New York State School Boards Association

Call to Action: Urge Congress to Invest in Public Education

April 25, 2017

Members of Congress return to Capitol Hill this week with the priority of passing an appropriations bill to fund federal programs, including education, for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year. Congress has four days to pass legislation to ensure federal investments in education continue uninterrupted, as the current funding measure expires on April 28. This is the time to contact your Members of Congress and urge them to pass an appropriations bill that prioritizes $35 billion in investments for education programs that support our nation's 50 million public school students.

There is no time to waste. Urge your congressional representatives to:

  • Pass a funding measure for the remainder of FY2017 and FY2018 that will maximize PreK-12 education investments.
  • Prioritize funding for special education (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to support the more than 6 million students with special needs in our public schools.
  • Sustain investments in Title I grants under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support disadvantaged students and help advance the range of choices that our public school districts offer to 90 percent of our nation's students.

Follow the link below to send a letter urging Congress to invest in public education:

NYSSBA Sets Initial 2018 Federal Budget Priorities

While Congress is working on a spending plan for the final months of the 2017 federal fiscal year, work is already underway on the 2018 budget proposal. The congressional proposal is slated to be released in the next month. Last week, NYSSBA sent a letter to both of New York's Senators, as well as our congressional delegation, outlining priority items for their consideration in formulation of their budget proposal. The letter can be viewed using the link below.

OMH Announces Availability of Stigma Reduction Grants

The New York State Offices of Mental Health is making available funding for projects to promote programs to reduce stigma associated with mental health issues. For 2017, OHM has approximately $75,000 available for this year. The maximum award to any one agency will be $5,000.

In order to be considered, projects need to address one or more of the goals below:

  • Housing - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in housing which keep people with mental illness from obtain safe affordable housing.
  • Employment - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in the workplace that make it difficult for persons with mental illness to find and keep meaningful jobs.
  • Education - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in schools that interferes with the ability of students with mental illness to fully participate in the educational environment.
  • Parenting - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals with mental illness who are also parents.
  • Media - Activities intended to combat the stigma, discrimination, and negative stereotypes in the media. This could also include social media.
  • Health Care - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in the health care system that leads to people with mental illness not receiving certain types of health care that they need.

The Office of Mental Health will collect proposals until May 10, 2017, with grant distribution expected in July. Any questions can be directed to Joseph Swinford by email or phone (518) 473-6579.

Mental health issues have been growing in the school setting. To help districts navigate this complex topic, NYSSBA has partnered with a number of other associations and agencies to host a summit on the topic.

Your Role in Addressing the Growing Mental Health Crisis Among Students
May 20, 2017
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Latham, NY 12110

Registration is open now, and can be accessed below.

For more information, visit our Key Issues Page, and be sure to follow NYSSBA on Facebook and Twitter.

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