A.G. Schneiderman Ensures Equal Education Opportunities at 7 L.I. Schools

January 15, 2015
New York City Press Office / 212-416-8060
Albany Press Office / 518-776-2427
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman
A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN SECURES AGREEMENTS WITH SEVEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ENSURE EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNUNITY FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Agreements Help Ensure That All Students Are Provided Educational Access Regardless Of Language Ability
Schneiderman: All Students Across New York State Deserve Equal Access To Educational Opportunity
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced agreements with seven school districts in Suffolk and Westchester Counties to expand educational access for limited English proficient students (“English language learners” or “ELLs”). In Suffolk County, the Riverhead Central School District, the Patchogue-Medford School District, and the Amityville, Greenport, East Hampton, and Hampton Bays Union Free School Districts agreed to develop and implement new policies and procedures concerning ELLs and their families, beginning with those families’ first interactions with school districts and continuing through those students’ educational careers. These districts have also agreed to implement new training protocols for their staff and personnel. In Westchester County, the Mount Vernon City School District agreed to similar and additional steps concerning ELLs.
“Our schools must provide students with the tools and resources to succeed regardless of English proficiency or where they came from,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office is proud to work collaboratively with school districts to ensure that language barriers will not stand in the way of students obtaining a quality education, and that students and their families understand the services that are available to them.”
According to Census data, approximately two and a half million New Yorkers do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. Over 17% of Suffolk County residents speak a language other than English; over 8% speak Spanish; and over 6% speak English less than “very well.” The evolving demographics of student populations in New York State have caused many ELLs to face language barriers in accessing school services, including not receiving timely screenings or appropriate English-language development services.
In February 2014, in response to information received from parents and advocates concerning Suffolk County schools, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau opened an inquiry to examine districts’ language access policies and procedures. These districts all serve significant ELL populations, ranging anywhere from 12 to 16% of their student bodies.
Following the Attorney General’s review of the districts’ existing policies and procedures, the six districts agreed to expand language access for students and parents through the adoption of model Language Access and Enrollment Procedures for use within the districts. The agreements secured by the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau will ensure that districts meet the needs of students and parents, regardless of language ability by requiring the following:
  • Students are properly screened for language ability when entering the districts;
  • Parental notifications are provided in the family’s native language on a host of subjects, including student placement in a bilingual/ESL program or evaluation for special education services, or a district’s intent to discipline a student;
  • Parents are offered interpreting services at various school functions, including district orientations on bilingual/ESL programs and Committee on Special Education meetings;
  • Districts have translated materials available on their websites, as well as clear designations of district Language Access Coordinators along with contact information for those Coordinators;
  • ELLs and their families do not face enrollment barriers in the form of document requirements beyond those set forth by the New York State Education Department;
  • District personnel are trained on the Language Access and Enrollment Procedures; and
  • Periodic reports to the Attorney General regarding the districts’ provision of services to ELLs and their families.
In May 2014, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau received a complaint concerning delays by the Mount Vernon City School District in the language assessment and provision of ELL services to two students in the District. Mount Vernon is a linguistically diverse district, with ELLs constituting approximately 35% of the student body. The investigation by the Civil Rights Bureau revealed that District language access and recordkeeping policies were insufficiently detailed to ensure the timely provision of ELL services, resulting in a delay in providing such services to the two students for almost a full academic year. In addition to the forms of relief described above, the Mount Vernon CSD also agreed to:
  • Provide an informational program at least twice each academic year, for the next three years, explaining the Language Access Procedures to ELLs, their families, and the larger community;
  • Develop and adopt a complaint procedure to track all future complaints concerning language access issues in the District;
  • Create and maintain a tracking database to chart the progress of, and provision of services to, all students screened by the District for English language proficiency; and
  • Provide detailed regular reporting to the Civil Rights Bureau, for three academic years, concerning the screening, assessment, and provision of services to ELLs, and any complaints regarding the same.
The Attorney General’s language access agreements are part of the office’s ongoing work to promote greater access to educational opportunity for students across New York State. In addition to addressing language barriers faced by students and their parents, the office is also working to address the school to prison pipeline; working to lift enrollment and registration barriers faced by unaccompanied minors and undocumented youth; working to ensure compliance with the anti-bullying mandate of the Dignity for All Students Act; and working to eradicate admissions barriers imposed by colleges and universities based on applicants’ contacts with the criminal justice system.
“Ensuring that students have access to all educational resources is paramount to their academic success and our success as a region,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “On November 14, 2012, I signed Executive Order 10-2012 directing county agencies and departments to provide language assistance services (translation and interpretation) to people of Limited English Proficiency (LEP).  Each agency provides interpretation services between the agency and an individual in his or her primary language.”
Amol Sinha, director of NYCLU’s Suffolk County chapter, said, “These settlement agreements help create a pathway to opportunity for English language learners in Suffolk County. We commend the Attorney General’s Office for making language access a top civil rights priority.”
Lucia Gomez, executive director of La Fuente, said, “Long Island is home to an increasingly diverse community of families, many of whom are limited English proficient. We have an obligation to make sure that language does not stand as an obstacle to learning opportunities. These agreements help promote diversity in schools and ensure success for all students.”
Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, said, “The Alliance applauds the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau for working to address the barriers faced by too many of our limited English proficient communities. We hope that these agreements will be implemented immediately and followed conscientiously and deliberately. Ensuring that our schools meet the needs of all children is critical to the social and economic well-being of our communities.”
Cheryl Keshner, coordinator of the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition, said, “When schools fail to meet the language needs of limited English proficient students and parents who unable to read documents and important materials regarding their education, students are denied meaningful educational opportunity. We thank the Attorney General’s Office for working to lift language barriers across Long Island schools.”
Blanca Villanueva, community organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education, said, “The Alliance for Quality Education applauds Attorney General Schneiderman’s efforts to remove barriers to education for students on Long Island. New York State has a requirement to provide a quality education to all students in New York no matter their primary language and the actions of A.G. Schneiderman is an important step in ensuring that some of Long Island’s student who are in the most need will have better access to a quality public education.”
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Justin Deabler and Dariely Rodriguez of the Civil Rights Bureau which is led by Bureau Chief Kristen Clarke. The Bureau is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg.
###

