The Board of Regents held its monthly meeting on April 11-12, 2022, which included agenda items on the enacted budget, revised standards timeline, regulations on remote instruction, and others as highlighted below.
Discussion Items for Full Board
2022-23 Enacted Budget
– Foundation Aid – $1.57 billion
– Expense-based aid – $455 million
– Expense-based enhancements – $2.5 million
– Pre-kindergarten expansion – $125 million. 29 school districts will be eligible for funding.
– Provides a 3% minimum increase for all schools regardless of save-harmless status.
– $100 million in mental health grants with a match requirement, which may come from local, state, or federal funds.
– Requires all new school buses to be zero emissions by 2027 and by 2035 all school buses will need to be zero-emission buses. Leasing terms are increased to 12 years.
– $18 million for My Brother’s Keeper.
– $40.5 million for state-supported and state-operated schools
– $21.5 million for the Science and Technology Entry Program.
The board discussed these highlights and was very pleased with the enacted budget. Some disappointment was expressed on the minimal funding for the arts and the board indicated a need to revisit this area in the context of DEI.
Standards Implementation Update
SED and a series of guests provided a comprehensive overview of the implementation of the Next Generation Standards. The first point of information was a presentation on the revised schedule for implementation. Full implementation is anticipated for 2025 with phase-in dates having occurred already. The presentation discussed the involvement of partners across the state and the abundant resources available to educators.
The members of the board raised many questions as to how SED will monitor implementation and alignment of the Next Generation Standards. The response by staff primarily discussed the importance of local-level implementation, which will rest in part on the strategy used by SED to engage stakeholders. Deep engagement is necessary to ensure that the standards penetrate across the state to the instructional level. Many guests discussed how they were using the new standards in their districts and how much work has been done with teachers. Another discussion focused on parent engagement and how to shift the work to give parents an understanding of the standards and their impact on their children.
Graduation Measures Initiative Update
This report provided an update on the status of the regional meetings and next steps. There have been over 30 regional meetings with hundreds of participants. The regional meetings are now concluded and the responses to both the meetings and the Thought Process digital platform are being summarized and are anticipated to be completed by the end of the summer of 2022. Initial responses from students indicate a desire to have multiple ways to be assessed and show learning. Responses from the Thought Process questions indicate that the respondents thought it important for students to be able to think creatively and be prepared for life experiences (financial management, solving problems, civics, community experience, and career information).
P-12 Regulatory Actions
Proposed Regulations on Remote Instruction
Proposed regulations instituting the use of remote instruction on days that would otherwise be school closures due to emergencies were introduced to the board. These days will count toward the required minimum instructional days. The proposed regulations require school districts to amend their school safety plans beginning with the 2023-24 school year to include a process for remote instruction. The plans would require: addressing internet access, instruction for students requiring special education or related services, and the submission of a report on student access to computing devices.
Registration Requirements for Residency Programs
School districts and teacher preparation programs have shown increased interest in the establishment of teacher residency programs. The proposed amendments detail registration requirements for teacher preparation programs that choose to include a residency in their program in lieu of a student teaching, practicum, or similar clinical experience.
State Assessment Workgroup
The board established a special workgroup to examine various dimensions of assessments. At this meeting of the Board of Regents, the workgroup examined the role of field tests. The presentation focused on the definition of field test, the rigor of field test questions, and the necessity of field tests in relation to the NYS state assessment program. Most of the field testing in NYS is accomplished by using short field test forms. In 2016, NYS started to embed limited numbers of multiple-choice field tests in the 3-8 ELA and Math tests. In part, the purpose of field tests is to identify flaws in questions and examine the sensitivity of language used in the questions. As NY has a limited supply of test items for future tests, a robust test bank is necessary, and the field test process is an integral part of this process.