Teach NYS Testifies Before the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Against Unfunded Mandates
New York, NY – Teach NYS Director of Government Affairs, Jake Adler, testified at the Department of Health’s hearing on April 18 regarding proposed amendments to Article 43 of the New York City Health Code which relates to school-based early childhood programs. The proposed regulations would place requirements on schools for staff training on use and procurement of Epinephrine auto injectors as well as mandating tooth brushing instruction and storage in all facilities.
“While we appreciate that the DOHMH seeks to foster better health for students in all schools, we are concerned about creating new unfunded mandates for nonpublic schools” said Jake Adler.
In a public-school setting, additional health requirements fall on the designated nurse or health safety provider. In nonpublic schools, many of which do not have full-time nurses, these mandates fall on an already overtaxed administrative staffer or a teacher. Nonpublic schools with fewer than 200 students do not have access to nurses through the New York City system.
The new proposals could place an additional burden on school administrations that are not equipped to support proper implementation in the schools. As Jake Alder said, “There has been a continual trend of DOHMH regulations that are disconnected from school management processes, which have resulted in undue operational burden on the schools and, ultimately, poor overall implementation of an otherwise beneficial public health policy.”
“We would encourage the DOHMH to take a real look at what health staff and resources currently exist in New York City’s nonpublic schools and how are they being utilized,” said Adler. “We are disappointed in the lack of implementation of existing laws meant to increase health services to nonpublic schools. If the Department would like to foster greater health and welfare in our schools, we stand ready to work together to better implement health policy laws in nonpublic schools,” Adler advocates.
About Teach NYS: Teach NYS is part of Teach Advocacy Network, a nonpartisan organization advocating for equitable funding in nonpublic schools. Since launching in 2013, Teach NYS has successfully advocated for significant policy breakthroughs to benefit nonpublic schools. Teach Advocacy Network operates in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland and California, covering 186,000 children. Teach Advocacy Network is a project of the Orthodox Union.
For more information, visit: www.teachadvocacy.org.