Give Today: $1500 in 5 Days Campaign

Dear Supporters,

I am happy to kick off Day 1 of our $1500 in 5 days campaign. The Long Island Progressive Coalition is ready to go into 2015 with renewed vigor and passion. Give today HERE and your gift will be matched.

When I started at LIPC, I could not believe the divide in different school districts, the lack of a universal healthcare system, and most importantly, the fact that Long Island residents are leaving in great numbers.  Since working at the LIPC, I have seen time and time again, how we’ve stood up for people and won.

With your help, we’re going to do it again in 2015. Our goal to raise $1500 by Friday, December 12th, 5PM to fuel our campaigns.

LIPC member David Calone will graciously be matching dollar for dollar all gifts received. That means your donation will be doubled.

Your gift will allows us to work towards helping to create more affordable housing on the island! It will insure that we will be there to makes sure each child on this island has an equal education! And it will provide that we will be there to tell our political leaders that we will not stand for corruption, for pollution, for an island with a declining infrastructure, an island where young and old are leaving in vast numbers because cause of a lack of jobs, a lack of affordable housing, and that we want fair elections now!

unnamed

When you see the LIPC Members, Board, and Staff with our Blue LIPC shirts, know we are rallying for you, we are the LIPC Blue Wave.  Join us to help launch the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s Blue Wave towards 2015.

 We thank you for your generosity over the years. Together we can make Long Island a better place.

In solidarity,

John H. Delaney

LIPC Office Administrative

P.S. The easiest way to give and have your gift matched is to give online HERE. But if you’d rather call we can be contacted at 516-541-1006 x10 with a donation or mail a check, please send it to:

LIPC
90 Pennsyvlania
Massapequa, NY11758

Interns Needed for 2015 at LIPC

Do you know a bright, young progressive person on Long Island?  Do you know of a college student who wants an internship where they can gain real experience and make a difference?

LIPC needs interns for 2015.

Intern photo

 

Have a passion to help the community and want to get real world experience?

Want to learn how to organize and communicate with Long Island Communities?

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Make a Difference

The Long Island Progressive Coalition is looking for enthusiastic interns, who want to improve the quality of life for all citizens on Long Island.

Become part of a fun, cooperative work environment while earning college credit.

LIPC is a 35-year old, Island-wide, multi-issue, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development, revitalizing local communities, enhancing human dignity, creating effective democracy, and achieving economic and social justice.

Join us in fighting for:

• A quality public education system

• Affordable housing- Yes in My Backyard

• Clean Money Clean Elections

• Community empowerment in low income areas

Learn community-organizing skills including:

• Strategy development

• How to use social media in organizing

• How to make community change through electoral campaigns

No prior experience required. Training is provided.

