Happy Holidays to you and your families. Thank you to the parent teacher associations and organizations across the state, with special recognition to Kyle Belokopitsky and her team at the New York State PTA, for working to meet the needs of all students in New York. More than ever, our children need our support, and I appreciate your efforts to create vibrant and engaged school communities by investing your time, talent, and resources to support all children.
In this last letter of 2021, I have important updates to share on the following topics:
- Cancellation of January 2022 Regents Examinations
- Board of Regents State Aid Request and Budget and Legislative Priorities for the 2022-23 School Year
- Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Grants
- New York State Nominees for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
- Review of Graduation Measures in New York State
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced this week that the January 2022 administration of the High School Regents Examination Program is canceled due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic. This cancellation applies to all Regents Examinations that had been scheduled for the January 2022 Regents Examination period. Students affected by this decision will be eligible for exemptions to related Regents diploma requirements.
No decisions have yet been made about the June and August 2022 administrations of Regents Examinations or any other state assessment programs. We will continue to work with our schools, districts, and stakeholders to ensure they have what they need to provide social, emotional, and mental health supports and to meet the academic needs of our students.
Last week, the Board of Regents voted to advance a proposed $2.1 billion increase in state aid for the 2022-23 school year to support the phase in of Foundation Aid, provide supports for schools, and address longstanding inequities that have worsened during the pandemic. In addition, the Board acted on a set of budget and legislative proposals to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and enhance customer service, efficiency, and supports within NYSED for schools, families, and the public. A full description of the Board’s 2022-23 State Aid proposal, as well as the Regents 2022-23 non-State Aid legislative and budget priorities, may be found on NYSED's website.
Also last week, we were pleased to announce that NYSED awarded $13.36 million in Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) Expansion Grants to 31 school districts across the state. The grants enable school districts to increase prekindergarten availability for four-year-old students. The list of awardees may be found on NYSED's website.
Finally, NYSED continues to invite public comment on New York’s high school graduation measures. As parents and family members, you know your children best. Your feedback, opinions, and input are extremely valuable to us as we work to ensure our students are ready for college, careers, and civic engagement.
I will be in touch again in the new year. Until then, I wish you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season.
Betty A. Rosa