Big Wins for Children - But More Needs to Be Done
The Children’s Agenda applauds the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo for groundbreaking investments in child care and education in the FY 2021-22 Budget. Federal funds and increased state revenue allowed the state to fully funding Foundation Aid over the next three
years, expand Universal Pre-Kindergarten, and take significant steps to improve New York’s struggling child care system. We commend state leaders for boldly investing in these critical programs. We are also relieved that cuts to the Early Intervention (EI program) proposed by Governor Cuomo were rejected in the final budget, but deeply disappointed that important structural reforms to the Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education systems championed by the legislature were not included in the final budget agreement.
Prior to this legislative session,... Read more...
Local Spending Recommendations
for America's Rescue Plan
$1.9 billion stimulus plan designed to accelerate our nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 billion stimulus plan designed to accelerate our nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains a number of measures to provide direct relief to families, e.g. $1,400 stimulus checks to households, extended unemployment benefits and emergency housing assistance, and $5 billion for federal food aid. The pandemic recovery is addressed with $160 billion for vaccine distribution, supplies, emergency response, testing and the public health workforce.
A significant portion of ARPA funds are directed to children and families through provisions that include ... Read more...
What Child Abuse Prevention Month Means
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Particularly when it comes to physical and sexual abuse, it is a deeply upsetting topic, and so much easier to avoid or ignore. That’s despite the unignorable fact that statistics reliably find that 1 out of every 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
Most often, child abuse is perpetrated by someone in a child’s life in close and regular proximity, a trusted family member and/or authority figure with power over the child. That awful fact hits home – once again (and again and again) – by the recent local and national news prompted by the courage of at least nine boys who disclosed abuse during their school day by the principal of Hilton’s Northwood Elementary School.
This story would have never seen the light of day if not for ... (Read more)
Rochester City School District Budget
What a difference a year makes
Last year the Rochester City School District (RCSD) spent all of its savings, needed a $35M loan from the state to make payroll, closed 5 schools and 2 programs, eliminated hundreds of positions, and suspended in-person learning due to COVID-19. Now the RCSD is committing to reopening schools 5 days a week in September, and is flush with cash:
- $90M projected fund balance at the end of the 2020-21 school year
- $83.9M increase in State Aid over 2020-21, including a commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid in 3 years
- $23M in leftover CARES act funding (First Stimulus)
- $87.1M in CRRSA (Second Stimulus)
- $197M in ARPA (Third Stimulus)
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remake education in Rochester.
What a Difference a Year Makes
Join The Children’s Agenda for a community forum on reimagining education in Rochester on Monday, May 3rd at 6:30pm. Learn about how this money may be spent and help develop a community agenda for supporting our students.
Did you know...
Only 46% of English Language Learners (ELLs) graduated last year across NYS? This was a significant increase over 2018-19 (39%). ELLs are a growing population of students from non-English speaking countries and communities. These students overwhelmingly come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds (87%) and are some of the most vulnerable to dropping out of high school.
What are the unique barriers these students face? What can be done to remove those barriers? You are invited to attend an important event to find out:
Barriers to ELL Graduation Forum
Tuesday, April 27th at 7pm
Register using the links below:
This is a free virtual event offering Spanish translation. The forum is co-hosted by The Children’s Agenda, Mid-West Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN), and Ibero-American Action League.
Relief. Now, Onto Justice
A conviction in the murder of George Floyd is a tremendous relief when compared to the alternative. We hope that the Floyd family, including his 7 year-old daughter Gianna, growing up now without her father, can find a measure of peace in the verdict.
But millions of people around the world didn’t march after George Floyd’s murder just for a particular verdict. Individual trials don’t break systems of oppression. And history is replete with an overwhelming number of failures in our criminal justice system and from other trials that resulted in different outcomes, where structural racism reigns sovereign and with impunity. That has been the fuel for change since... Read more...
A Tribute to Peter Oddleifson
The Children’s Agenda is sad to say goodbye to a close friend of the organization who passed away last month. As the first chair of our Board of Directors when The Children’s Agenda formed in 2004, Peter Oddleifson brought legal expertise and unflagging dedication to seeing the lives of Rochester’s children improve, particularly the most vulnerable.
As a Presbyterian, Peter was a “mensch” in the Jewish tradition to The Children’s Agenda: a person who demonstrates righteousness – literally the fulfillment of all “legal and moral obligations.” Peter helped to ensure that the organization wasn’t just founded on a firm legal basis, but also helped shape many of the founding principles that have served us so well ever since. And as with all the causes he championed together with his wife Kay, including racial justice, LGBTQ equality, and caring for children, Peter’s commitment went above and beyond any particular role or project or task. It was part of his identity as a kind, strategic, generous and warm human being.
Most recently, Peter and Kay hosted a “friendraiser” for The Children’s Agenda 3 years ago, opening up their home to some 50 donors and supporters to learn more about us and our work changing systems for children. We will miss Peter’s help, wisdom, and his unfailingly positive and supportive presence. But we will carry on his work on our own. Our heart goes out to Kay and their family.
Jen Cathy - Edward & Verna Gerbic Family Foundation - Richard Kreipe - Sarah Mittiga
Want to give TCA a head start on our mid-year appeal? Make a donation today to support our efforts to help children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.
The Children's Agenda
1 S. Washington Street
Rochester, NY 14614