Contact the Dan Fingas our Organizing Director (516) 541-1006 x17 or email dfingas@lipc.org

 Please forward this email along to any interested students you know or contact Dan at dfingas@lipc.org with any names of progressive students who you think would be a match.

How Will the Battle For Long Island Play Out Politically

Election2014

October 15, 2014

Recently the Long Island Press did an article about the competitive political races that can be found all over Long Island this year.  Lisa Tyson, LIPC Director was asked to weigh in for the story and her comments on this year’s race were:

Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, said the election surveys did have a discouraging effect initially.
“People saw that Sienna poll and said, ‘Well, it’s over!’ But it’s not over! Republicans spend early, Democrats spend late,” Tyson told the Press.
As for the prospects of the Democrats gaining the upper hand in the state Senate, she admitted that Denenberg’s abrupt departure in September was “a huge disappointment. It was the surprise of the century for many of us. He was going to win that seat! Mr. Venditto is a really lucky guy.”
Still, Tyson held hopes that an agreement Cuomo made earlier this year at the Working Families Party’s convention that he would commit the handful of members of the Independent Democratic Conference to caucus with the Democrats in the state Senate would make a significant difference.
“We have not heard that that commitment has changed at all,” said Tyson, who is active in the WFP. “So, as long as that stands, I do believe that Democrats will be controlling the Senate.”
“It all comes down to the ground game and who’s inspiring voters more,” said Tyson, the local progressive coalition leader. “It’s not about mail and television. It’s about door to door—and that’s where Democrats succeed.”
 

Click the link below to read the full story:

http://www.longislandpress.com/2014/10/11/how-will-the-battle-for-long-island-play-out-politically/

 

LIPC Endorses Congressman Tim Bishop

LIPC Bishop 2

On October 9th, 2014 LIPC gathered with over a dozen other progressive groups to announce their endorsement for the reelection of Congressman Tim Bishop in the 1st Congressional District.

At the rally Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition stated “ Progressive organizations from labor, environmental, women’s rights, social justice, immigrant groups throughout Long Island came together today to show their support for a real progressive leader Tim Bishop. He has worked hard for Long Island families and seniors and we want to ensure Long Island has Tim for another four years.”

The network of progressive organizations in attendance with LIPC included: Communications Workers of America Local 1108, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East, LI Transgender Advocacy Coalition, New York Communities For Change, New York State Nurses Association, Make the Road Action Fund, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Action Fund, RWDSU/UFCW Local 338, Sierra Club, SEIU 32 BJ, and Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Bishop Speak i

Long Island Progressive Unity Rally in Support of Adrienne Esposito for NY State Senate

LIPC Esposito

 

On October 2nd 2014, LIPC joined with a large group of aligned progressive organizations to announce their endorsement of Adrienne Esposito for NY State Senate in the 3rd district and urges its members to vote for Adrienne Esposito on November 4th.

At the rally Lisa Tyson, LIPC Director spoke at the importance of this endorsement rally. “Progressives of Long Island came together so the invisible Long Island voice could be invisible no more.  We are here carrying the message of the voiceless and electing Adrienne Esposito to the Senate will bring that voice to Albany.”  Tyson continued, “We need a fighter in Albany who will provide quality education for all students and finally pass fair elections legislation and Adrienne will do that.”

The network of progressive organizations in attendance with LIPC included: Communications Workers of America Local 1108, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East, LI Transgender Advocacy Coalition, New York Communities For Change, New York State Nurses Association, Make the Road Action Fund, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Action Fund, RWDSU/UFCW Local 338, Sierra Club, SEIU 32 BJ, and Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Unity Rally

LI farms, sustainability in film series

“Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island” is a documentary screening March 13 as part of a film series on sustainable living at The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island in Garden City. (Credit: Wendy Chamberlin)

(Newsday ExploreLI) Trying to reduce energy use and take personal responsibility for your own carbon footprint has become a hot topic in recent years, but the big problem of sustainable living is how to find businesses that share that interest.

A new organization, Locally Long Island, is trying to do just that, by showcasing businesses selling organic items and encouraging the public to buy more locally.

“When people talk about a more sustainable vision, it’s difficult sometimes to get into those networks,” says Melissa Boo, founder of the group. “Right now, it’s word-of-mouth. The goal is to get that information together.”

To that end, Locally Long Island is holding a Thursday night film series showcasing well-known and regarded films on sustainability issues, and holding talks afterward by those experienced in the field.

“We really want to target people who are curious and have questions,” says Boo.

Thursday’s screening, “Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island,” for instance, is a 2005 documentary by Greenlawn resident and Emmy-winning producer Ron Rudaitis about the disappearing farming community on the East End of Long Island.

