January 22, 2021
Dear Parents,
Chancellor Young
At its meeting last week, the Board of Regents elected a new Chancellor, Dr. Lester W. Young, Jr., the first African American to serve in this position. Chancellor Young, who assumed his new post on January 12, has more than 50 years of experience in public education and has served on the Board of Regents since 2008. His unmatched expertise, knowledge, and passion will benefit all New Yorkers as he leads the Board of Regents to advance educational equity for all children.

I have worked with Chancellor Young for many years in our various roles in New York City and on the Board of Regents. The Board is fortunate to have him as its leader, and I look forward to our partnership as he begins his new role. Please join me in congratulating Chancellor Young!

Last week, NYSED also released graduation rates for the 2016 cohort, those students who first entered 9th grade in New York’s public schools in 2016. The overall August graduation rate increased to 84.8 percent, up 1.4 percentage points from 83.4 percent for the 2015 cohort. The 2016 cohort graduation rate is 8 percentage points higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2007 cohort graduation rate was 76.8 percent. For more specific data points and for school- and district-level graduation data, visit NYSED's public data website. A PowerPoint presentation with additional data is also available.

This week, Governor Cuomo advanced the 2022 Executive Budget proposal. While understanding the current fiscal realities our state is facing, we cannot balance the state budget on the backs of our students by forcing school districts to use federal funding to fill the holes left in their budgets by a decrease in State Aid. As we laid out in our Budget and Legislative Priorities, we are profoundly opposed to federal funds being used to replace state dollars to support our schools. 

It is vital that the Biden administration and our Congressional delegation provide fiscal relief to help school districts meet the myriad of challenges which have led to enormous additional costs for school districts.

We are committed to ensuring that all young people in New York State have access to a high-quality education, and we will continue to advocate for the funding that is necessary for our schools to help young people succeed and thrive. Read the entire statement from Chancellor Young, the Board of Regents, and me on the Governor's Executive Budget proposal.

Please be sure to sign up for our parent email list to have these updates delivered directly to your inbox, and encourage other parents to do the same. Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to your children’s education.


Betty A. Rosa
Interim Commissioner