2021 – S.1115 / A.1472

2021 – S.1115 / A.1472

Position Statement

S.1115 (Liu) / A.1472 (Perry)

Support 

WBASNY supports this bill, which seeks to prevent unfair findings of educational neglect against parents under certain circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

This bill prohibits a finding of educational neglect based solely on absence from school during the Covid-19 State of Emergency if the child has not been provided with the resources or opportunity to participate in distance learning, or because a parent is an essential worker, caring for someone sick with Covid-19, is sick with Covid-19, or is in mandatory isolation or quarantine.

Under this legislation, any investigation shall be closed if the factors above are determined to exist and prevent  the child’s opportunity to participate in school, unless the school district demonstrates that the child had the opportunity and resources to participate in remote learning, but  did not.

WBASNY notes that this bill fails to address that there must be a balance between a parent’s responsibilities and a child’s educational needs.  This balance can be achieved by either a parent providing a home school approved program or a parent working with a private or public school system, whether that private or public school system is remote or in person. Schools must provide the tools to children and their parents for remote learning, and these tools must be flexible to adjust to a parent’s work schedule, if appropriate.Children must be empowered with the resources that encourage them to engage in the learning process, whether it is remote, blended or in-person.

Nevertheless, WBASNY recognizes that the Covid-19 State of Emergency has had a disparate impact on women in the workplace, and the above circumstances would particularly impact single-parent households.  WBASNY therefore supports this bill, as it seeks to prevent unfair findings of educational neglect against parents during an unprecedented national pandemic.

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