All Means All
Right to Enroll Law Rationale
New York Assembly Bill 7846
New York Senate Bill 6599
Currently, students must ask their school district for permission to apply to a non-special education BOCES program. This usually starts with a conversation with their guidance counselor. If the district has previously sent students to the requested BOCES program, the student stands a much greater chance of being allowed to attend. If it is a program/course the district has not sent to in the past, the student and their family must often elevate the request to the principal and eventually the Board of Education. Parents often report that the process is confusing, frustrating and fruitless.
New York Assembly Bill 7846/Senate Bill 6599 would grant every student the right to enroll if they meet the BOCES’ enrollment requirements.
This is an equity issue:
• Every child has an inalienable right to a free and appropriate education. For some students, a traditional public-school experience does not constitute an appropriate education.
• Districts are not able to provide all the career training options that students desire. If a district only provides carpentry, plumbing and gaming, they are not satisfying the career aspirations of the student who wants to study aviation, cosmetology or medical assisting.
“The Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department have come to understand that the results we seek for all our children can never be fully achieved unless we re-focus every facet of our work through an equity and inclusion lens (see also New York State’s Every Student Succeeds Act Plan). This understanding has created an urgency around promoting equitable opportunities that help all children thrive. New York State understands that the responsibility of education is not only to prevent the exclusion of historically silenced, erased, and disenfranchised groups, but also to assist in the promotion and perpetuation of cultures, languages and ways of knowing that have been devalued, suppressed, and imperiled by years of educational, social, political, economic neglect and other forms of oppression.” The NYS Board of Regents Framework on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in New York’s Schools: A Call to Action draft.
Rebuild the middle class:
• Many young adults are underemployed with mountains of college debt, but there are hundreds of opportunities for middle-skilled workers who have the right training.
• Many CTE careers have a median salary above $50,000. For plumbers, it is more than $93,000.
Students are either college or career ready:
• Many students attend a BOCES program to give them a head start on their college major. Example: Some students who participate in the BOCES health-related programs plan to become doctors.
• Students graduate with on-the-job experience and business connections.
Economies of scale:
• BOCES was created by the New York State legislature to take advantage of economies of scale through shared programs. On behalf of the districts in their region, BOCES are able to provide the latest technology and resources used in industry. This often-expensive equipment only needs to be purchased once instead of by each individual district.
Address industry needs:
• Many industries have job openings that they cannot fill because qualified applicants are not available.
• On Long Island alone, there are more than 3,000 jobs that could be filled by students completing BOCES programs, according to the Workforce Development Institute.