Three SAANYS Updates

Good afternoon.

We are writing to provide you the following three updates:

1. We have submitted a document recommending two additional provisions to the State Education Department’s ESEA Waiver Application. In it, we recommend that students who remain enrolled in school and graduate with a High School Equivalency Diploma be counted as successful completers. We also recommend that any student who remains enrolled in school and graduates with a high school diploma (or its equivalent) be counted as a successful school completer, regardless of the number of years they are in high school. Read the full recommendation by clicking here.

2. We will present testimony today at a joint meeting of the State Legislature. Read the full testimony by clicking here.

3. We are informed that by mid-February, Michael Rebell will initiate court action, similar to the CFE action in which he prevailed. Preliminary information indicates that the new actions will:
a. Identify courses of study that must be available to students, and require that the State Education Department notify districts of such requirements.
b. Provide districts with methods of improvement.
c. Establish a system of accountability for sufficient resources.
d. Ensure that all districts make services available.
e. Require that the cost study methodology be reviewed every three years.
f.  Revise the state aid formula to ensure sufficient funding, or better, for all school districts.
g. Programmatically, sufficient funding should be benchmarked against college and career readiness, all “at risk” students should have access to early education, and required education programs should include extracurricular activities/clubs and the arts.

We hope that you will find this information helpful. We will continue to keep you informed. All the best.

Jim Viola, director of government relations

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