Bill S312-2011

Provides for the temporary emergency educational assistance to school districts which lack the fiscal resources necessary to provide a sound basic education

Provides for the provision of temporary emergency educational assistance to school districts which fail to provide a sound basic education to the students in such district; provides such assistance shall be in addition to any other state aid provided to the school district; provides the board of regents shall, upon application of a school district, determine eligibility for such assistance; establishes the temporary emergency educational fund.

Details

Actions

  • Mar 12, 2012: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Feb 21, 2012: NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Meetings

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S312

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing a temporary emergency educational fund to provide assistance to under funded school districts; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To establish a temporary emergency fund to meet the immediate educational needs of public school children pending resolution of ongoing school finance litigation involving New York State.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The education law would be amended by establishing a temporary emergency educational fund to enable under funded school districts to provide a sound basic education to students.

Money from the fund shall be used by school districts only for specifically enumerated purposes such as acquiring textbooks, school library books, classroom supplies and equipment, laboratory equipment, computers and related hardware and software.

Moneys from the fund shall be apportioned through a competitive process that takes into account the severity of the shortage of a school's educational resources. In allocating funds, a school district shall give priority in the following order: (1) first, to a school under registration review; (2) second, to any school performing significantly below state standards as defined by the commissioner; and (3) third, to any school that is determined by the commissioner to need emergency funding to address a severe lack of educational resources. However, not more than 60% of the funds allocated pursuant to this act shall go to anyone school district.

State funds provided pursuant to this act shall not supplant local funds for any similar purpose. Instead, school districts receiving funds under this section are required to maintain their local effort in funding programs that fall within the purview of this act.

To apply for emergency assistance funds, a school district must file an application with the State Education Commissioner. Such application must detail how the district plans to use the funds requested, how such expenditures are consistent with the purposes of this act, and include an accountability system which explains how the district will monitor the funds to ensure that they are being used in a manner that will improve student academic achievement. This act shall expire when a judicial resolution of the campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State lawsuit is reached and a funding system which enables every district to provide a sound basic education is established and fully implemented.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: The education law is amended by adding a new article 73-A. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 91-h.

JUSTIFICATION: Decades of experience have shown that the state's current school funding system has consistently under funded hundreds of public schools across the state. Currently the state is involved in a school finance lawsuit in which the constitutionality, sufficiency and social impact of the state's school funding system are at issue. Unfortunately, it could take years before the case is ultimately resolved.

Meanwhile, time marches on and millions of schoolchildren continue to attend public schools which lack the resources needed to prepare them for productive citizenship in the 21st century. These children, caught between legal and political crossfire, are being denied the monetary, educational, psychological and social resources they desperately need, and as a result are being exposed to irreparable harm.

