In 2024, New York state must:
Invest in community schools ($100 million in categorical aid)
A positive school climate begins with the investment in strategies that work. Community schools are a proven-to-work strategy that helps foster positive school climate and student success. Many school districts are implementing this strategy to bring resources and services to schools that address students’ needs. New York State currently invests $350 million in community schools, with $250 million as a set aside within the Foundation Aid funding that schools receive. The state must ensure that community schools have their own separate funding stream, in the form of categorical aid so that school districts can implement and maintain community schools effectively.
End the school-to-prison pipeline
The research is clear that suspensions and more policing does not increase safety or foster any kind of positive school climate. The Solutions Not Suspensions Act (A.5691/ S.1040) is designed to reduce the over-reliance on suspensions and promote alternative approaches to handling students’ misbehavior.
Lastly, following the guidance of the State Board of Regents and Attorney General Tish James in ensuring that dignity, respect and inclusion is at the center of the practices that school districts implement. Ensuring that curriculum and practices are based on cultural responsiveness, is one of the ways to create a positive learning environment.
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