“We featured farms that were just hanging on in 2005,” says Rudaitis, and are no longer there.

WHAT’S SCREENING

MARCH 13

“Farming the Future: Farm Life on Long Island” features Willie Nelson and William Baldwin and examines farm life on Long Island, including its slow disappearance as land is sold to developers. Guest speaker will be Lawrence Foglia of Fox Hollow Farm, a sustainable farm and community- supported agriculture program in South Huntington.

MARCH 20

“Save Our Land, Save Our Towns” — A documentary follows newspaper reporter Tom Hylton as he examines the coast-to-coast cost of suburban sprawl and urban blight. Guest speaker is Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island, an organization that focuses on smart growth.

MARCH 27

“Gasland” — Filmmaker Josh Fox’s documentary focuses on the politics and perils of fracking. Guest speakers are Marriele Robinson of Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities, and Eric Weltman from Washington, D.C., advocacy group Food & Water Watch.

APRIL 3

“I Am” — Tom Shadyac, director of films “Bruce Almighty” and “The Nutty Professor,” takes on the philosophical question of what is wrong with our world and how to make it better. He interviews some of the big thinkers of our generations, including Noam Chomsky and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Guest speaker is Arthur Dobrin from the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island.

APRIL 10

“An Inconvenient Truth” — The 2005 documentary by Davis Guggenheim on former Vice President Al Gore’s crusade to bring the term “global warming” to the country’s vernacular. Guest speaker is Jeanne Brunson from Climate Reality Project, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group founded by Gore.

APRIL 17

“In Transition 2.0” — A documentary highlighting people in needy communities who are working outside the existing social structure to better their world. The film also highlights community power stations, growing food in unlikely places and keeping businesses small and local. Guest speaker is Melissa Boo of Locally Long Island.

APRIL 24

“No Impact Man” — A New York City family embarks on a quest to live one year without having a net impact on the environment. Guest speakers are Amy Peters of Sustainable Sea Cliff Co-Op (a food co-op), Mary Callanan of Three Castles Gardens (a farm that grows in season and organically) and Annetta Vitale, who calls her homestead Reed Channel Farm.

Winter Movie Series

WHEN | WHERE 6:30 p.m. Thursdays through April 24 at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City

INFO 516-741-7304, locallylongisland.com

ADMISSION $15 ($12 students), includes light supper of soup prepared by Sweet to Lick Bakery of Williston Park, a partially organic business.

State Budget Inequality Teach March 1st, 2014

Talks by representatives of the New York State United Teachers, (NYSUT) the Alliance for Quality Education and the Long Island Progressive Coalition on Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2014 budget. The talks include the issues of education, fairness and inequality. The principal speaker was Mike Kink of NYSUT and a Q and A session is included.

Coalition Stands Against Budget Cuts

Education in New York has seemingly been under fire for the last several years; between numerous cuts in financial aid, mandated tax levy caps, and the rollout of the Common Core Learning Standards, the state and parents seem to be at war with one another over the direction education is taking…with the students haplessly caught in the middle of the raging debate.

The latest issue that New York communities are taking umbrage with is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently released educational budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year, and parents and schools hoping for a respite from the tightening of the state’s purse strings we aghast at what amounted to yet another series of cuts.

Read full article

Views From 90 Penn- Celebrating 10 Years of Progressive Politics

 

10 years of  Progressive Politics on Long Island

I recently found the program from the ten-year celebration of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, times have changed and maybe some names but the issues remain and we must continue to strive for results. There is work to be done still, in Affordable Housing, for Fair Elections, for developing Energy Efficient homes and Equal Education for all, in solidarity; we will make a better Long Island for the future.

March 15th is growing close and once again, it will be time to celebrate the Long Island Progressive Coalition. This year is our 35th year, as you, our members, our supporters, our brothers and sisters in the unions, our Board of Trustees, and my colleagues on staff both past and present, have worked so hard over the years in order to move Long Island Forward, let us celebrate our accomplishments.

I ask you to join us on March 15, 2014, to celebrate and honor those Long Islanders that have made a difference in the Progressive landscape that shape this island. If you cannot join us; I implore you to make a contribution to the LIPC, any donation allows us to grow and become stronger to fight for social, racial, and economic justice for you, our fellow Long Islanders and most importantly for the youth and the future.

I thank you all for your continued support and hope to see you in March: it is an event not to be missed.

Kind thoughts to all,

John Delaney
John H. Delaney

Administrative Director