Progress for Kids at State Level
Thanks to you, 6,000 members of our online Advocacy Network, and coalitions of dozens of organizations statewide, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed five important bills supporting our community’s children. The Children’s Agenda advocated for them all in visits to legislators with parents directly affected by the issues, data analysis, testimony at hearings, and hours on Zoom calls strategizing with our advocacy partners. Now we are counting on (and advocating for) Governor Cuomo to sign all five into law, including:
- Child Poverty Reduction Act (A1160-C/S2755-C) makes New York the first in the nation to formally establish a state goal to cut child poverty in half in ten years, calling out the policy options and establishing the accountability measures to support reaching the goal. You can urge the Governor to sign this into law by clicking here.
- Covered Lives for Early Intervention (A5339/S5560-A) establishes a new $40 million revenue stream to expand timely access to Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities.
- Preschool and School-Age Special Education School Payment Parity (A8013/S6516-A) ensures children with developmental delays or disabilities receive rate increases for their education commensurate with the level of support for public schools in the annual state budget.
- Child Care Availability Task Force (A7721-A/S7128). Extending the Task Force allows The Children’s Agenda and other advocates to monitor the implementation of its recommendations and the state’s use of the landmark federal stimulus funds.
- Child Care Direct Deposit Bill (A5840-A/S5162-A). The direct deposit helps modernize provider payments without unnecessary delays and likely saves counties money in administration.
Medicaid, maternal and child health funding: Also of note is that New York State Medicaid has agreed to fund the expansion of home visiting screens for mothers and newborns in Monroe and Chemung counties. Our regional funding arm for Medicaid reform, the Finger Lakes Performing Provider System, will also likely fund expansion of maternal and child health programs locally, too.
Please take action to urge Governor Cuomo to sign these bills into law. We are deeply grateful to you for speaking up for children and youth, who depend on all of us to be their voice in Albany.
Assemblymember Harry Bronson speaks at a press conference celebrating the passage of the Child Poverty Reduction Act in the NYS Legislature
Children’s Agenda Analysis of Rochester City Budget
Our community wants to support our youth's social-emotional, mental and physical health. We need more transparency and accountability in City decisions.
While pandemic restrictions are slowly being lifted and many Rochester residents are returning to some sense of normalcy, the healing from losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has just begun.
Recovery Context for City Children
- As a result of the loss of employment and reduction of hours for adults, approximately 10,000 children in Monroe County were newly entered into or were considered near poverty in June 2020.
- Rochester (like every other district) saw significant declines in enrollment in pre-K education during the time of remote learning. As reported by RCSD staff in the Early Childhood Department, pre-K enrollment in 2020-2021 is down by about 1,000 children. Additionally, 500 -700 5-year-olds who would normally be enrolled in and attending kindergarten are unaccounted for.
- The estimated days of learning lost in RCSD were, on average, 124 school days in English and 230 school days in Math. It is important to remember that these estimates are only for the impact of school disruption from March -June 2020. They do not account for the impact of remote and hybrid learning from September 2020–present.
Read the Executive Summary of our Analysis
Community Collaborates on Recommendations to Reshape RCSD Education
The Rochester City School District (RCSD) has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape education in Rochester. There is $313.2 million in stimulus money coming to RCSD between the three relief packages passed by the United States Congress. This money can be truly transformational if it is used to address the long-standing needs of students and families.
The Children’s Agenda has submitted a letter to RCSD’s board and administration with recommendations for how the money must be spent. This letter was developed in collaboration with all three districtwide parent groups, the Parent Leadership Advisory Council, Special Education Advisory Council, and Bilingual Education Council; with two youth-led groups, Teens With Attitude and Teen Empowerment; and our community partners at Action for Education Equity, Action for a Better Community, Alliance for Quality Education, Citizen Action of NY, Greater Rochester After-School and Summer Alliance, Great Schools 4 All, IBERO American Action League, The Education Trust NY, and Urban League of Rochester.
The letter may be viewed here. The RCSD is still collecting feedback for how the stimulus money should be spent. Submit feedback using this link. A plan for the stimulus money will be posted on RCSD’s website by July 1st, 2021.
Pride (and Affirmation) Saves Lives
Happy Pride Month! All of us draw strength from our sense of self – who we are, where we belong, what drives us, and what makes us uniquely ourselves. That sense of personal identity is what comprises our relationships, and our relationships are what comprise our sense of personal identity -- all our beliefs, and all our actions.
For children and youth still developing physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially, nothing is more fundamental to a sense of personal identity than sexual orientation and gender expression. The social signals children get about their identity, particularly from close family and friends, but also from the worlds of schools, sports, religion, medicine, popular culture, public authority figures, the news (etc.), can either support or... (Read more)
Earlier this month, our community lost an inspirational leader and friend to children, Sandy Parker.
Sandy, who served on The Children's Agenda's Board of Directors from 2015 to 2017, was best known for her role as the president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance.
Sandy was a tireless champion for the Rochester community and will be deeply missed.
Lisa Cauda - Jen Cathy - Carl Hoffman and Betsy Naumburg - Richard Kreipe - Sarah Mittiga
Sustaining the work we do together is only a click away. Making a monthly donation to The Children's Agenda supports 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
If you believe you received this message in error or wish to no longer receive email from us, please (Unsubscribing is not supported in previews).