Contact: Mike Fraser, office: (518) 455-3751; cell: (518) 859-8518
As the days get shorter, the nights get cooler and the very first leaves start to change color, it's a sure sign that it's nearly time for kids to begin a new school year. It's an exciting time of year for kids and parents alike. The kids get to see friends they haven't seen most of the summer and parents have new routines to settle back into.
As a parent, I understand the challenges this time of year can bring when it comes to giving your kids the tools necessary to perform their best, including buying supplies and back-to-school clothing. According to The National Retail Federation, the average family will spend $687 on back-to-school shopping this year. For many families, these expenditures will place a financial burden on already tight household budgets.
FAMILIES AND TEACHERS NEED HELP AFFORDING BASIC SUPPLIES
The high cost of living and onerous taxes make it difficult for some families to afford school supplies, and each year the list of needed supplies seems to grow. In an effort to ensure all students are able to complete their work and participate in class, our Conference has introduced legislation that would help off-set these costs, making this time of year more affordable.
Bill (A.06883 would exempt computer hardware and software and school supplies from sales tax, (A.05917 would provide a tax credit for course-mandated supplies for eligible college students and (A.04489 would provide a tax credit of up to $500 for a teacher who uses their own money to purchase qualified classroom or teaching supplies. Students across the state should be given the opportunity to succeed, and these measures would help them reach their full potential.
SAFELY NAVIGATING SOCIAL MEDIA
School districts across the state have integrated the use of social media into classrooms to provide students with enhanced learning opportunities. At home, parents are encouraged to help their children safely navigate social media and monitor their habits. The Cyberbullying Research Center offers suggestions on how to make sure children are maintaining a healthy online presence.
After a leisurely summer, it can take some adjustment to get back in the swing of things, but a good education is the cornerstone of a healthy and productive life and leads to jobs that support families. These, in turn, create the communities in which we live. To parents, students and teachers, I extend best wishes for an enjoyable and productive academic year.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.