Politico 6/9/16: Plan for ER Monitor Veto Power Still Being Discussed

POLITICO New York

Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 4:53 PM

Plan to give East Ramapo school monitors veto power still up for discussion

By Keshia Clukey06/09/2016 04:50 PM EDT

ALBANY – A plan to give a state-appointed team of monitors veto power over the East Ramapo school district could be included in the omnibus “big ugly” bill that concludes the legislative session, a Rockland County lawmaker told POLITICO New York on Thursday.

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, who represents East Ramapo, attended a meeting Thursday afternoon with the leaders of the State Assembly and Senate in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Two other Rockland County lawmakers, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, a Democrat, and Sen. David Carlucci, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, also attended.

Jaffee would not discuss details of a potential deal involving the school district, but said she was “very optimistic.”

East Ramapo schools have suffered deep cuts to programs and staffing at the hands of the school board, which is controlled by the area’s Orthodox Jewish community whose members send their children to private yeshivas. State leaders and advocacy groups have accused the board of making decisions that favor private school students at the expense of public school children, many of whom are low-income, have disabilities or are immigrants who don’t speak English.

It’s been nearly a year since the State Education Department put in place a team of monitors to oversee the district and help it to turnaround.

The district, under new superintendent Deborah Wortham, has set a new, transparent set of priorities and enhanced relationships with key members of the community, the monitors have said. The state budget also includes $250,000 to maintain the monitor team through the 2016-17 school year.

Advocates, the state Board of Regents and the monitors have recommended giving the team additional powers.

A bill in the Assembly , sponsored by Jaffee, would give the monitors the ability to override the school board or superintendent. Legislation allowing for veto power passed the Assembly last year but failed to make it to a vote in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan in January said he opposed the measure.

ELC 6/9/16: Alliance for Quality Education Files Amicus Brief in NYS Appeal v. Teacher Tenure

Education Law Center

ADEQUATE SCHOOL FUNDING KEY TO EFFECTIVE TEACHERS IN NEW YORK’S POOR SCHOOLS

June 9, 2016

The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) has filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of New York teachers and their public schools in a pending appeal of two consolidated lawsuits. The lawsuits are a copycat of a California case that unsuccessfuly attempted to link laws governing tenure, layoffs and other work rules with school district retention of ineffective teachers and a violation of state constitutional rights.

The AQE brief also brings to the court’s attention the solid and overwhelming evidence – ignored by the lawsuits – connecting inadequate school funding to the lack of qualified teachers and other essential resources in New York public schools.

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NY Daily News 5/30/16: 14 Years Later Marks End of Ground Zero Cleanup

14 years later, another memorial: Marking the anniversary of the end of post-9/11 Ground Zero cleanup and recovery efforts

Thousands breathed it in

Headlines capture speculation about Saudi Arabia’s possible involvement in 9/11 terrorist attacks, while a confirmed act of treachery affects the lives of over 72,000 World Trade Center Registry enrollees.

I was talking with my lawyer, who represents thousands of 9/11 victims, in April. “They knew,” I screamed into the phone. “The air was toxic!”

“Of course it was toxic!” he answered. “That’s why the Zadroga Act was passed in December to extend health care and financial relief to 9/11 victims. You along with everyone else at Ground Zero ate asbestos hamburgers.”

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NY Daily News 5/24/16: 9/11 Victims Have received Over $1 Billion in Aid

Victims of 9/11 attacks, their families have received over $1 billion in federal aid in last five years

Rep. Peter King flanked by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Chuck Schumer celebrate the renewal of the Zadroga Act outside in December 2015.

WASHINGTON — The federal government has officially paid out more than $1 billion to victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families since the Victims Compensation Fund reopened in 2011, a benchmark for the program.

“I am tremendously proud of the (Victims Compensation Fund) team for reaching this milestone, and deeply touched by the calls and letters we have received from claimants expressing their appreciation for the VCF’s efforts,” VCF Special Master Sheila Birnbaum said in an open letter Tuesday.

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NY Daily News 5/22/16: Brewer Asks Why EMT’s Have to Prove at 9/11 Site

Manhattan Borough President asks why city needs proof of EMTs work at Ground Zero for their benefits now

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wants to know why the city suddenly asked several hundred EMTs to prove they toiled at Ground Zero after 9/11 in order to be eligible for boosted benefits.

“It is disheartening to read that 9/11 responders are having such difficulty in getting proof they need to show that they were at Ground Zero…now nearly 15 years after the fact,” Brewer wrote to Mayor de Blasio on Friday.

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NYS 5/2/16: Cuomo Announces Continued Health Program for Responders

May 2, 2016   Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces State to Ensure Continued Benefits For Volunteers With 9/11-Related Illnesses

Mechanism Set to Cover Medical Care and Lost Wages For People Who Volunteered For Rescue, Recovery and Clean-Up at World Trade Center Sites

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the 2016-17 state budget includes $9 million to cover the cost of lost wages and health care expenses for volunteers who contracted illnesses at the World Trade Center site in the year after Sept. 11, 2001. This ensures that volunteers will continue to receive benefits and financial support even though federal funding allocated to the state for this purpose has been exhausted.

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