Senate Majority passes legislation to support education diversity

New York News

FILE: New York Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, left, Sen. Liz Krueger, D-New York, center, and Sen. Deputy Majority Leader, Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria, listen as Senate members speak in favor of legislation to change state legal standards on sexual harassment to help victims prove harassment cases as members discuss the Bill in the Senate Chamber at the state Capitol Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Senate Democratic Majority will advance major legislation to address the inequity in New York schools and support diversity in the education system. The bills advanced will implement six initiatives to help diversify New York education. 

“The Senate Majority is committed to tearing down the barriers that create inequities in our school systems,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “This legislation package continues those efforts through advancing programs to attract diverse educators, strengthening the community of underrepresented educators, and establishing a task force to study educator diversity. We know that our children learn better when they see themselves in their teachers. I thank the bill sponsors and advocates who have worked hard to address these issues.” 

The legislation includes:

  • ‘Grow Your Own’ Initiatives: Senate Bill S.1100, sponsored by Senator John Liu, develops ‘Grow Your Own’ initiatives at school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and higher education institutions to attract underrepresented candidates into the teaching profession. 
  • Expanded Observance of Religious Holidays: Senate Bill S.1137, sponsored by Senator John Liu, mandates that the state and city universities of New York shall not hold it against students for observing religious and culturally significant holidays.
  • Commission on Affordable College Education: Senate Bill S.1520, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey, establishes a temporary State commission to study the ten SUNY community colleges that have not participated in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and make recommendations for legislative action based upon its findings.
  • Amistad Commission: Senate Bill S.1924, sponsored by Senator Robert Jackson, moves the Amistad Commission from the Department of State to the New York State Education Department. The Amistad Commission was created in 2005 by the Legislature to review New York State’s curricula regarding the transatlantic slave trade and slavery in America, and make recommendations for improvement.
  • Regional Conventions for Underrepresented Educators: Senate Bill S.1984, sponsored by Senator Robert Jackson, directs the commissioner of education to establish statewide and regional conventions to bring together underrepresented teachers to discuss experiences, best practices, and provide for mentorship and networking opportunities.
  • Establish a Task Force on Educator Diversity: Senate Bill S.2555, sponsored by Senator Jabari Brisport, establishes a task force on educator diversity in New York State. 

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