Relates to experimental alternative institutional support programs for school districts.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to alternative institutional support programs
PURPOSE: To allow school districts to contract with approved alternative institutional support services programs to at-risk students who may benefit from such programs.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill adds a new Education Law § 3641(16). Under this new subdivision, part (a) provides that public school districts shall be authorized to contract with alternative institutional support services programs to provide instruction and support services to both special and non-special education students who are at-risk. Part (b) provides that the contracting school district shall provide payment to the alternative institutional support services program for the actual cost of the services and shall include administrative, instructional, operating and support services proportionate to that students attendance. Students who attend the program shall continue to be counted by the district of residence for purposes of determining federal and state aid.
Part (c) of this subdivision allows school districts to also contract with approved alternative institutional support services programs to serve as Interim Alternative Educational Settings (IAES), as defined by Federal and State law. Compensation to the approved alternative institutional support services programs for serving as an IAES shall be on an actual cost basis.
Lastly, part (e) of this subdivision requires the Commissioner of Education to process applications for and maintain a list of approved alternative institutional support services programs. This provision also sets forth provisions for the approval of alternative institutional support services programs.
Section 2 of the bill provides for an effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The number of students who are at-risk of failing and/or dropping out of school has reached epidemic proportions. Addressing the needs of at-risk students is vital to maintaining and improving the health of the New York's educational system: Students both with and without disabilities who are (1) at-risk of dropping out of school, (2) in danger of academic failure, (3) excessively truant, (4) school phobic, (5) peer relationship challenged, (6) have engaged in certain disciplinary situations or (7) at risk of placement in a residential setting, can often succeed if provided with the right alternative learning experience, such as highly individualized or very small group instruction with supports. Yet, public schools are often not equipped with the flexibility or resources to offer this type of programming to its students.
Several not-for-profit programs throughout the state have extensive experience in providing alternative learning experiences to these types of students. Indeed, in many cases, students otherwise at risk
of dropping out or failing have successfully earned High School diplomas with the assistance of these programs. The Education and Assistance Corporation Learning Centers (EAC), for example, served at risk students for over 40 years while consistently demonstrating success for at-risk students who would otherwise be on the cusp of dropping out of school or being placed in a residential setting. Despite the fact that EAC provided services to students who are often considered at the greatest risk of failing or ceasing their education, almost 95% of its students earn a high school diploma.
These program models are community based not-for-profit programs poised to provide innovative education solutions to some of the state's most needy youth. The programs have the capacity to accept students expeditiously and swiftly provide them with intense support. Moreover, where appropriate, programs like EAC have been successful in transitioning youth back into their home public schools for graduation.
Despite EAC's long success and the school district's support, the programs ceased operation in June 2011, due to the lack of legislative authority enabling public school districts to contract with private not-for-profits to provide educational services to at-risk students. Without the instant legislation this fragile population is at even greater risk of not receiving the types of services they need to meet with success, and the achievement gap will continue to widen. This legislation bridges that gap by enabling public schools to contract with not-for-profit corporations and supports some of the state's neediest students in reaching the top of their educational potential.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.7144 passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No new costs.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2064 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 10, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to alternative institu- tional support programs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3641 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 16 to read as follows: 16. ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT AID. A. BOARDS OF EDUCATION OF CITY, COMMON, UNION FREE AND CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS SHALL BE AUTHOR- IZED TO CONTRACT WITH APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAMS TO PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONAL AND SUPPORT SERVICES TO SPECIAL EDUCATION AND/OR NON-SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS WHO ARE DEEMED BY THE DISTRICT TO BE AT-RISK. B. PAYMENT PURSUANT TO SUCH CONTRACT SHALL BE FROM THE DISTRICT TO THE APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF THE APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM'S PROVISION OF SERVICES AND INCLUDE COSTS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, INSTRUCTIONAL, OPERATING AND SUPPORT SERVICES EXPENSES PROPORTIONATE TO THE STUDENT'S ATTENDANCE IN THE PROGRAM. STUDENTS WHO ATTEND THE APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM SHALL CONTINUE TO BE COUNTED BY THE DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING FEDERAL AND STATE AID TO THE DISTRICT RELATIVE TO STUDENTS WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES. C. DISTRICTS MAY ALSO CONTRACT WITH AN APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITU- TIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM TO SERVE AS AN INTERIM ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SETTING, AS DEFINED BY THE FEDERAL INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABIL- ITIES EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT AND CONCURRENT STATE LAW. A DISTRICT MAY CONTRACT WITH THE APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM FOR SERVICES AS AN INTERIM ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SETTING WHEN-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02632-01-3 S. 2064 2
EVER A STUDENT IS ELIGIBLE FOR SUCH PLACEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW, SUCH AS IN CERTAIN DISCIPLINARY CONTEXTS. D. THE DISTRICT SHALL COMPENSATE AN APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM SERVING AS AN INTERIM ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING ON AN ACTUAL COST BASIS. E. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROCESS APPLICATIONS FOR AND MAINTAIN A LIST OF APPROVED ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAMS. AN ALTERNATIVE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM SHALL BE APPROVED IF IT IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT, NON-SECTARIAN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM THAT UTILIZES CERTIFIED PERSONNEL AND HAS DEMONSTRATED A MINIMUM OF TEN YEARS OF IMPROVED STUDENT PERFORMANCE FOR AT-RISK STUDENTS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.