June 11, 2021
Dear Parents,
At its meeting this week, the Board of Regents unanimously elected Regent Josephine Victoria Finn to the post of Vice Chancellor. Vice Chancellor Finn, who assumed her new position on June 8, has served on the Board of Regents since 2014. Her work on the Board has always focused on empowering students from all backgrounds to visualize successful futures for themselves and to provide them with a sense of belonging and self-worth.

Vice Chancellor Finn’s unanimous election is a testament to her many accomplishments, and I look forward to continuing our work on behalf of New York’s students, educators, licensed professionals, libraries, and museums. Please join me in congratulating Vice Chancellor Finn!
Vice Chancellor Finn
Vice Chancellor Josephine Victoria Finn
Also at this week’s meeting, the Board of Regents recognized the outstanding New York State students who earned Chancellor Joseph McGovern and Regent Margaret Snow Vander Veer Scholarships; announced the winner of the “Write On, NY!” logo design contest; and honored those New York State schools that were named as U.S. Department of Education “Green Ribbon Schools.” Congratulations to all the awardees! 

The NYS Education Department (NYSED) submitted New York’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund plan to the U.S. Department of Education. As required by law, the ARP ESSER State Plan was developed with public and stakeholder input, and details how the Department intends to use the funds.

I thank all who submitted comments; your input was invaluable in developing the plan. As we look ahead to the start of school in September, the ARP ESSER funds will help us address the inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic, focusing on those students who were most impacted.

One of the inequities that has been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic is the “digital divide” that exists throughout the state. NYSED this week identified priority areas to make progress toward digital equity across the state. A new report, “Achieving Digital Equity in New York: An Outline for Collaborative Change,” compiles priorities identified at two Digital Equity Summits held earlier this year. A third Summit, scheduled for June 15, will focus specifically on digital equity issues in P-12 education.

It is imperative that we do everything possible to ensure that New York’s children have equal opportunities to connect online and receive a meaningful education. Our work to achieve digital equity must be inclusive; it requires input and effort from many sectors, including education, state and local government, business, and even from students, who are the stewards of technology and innovation.

The State Library is developing a range of programs to advance the priorities laid out in the digital equity report. These programs are part of libraries’ overall work to serve communities in creative and innovative ways.

Thank you for reading. Please be sure to sign up for our parent email list to receive these updates, and encourage other parents to do the same.


Betty A. Rosa