New York State Education Department_ Knowledge_ Skill_ Opportunity
News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

Happy Holidays! As we reach the end of an eventful year, I'd like to wish you, along with your students and your families, a safe and happy holiday season and the very best possible New Year. Thank you for your continued commitment to improving education in New York State and for all you do every day to help students achieve success in school and in life.

In this edition of News and Notes, I provide updates related to the following:

MaryEllen Elia
saRegents Advance 2018 Budget and Legislative Priorities and State Aid Request

smiling student at desk holding pencil
This week, the Board of Regents advanced its 2018 budget and legislative priorities and state aid request for the 2018-2019 school year. The Board called for continuing to phase in Foundation Aid and proposed a $1.6 billion increase in Foundation Aid and statutory reimbursement-based aids and to support English language learners, career and technical education programs and universal prekindergarten programs. The Board's State Aid Sub-Committee is co-chaired by Regents Beverly Ouderkirk and Nan Eileen Mead.

The Regents propose $1.25 billion in aid formula increases, $314 million in statutory reimbursement-based aid increases, $25 million for CTE program expansion and $20 million for UPK program expansion.

In addition, the Board advanced funding proposals to increase equity for all students, implement recommendations of the Board of Regents Early Childhood Workgroup's Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC), implement the state's Every Student Succeeds Act plan and increase efficiencies for the State Education Department and school districts.
swdRegents Expand Safety Net Option for Students with Disabilities to Earn Local Diploma

several rolled up diplomas in students_ hands
This week, the Board of Regents adopted regulations to expand the criteria under which students with disabilities may be eligible to graduate high school with a local diploma Some students with disabilities are unable to demonstrate proficiency on standard State assessments, even with testing accommodations. State regulations therefore provide several "safety net" options for these students to graduate with a local diploma, including the superintendent determination option.  To be eligible for the superintendent determination option, a student with a disability must meet certain conditions that are defined in State regulations.  The amendments to the superintendent determination option will be in effect for students seeking to graduate in January 2018 and thereafter.
ecBoard of Regents Early Childhood Workgroup's Blue Ribbon Committee Presents Budget Recommendations

three young children together at a table
This week, members of the Board of Regents Early Childhood Workgroup's Blue Ribbon Committee presented budget recommendations to the full Board for consideration and inclusion in the Board's 2018-19 Budget Request. The recommendations, which total $37 million for the 2018-19 State Fiscal Year, have been thoughtfully prepared and reflect the constraints of the current fiscal climate. These recommendations will help frame the Board's discussion in the coming weeks and months on how to improve outcomes for New York's youngest learners and how to ensure they are ready for kindergarten and beyond.
pRegents Adopt New Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

group of administrators studying together
This week, the Board of Regents took action to improve principal preparation and practice in New York by adopting the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSELs). The new standards have a greater focus on equity and culturally responsive practices and are more in line with the day-to-day responsibilities of the modern day principal. Adoption of the 2015 PSELs is part of NYSED's larger effort to improve principal development and support as part of the Principal Preparation Project.
mbkMBK Community Network Reaches More Than 20 Communities

student sitting outside on steps
In November, the  New York State My Brother's Keeper Community Network  reached a significant milestone and now includes more than 20 member communities. The program recently added connections with Poughkeepsie and East Ramapo, the 20th and 21st communities to join the growing initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.
psNYSED Announces Nominees for 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

high school students in graduation caps and gowns
Last month, NYSED announced that 25 New York State high school seniors have been nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program . The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students. Every year, one young man and one young woman from each state are named as Presidential Scholars. A list of the New York State Presidential Scholars nominees is available in our news release.
nysssaNYSED Encourages Students to Apply for the 2018 New York State Summer School of the Arts

NYSSSA orchestra rehearsal
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018 New York State Summer School of the Arts  (NYSSSA). NYSSSA provides over 400 of New York's most talented students the opportunity to study with professionals in the visual and performing arts. Students in grades 8-12 throughout New York State are encouraged to apply to one of seven schools: Theatre, Ballet, Modern Dance, Orchestral Studies, Choral Studies, Visual Arts, or Media Arts. Auditions begin in January and will be held across the state. A  schedule of audition sites and application materials   are available at the NYSSSA website.
srState Archives Student Research Awards Contest

student sitting in front of a stack of books in library
The New York State Archives invites students statewide to enter the  28th Annual Student Research Awards Contest . The contest is open to all New York State students in grades 4-12 who use historical records in their research projects. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2018. Three awards will be presented in the Fall of 2018.

stNYSED Awards $4.76 Million for Four Smart Transfer Early College High School Programs

group of happy high school students sitting together outside

NYSED awarded $4.76 million in grants to four recipients (two school districts and two colleges) for the  Smart Transfer Early College High School Program . Grant recipients are Bard College, Cohoes City School District, Greece Central School District, and Schenectady County Community College (SUNY SCCC). The Smart Transfer Early College High School grants will support partnerships between public school districts and eligible institutions of higher education to offer historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students the opportunity and support to complete college early. The program also allows students to transfer to a partner four-year institution of higher education where they will continue to complete a bachelor's degree within two years. Funding for this initiative was first included in Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive budget in 2016.
pssNYSED Identifies 27 Schools to Be Removed from Priority School Status

school building

NYSED recently announced that 27 schools in four districts will be removed from Priority School status . The 27 schools met the criteria for removal from   Priority School status  based upon their 2015-16 and 2016-17 progress in improving state assessment results for students. One   school  each will be removed from  Priority School status  in  Albany City Schools Buffalo Schools , and Wyandanch. The remaining 24 schools being removed from Pri ority status are in New York City Department of Education.