NY Legislative Updates

Legislation proposed by Senator John Flanagan and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan would make some changes to the recently passed education laws. But while these legislators (and various journalists) assert that the changes are significant, the fact is that the bill is little more than a diversion to make it appear that they are responding to the outcry from voters who feel betrayed by their approval of the budget, while not actually accomplishing very much.

Some of the positives of the bill include releasing more test questions and answers, and releasing them sooner  – as well as a requirement that NYSED investigate the quality of state administered tests. A few steps in the right direction, but not really very meaningful.

But what’s being talked about most is that the bill would extend the deadlines for the Regents to adopt regulations and for school districts to revise their APPR plans based on those new regulations (currently July 1, and November 15 respectively). One good thing about this is that it would allow for a public comment period, which the current schedule does not. However, while it adds as much as 45 days to the Regents’ schedule, it only pushes back the deadline for schools by one month, effectively giving schools even less time to develop new plans. It also could have the effect of reducing the push for extending the deadline to September 2016.

What is most dangerous about this bill is it leaves intact all of the detrimental changes brought about by the new laws but gives the appearance that problems are being fixed. It gives cover to politicians, while attempting to divide parent-teacher coalitions.

Please let your legislators know that they should reject “S5124-2015” and instead pass real legislation that undoes the damage inflicted by the Governor’s anti-public school budget.

To make it simple, you can use this form. The form letter that is there does not specifically mention S5124-2015, but you can easily add that in.

If you’d rather call or write a letter on your own, remember that you can find contact info for our elected officials on our political action page.

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