in 2003, is composed of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), Museum Services Act competitive grants and librarian recruitment. The LSTA provides formula grants to the states and competitive grants for advancing technology and networking services, digiti­zation and other leadership, research and collaborative projects. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) offers national competitive grants for recruiting librarians. Six library organizations received grants totaling $2.1 mil­lion in 2005 under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. In addition, IMLS supports the education and training of persons in library and information science, particularly in areas of new technology and other critical needs, includ­ing graduate fellowships, institutes, or other programs.

The 34-year-old Corporation for Public Broadcasting is being transformed through the transition to digital television. Stations are migrating to digital broad­casting on a schedule mandated by the Federal Communications Commission. The public broadcasting system is implementing the extraordinary promise of emerging digital technologies while addressing the daunting challenge of fund­ing them.

Libraries, museums and archives receive support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for research, education, preservation and public pro­grams. We The People is a two-year old NEH initiative to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history, culture and civics. Millions of books, serials, manuscripts, archives and other docu­ments residing in New York state libraries, historical societies, museums and other repositories are at risk due to their physical instability, poor storage envi­ronment, use and exposure to disasters. New York institutions receive over $2 million a year in state funds to preserve and make their collections accessible. Many use these funds to leverage federal monies for preservation efforts.

The New York State Archives has received more federal support than any other archives in the nation. The Save America’s Treasures program preserves national­ly significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and historic structures and sites. Since its inception in 1998, the New York State Archives has been awarded three grants for conservation treatment of the Dutch Colonial manuscripts, the Native American treaties and land papers, and papers related to the American Revolution and early espionage. Within the National Archives, National Historical Publications and Records Commission support has been the main source of funding for statewide strategic planning for New York’s historical records.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds science research and education programs. The State Museum has a long history of NSF funding for research and collections projects. NSF’s role in funding scientific research is a critical compo­nent of a healthy scientific community in New York.

Regents Priorities

1.   Reauthorize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to continue the digital conversion mandate. Harnessing the greatly expanded capacity of public broadcasting to support educational programming at all levels requires a strong CPB with predictable and consistent funding.

2.   Continue and strengthen the U.S. Education Department’s Teaching American History Grant Program, the multi-agency’s Save America’s Treasures Program and the NEH “We the People” initiative. Many studies have indicated a dismal lack of knowledge about American history among students and the need for a firm grasp on American history and government in order to function responsibly in our democracy.

3.   Fund the Library Services and Technology Act at its full authorization level to allow more libraries to improve their services to underserved communi­ties and implement new technologies.

4.     Fund the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at its full authorization level. NHPRC, the grant-making arm of the National Archives, provides critical funds that greatly expand the capacity of the State Archives and over 50 partner institutions to make historical records accessi­ble for use by teachers, students, academics, government officials, business and legal researchers and others with a host of historical information needs.