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NY Regents Cut Supports for Students Struggling Academically

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Published: 10/13/2015 1:34:00 PM

On September 16, the New York State Board of Regents voted yet again to grant school districts permission to deny extra academic supports to some students who score below proficiency on state tests and who, under state regulations, would be entitled to more help from their teachers or other qualified personnel.* Read our brand-new, user-friendly Know Your Educational Rights handout on students' right to extra support for students struggling academically: Of the 17 Regents, only three--Betty Rosa (Bronx), Judith Johnson (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties), and Catherine Collins (Buffalo)--stood up for students' rights and voted against watering down essential supports for children in need of extra help. Instead of giving school districts permission to cut supports for students in need, the Regents and New York State Education Department and should insist that academic intervention services be strengthened and expanded. And the state must take the lead in ensuring that districts have the funding they need to pay for effective academic and support services. Act Now, Before It's Too Late During a 45-day public comment period required by law, the Regents must accept input from New Yorkers on their September 16 decision. If you raise your voice now, you may persuade more of them to reconsider and thereby ensure thousands of students the extra help they need. Tell the Regents to vote against eliminating the right to academic intervention services for any student below proficiency according to state learning standards. How to Submit Your Comments to the Board of Regents Email as well as the Regent representing your district:; Call 518-474-5889 and leave a detailed message; and/or Send a letter to: New York State Education Department 89 Washington Avenue Board of Regents, Room 110 EB Albany, New York 12234 * Children who score 1s and 2s on state tests, fail one or more Regents exams, or otherwise are deemed at risk of not meeting state standards have a right to extra supports to help them progress at grade level and graduate on time. The technical term for those additional supports is "academic intervention services" (AIS), which may include tutoring, small-group instruction, or even an extra class, and/or counseling and study-skills help. Such extra help is also part of the "expanded platform of services" that the court in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) lawsuit said was necessary to provide "at risk" students a meaningful opportunity for a "sound basic education."