A meeting of the New York State Board of Regents’ P-12 Education Committee was held on the morning of Monday, December 9. Attendees included Committee members, New York Charter Schools Association staff, NYSED staff, and various presenters.

Updates

The meeting began with a video and presentation about Teacher Opportunity College (TOC) at Columbia University. This program serves as a pipeline for teachers from underrepresented backgrounds in NYC. The video, along with additional program information, can be found here.

 

Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Committee Workforce Focus Group Update

In September of 2018, the Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Committee made its final report and presented 18 recommendations to strengthen comprehensive services for children, families, the early childhood workforce, statewide supports and infrastructure. The early childhood workforce priority became a focus group for 2019, supported by a grant from the National Association of State Boards.

The focus group recommendations are:

  • Birth to grade 3 teacher preparation collaborative
  • Birth to grade 12 leader preparation advanced certification
  • A more holistic approach to teacher preparation that allows overlap between previously siloed age-based education organizations and preparation programs

The 2020-2021 budget implications are $2.5 Million in funding which will establish:

  • Research-based, innovative, high-quality Birth to grade 2 teacher preparation model programs 
  • Birth to grade 12 leader preparation model programs 
  • Staff costs to implement these programs

This discussion was positive overall and did not criticize the proposals presented.  

 

Proposed Amendment of Sections 135.1 and 135.4 of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to Extended Eligibility for Participation in Inclusive Athletic Activities

Proposal recommended changing the duration of the competition rule for students participating in unified sports (inclusive athletics). The existing regulations curtails student eligibility to 4 years or until they are 19. This does not account for students with disabilities that play unified sports. Oftentimes, students that have disabilities stay in school until they are 21. It is necessary to change the duration of completion so these students may continue to play unified sports if they stay in school past 4 years or the age of 19.

Approval of this proposal was unanimous.

 

Charter Schools: Initial Applications Authorized by the Board of Regents

By law, the Regents and SUNY are required to do an annual RFP.  SED’s process focuses on schools’ commitment to equity and access, a robust plan for supporting all learners, a deep understanding of teacher certification requirements and strong commitment to community engagement and community support.  As a result of this rigorous process, the acceptance rate is very low. In order for a school to be recommended to the Regents, a school must meet or exceed all of these standards.

In total, 23 total schools applied. Only 8 were invited to submit a full application. Of the 8, only 4 were invited to Albany to meet with the application review teams. Of those 4, only 2 were approved on December 9, 2019, both of which are located in Buffalo.

Congratulations to:

  • Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School II
  • Primary Hall Preparatory Charter School

The discussion of these approvals focused on charter caps and educational performance. 

 

Proposed Amendments to Sections 156.1, 156.2, 156.3, 156.4, 156.5, and 156.12 of the Commissioner’s Regulations Relating to Pupil Transportation

The committee discussed updating the regulations pertaining to pupil transportation to align to current policies and procedures of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and the New York State Department of Transportation relating to pupil transportation.

A determination was made to increase pre-service training for drivers on child management over and above the commercial driver’s licence that bus drivers are required to have.  Also some changes were discussed relating to procurement.

A question was raised regarding background checks, which were confirmed to be required. 

 

We look forward to bringing you summaries of meetings of the Regents’ P-12 Education Committee in the months ahead.