ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Education Department is seeking input from statewide residents to help develop elementary and secondary school emergency relief plans.
On May 17, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rose announced that NYSED has opened a platform to seek public input in developing New York’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund plan.
According to Rosa, this plan will detail NYSED’s intentions for the use of federal funding, as required by the U.S. Department of Education.
“The Department has engaged in meaningful and ongoing public engagement throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Building upon that existing work, we now seek public input to ensure that the needs of our students and communities are met through this much-needed funding.”
Adding, “schools and districts now have additional resources to address learning loss and the impact of the pandemic on all our children – especially our low-income students, students with disabilities, English Language Learners and students who are homeless.”
ARP ESSER Fund is authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allocated $9 billion in funding for New York State. NYSED stated that will aim to support schools in safely reopening and sustaining safe operations, while meeting academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
To receive funding, NYSED is required to incorporate public input into the state’s ARP ESSER plan.
The Department will be required to describe how input was included from various stakeholders, including students, families, Native American Nations, civil rights organizations, school and district administrators, superintendents, charter school leaders, teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.
NYSED is asking these stakeholders to visit the ThoughtExchange platform to submit thoughts and concerns on the following questions:
As we prepare for the next school year in New York State, what are the most important academic, social emotional, and/or mental health supports for schools to provide to serve all students (i.e., general education students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and other students most impacted by the pandemic)?
The deadline for response submission is Monday, May 24, 2021. All responses recieved by the deadline will be reflected in the final ARP ESSER plan.
NYSED will submit its plan to the United States Department of Education by June 7, 2021.