images of parents with their children
Dear Parents,

I hope you and your children are enjoying the summer. In this note, I want to update you on what we've been up to here at the New York State Education Department since school got out.

At the end of June, NYSED announced that we awarded $28.5 million in Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants to 38 school districts. The grants, newly authorized under Title IV of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), will help build state and local capacity to lift the academic achievement of students throughout the State.

These grants have the potential to make our students healthier and safer, more well-rounded, and more tech-savvy. By providing added flexibility in the use of the grants, districts are empowered to fund activities that make the most sense for their schools and students.

Through implementation of our ESSA plan and programs like our My Brother's Keeper initiative, we are working hard to realize equity for all children. The Board of Regents' and NYSED's number one priority is to bring equity in education for all children regardless of the color of their skin, zip code or economic status. That's why Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and I issued a statement last week calling on our elected officials to stop the Trump administration's repeal of Obama-era diversity guidance for schools. In New York State, we must not let the federal government's reprehensible action deter us in our work to integrate our classrooms.

Finally, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn this summer to get ideas for fun and educational summertime activities for kids in an effort to prevent the "Summer Slide." It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. As part of our #StopSummerSlide campaign, we are sharing tips, resources, activities, and events, highlighting daily themes like "Math Monday," "Where in the World Wednesday," and "Thinker Thursday." If you don't already, be sure to follow us for these tips and ideas and for our latest news.

Thanks for reading.


MaryEllen Elia