Expands the authority of school boards and trustees of school districts to provide pupil transportation in child safety zones.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to expanding the authority of school boards and trustees of school districts to provide pupil transportation in child safety zones
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To allow the NYC Department of Education to provide pupil transportation in child safety zones and extends the determination of hazardous zones to include areas where there is a lack of available public transportation.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Subdivision 1 of section 3635-b of the education law is amended to include city school districts with more than one million inhabitants.
Subdivision 3 of section 3635-b of the education law is amended to include areas where there is a lack of available public transportation.
Currently, the board of education in a school district with less than 125,000 inhabitants may adopt a resolution to make transportation available in areas determined to be child safety zones for resident students. In addition, the law provides that the Commissioner of Transportation, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall establish the regulations for determining what is considered a hazardous zone such as factors including the existence or nonexistence of sidewalks, the type of road surface, the existence or nonexistence of traffic safety features among many factors.
This legislation extends the provision to include school districts with more than 1 million inhabitants and also provides that the lack of available public transportation should also be considered when determining what is a child safety zone.
The NYC Department of Education recently discontinued transportation services for in and 8th grade students, which has resulted in the need for these students to utilize the public transportation system.
In areas such as Rockaway Point in Queens and in Staten Island, where there is not only a lack of, but oftentimes, no available public transportation, this has provided for a dangerous and difficult situation for many students that now must walk to school in hazardous areas.
New York State law states that, while not required in a city school district, if transportation is provided, such transportation shall be offered equally to all students in like circumstances.
This legislation would allow the NYC Department of Education the ability to adopt a resolution to allow for transportation for students in areas that are deemed child safety zones and provide that one of the factors for that determination would be the lack of available public transportation, addressing the student transportation problems in Staten Island and Rockaway Point.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3521 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 24, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- 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 expanding the authori- ty of school boards and trustees of school districts to provide pupil transportation in child safety zones THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 3635-b of the education law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 536 of the laws of 2002 and subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 403 of the laws of 1992, are amended to read as follows: 1. This section shall apply where the board of education or trustees of a common, central, central high school, union free school district, or city school district of a city with less than one hundred twenty-five thousand inhabitants OR MORE THAN ONE MILLION INHABITANTS adopts a resolution to make transportation in child safety zones available to resident pupils for a particular school year. Such resolution shall continue in effect for subsequent school years until the board adopts a resolution providing otherwise. 3. The commissioner of transportation shall establish regulations for determination of a hazardous zone including, but not limited to, such factors as the existence or nonexistence of sidewalks or walkways, the type of road surface, width of road, footpath or sidewalk, the volume and average speed of traffic, density of population, the commercial, industrial or residential character of the area
[and], the existence or nonexistence of traffic safety features such as traffic lights, street lights and traffic patrols AND THE LACK OF AVAILABLE PUBLIC TRANSPORTA- TION. In preparing such regulations, the commissioner of transportation shall consult with the commissioners of education and motor vehicles and representatives from the state police who have traffic safety responsi- bilities. Such regulations shall be used by boards of education in determining whether a hazardous zone exists. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08938-02-1