Openly gay New York state Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-USW) has successfully shepherded the anti-bullying Dignity For All Students Act (DASA) through his chamber. For the NINTH time. The bill passed with only four dissenting votes. And this time DASA could help win the state a fortune in federal funding.
The bill covers the broadest categories of students who face harassment and discrimination in our state’s schools and clarifies that those protections should not be limited to the categories listed—actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex. Recently, the New York Civil Liberties Union championed the measure and released its analysis that enacting DASA could boost New York’s ‘Race to the Top’ score by 7-15 points. DASA requires reporting on all bullying incidents, which meets the U.S. Department of Education’s emphasis on capturing data that impacts student achievement. A successful application in this second round could net New York up to $700 million in education funding. Working closely with the N.Y.S. Department of Education and his colleagues, Assembly Member O’Donnell has crafted legislation that can be easily implemented and will more likely accomplish its intended effect.
Nine times O’Donnell has pushed this through the Assembly and nine fucking times the state Senate has failed to do the same. Let’s see how they do this time with a potential $700M on the line.