This act addresses the need to protect students from the potentially irreparable harm they are exposed to due to a severe lack of educational resources in public schools. Accordingly, this act seeks to provide emergency funding for critical educational resources to benefit the millions of children who cannot wait until protracted legal disputes are resolved before receiving the tools they need in order to meet resource-driven academic standards.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.4152 - Referred to Education 2007-08: S.4050 - Referred to Education 2005-06: S.1702 - Referred to Education 2003-04: S.1666 - Referred to Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 312 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. MONTGOMERY, DILAN, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing a temporary emergency educational fund to provide assistance to underfunded school districts; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds that decades of experience have shown that the state's current school funding system has consistently underfunded hundreds of public schools across the state. Currently the state is involved in a school finance lawsuit (CAMPAIGN FOR FISCAL EQUITY, ET AL. V. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ET AL.) in which the constitutionality, sufficiency and social impact of the state's school funding system are at issue. Unfortunately, it could take years before the case is ultimately resolved. Meanwhile, time marches on and millions of schoolchildren continue to attend public schools which lack the resources needed to prepare them for productive citizen- ship in the twenty-first century. These children, caught between legal and political crossfire, are being denied the monetary, educational, psychological and social resources they desperately need, and as a result are being irreparably harmed. The legislature declares that this act addresses the need to protect students from the potentially irreparable harm they are exposed to due to a severe lack of educational resources in public schools. According- ly, this act seeks to provide emergency funding for critical educational resources to benefit the millions of children who cannot wait until protracted legal disputes are resolved before receiving the tools they need in order to meet resource-driven academic standards.
S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new article 73-A to read as follows: ARTICLE 73-A TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE SECTION 3650-F. DEFINITIONS. 3650-G. TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE. S 3650-F. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL MEAN: 1. "FUND" SHALL MEAN THE TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL FUND ESTAB- LISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION NINETY-ONE-H OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. 2. "SOUND BASIC EDUCATION" SHALL MEAN THOSE FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS THAT PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS NEED TO BECOME PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS CAPABLE OF CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND SUSTAINING COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT, AS DETERMINED PURSUANT TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER. S 3650-G. TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE. 1. IN ADDITION TO ANY MONEYS A SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL RECEIVE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SEVEN- TY-THREE OF THIS TITLE, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL APPORTION SUCH ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS AS SHALL BE NECESSARY TO ENABLE ANY SUCH DISTRICT TO PROVIDE A SOUND BASIC EDUCATION TO STUDENTS. IN ALLOCATING FUNDS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, A SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL GIVE PRIORITY IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER: (I) FIRST, TO A SCHOOL UNDER REGISTRATION REVIEW; (II) SECOND, TO ANY SCHOOL PERFORMING SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW STATE STANDARDS AS DEFINED BY THE COMMISSIONER; AND (III) THIRD, TO ANY SCHOOL THAT IS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER TO NEED EMERGENCY FUNDING TO ADDRESS A SEVERE LACK OF EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES. 2. MONEYS IN THE FUND SHALL BE APPORTIONED TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHICH MEET THE CRITERIA SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION TO BE USED BY SUCH DISTRICTS FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: (A) THE EMPLOYMENT OF A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS, PRIN- CIPALS AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL; (B) THE REDUCTION OF CLASS SIZES; (C) THE CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE OF ADEQUATE AND ACCESSIBLE SCHOOL BUILDINGS WITH SUFFICIENT SPACE TO ENSURE APPRO- PRIATE CLASS SIZES AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SOUND CURRICULUM; (D) THE ACQUISITION OF EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMIT- ED TO, TEXTBOOKS, SCHOOL LIBRARY BOOKS, CLASSROOM SUPPLIES AND EQUIP- MENT, LABORATORY EQUIPMENT, REMEDIAL PROGRAMS, AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLO- GY SUCH AS COMPUTERS, THE RELATED HARDWARE AND APPROPRIATE SOFTWARE; (E) THE PROVISION OF SUITABLE CURRICULA; AND (F) THE PROVISION OF RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS WITH EXTRAORDINARY NEEDS. 3. (A) MONEYS FROM THE FUND SHALL BE APPORTIONED THROUGH A COMPETITIVE PROCESS THAT TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION THE SEVERITY OF SHORTAGE OF EDUCA- TIONAL RESOURCES NECESSARY TO PROVIDE A SOUND BASIC EDUCATION. MONEYS APPORTIONED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES ENUMERATED IN THIS SECTION. (B) NOT MORE THAN SIXTY PERCENT OF THE FUNDS ALLOCATED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ANY ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT. (C) ANY SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVING FUNDS UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL MAIN- TAIN ANY LOCAL EFFORT IN THE CURRENT YEAR EQUIVALENT TO SUCH EFFORT IN THE BASE YEAR FOR ANY LOCAL PROGRAM THAT HAS PURPOSES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO ANY PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION OR THE DISTRICT SHALL PROVIDE A LOCAL MATCH TO STATE FUNDS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. STATE FUNDS PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT SUPPLANT LOCAL FUNDS FOR ANY PURPOSE SIMILAR TO THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION.
4. APPLICATIONS BY A SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR FUNDING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE FILED WITH THE COMMISSIONER, IN A FORM DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER, BY JUNE FIRST OF THE BASE YEAR AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS SHALL BE NOTIFIED OF THEIR AWARD OF TEMPORARY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE BY JUNE THIRTIETH OF THE BASE YEAR, PROVIDED THAT IN ANY YEAR SUCH APPLICA- TION AND AWARD DATES MAY BE MODIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE REASON- ABLE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAM. SUCH APPLICATION SHALL INCLUDE A PLAN BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF THE FUNDS IN EACH CATEGORY OF ALLOWABLE EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION, AND SUCH EXPENDITURES SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH SUCH PLAN AND THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. SUCH APPLICATION SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A METHODOLOGY BY WHICH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL MONITOR THE EXPENDITURE OF ANY SUCH FUND- ING AND ENSURE THAT SUCH FUNDING WILL IMPROVE THE EDUCATION PROVIDED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. 5. THE COMMISSIONER IS AUTHORIZED TO PROMULGATE ANY RULES AND REGU- LATIONS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. S 3. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 91-h to read as follows: S 91-H. TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL FUND. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER A SPECIAL FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE "TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL FUND". 2. SUCH FUND SHALL CONSIST OF ALL MONEYS APPROPRIATED THERETO, AND ALL OTHER MONEYS CREDITED OR TRANSFERRED THERETO FROM ANY OTHER FUND OR SOURCE PURSUANT TO LAW, AND ALL MONEYS RECEIVED FROM CONTRIBUTIONS, DONATIONS, GRANTS OR PAYMENTS FROM ANY SOURCE. 3. MONEYS IN THE TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL FUND SHALL BE KEPT SEPARATELY FROM AND SHALL NOT BE COMMINGLED WITH ANY OTHER MONEYS IN THE JOINT OR SOLE CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER. 4. THE MONEYS OF THE TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL FUND, AFTER APPROPRIATION BY THE LEGISLATURE AND APPORTIONMENT BY THE COMMISSIONER, SHALL BE PAID OUT BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SEVENTY- THREE-A OF THE EDUCATION LAW. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed upon the final disposition of the cause of action enti- tled "CAMPAIGN FOR FISCAL EQUITY, ET AL. V. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ET AL." and the establishment and full implementation of a school funding system that funds every public school district in the state at a level that enables such district to provide a sound basic education; provided that the attorney general shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the occurrence of the final disposition of such cause of action in order that such commission may maintain an accurate and timely data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effecting the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

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