Requires charter schools to enroll children with disabilities and English language learners in comparable numbers to those enrolled in public schools and provides that failure to comply may result in revocation of the charter.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring charter schools to enroll children with disabilities and English language learners in comparable numbers to those enrolled in public schools
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill will make charter schools enroll disabled children and English language learners in numbers comparable to the school district which they serve.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Paragraph a of subdivision 2 of section 2854 of the education law, as amended by section 5 of part 0-2 of chapter 57 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read that "a charter school must enroll the same or a greater percentage of students with disabilities and limited English proficient students when compared to the enrollment figures for such students in the school district in which the charter school is located. Failure to comply for two consecutive years shall be deemed grounds for revocation of the charter".
JUSTIFICATION: Charter schools are often given the "average cost" per student from a school district. This "average cost" includes not only students with average needs, but also those with special needs. These students, such as disabled students or those requiring special help to learn English as a second language cost more than ordinary students. For this reason, it is often a disincentive for charter schools to work toward providing a comfortable environment for students requiring special help. Charter schools must be required to expend the same number of their resources in order to help with students that require special help.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This bill has been introduced in the Assembly.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3987 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 4, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- 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 requiring charter schools to enroll children with disabilities and English language learners in comparable numbers to those enrolled in public schools THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 2854 of the education law, as amended by chapter 101 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: (a) A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations and shall not charge tuition or fees; provided that a charter school may require the payment of fees on the same basis and to the same extent as other public schools. A charter school shall not discriminate against any student, employee or any other person on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability or any other ground that would be unlawful if done by a school. Admission of students shall not be limited on the basis of intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion, or ancestry; provided, however, that nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the establishment of a single-sex charter school or a charter school designed to provide expanded learning opportunities for students at-risk of academic failure or students with disabilities and English language learners; and provided, further, that
[the]A charter school [shall demonstrate good faith efforts to attract and retain a comparable or greater enrollment of]MUST ENROLL THE SAME OR A GREATER PERCENTAGE OF students with disabilities, English language learners, and students who are eligible applicants for the free and reduced price lunch program when compared to the enrollment figures for such students in the school district in which the charter school is located. FAILUREEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07763-01-3 S. 3987 2
TO COMPLY FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS SHALL BE DEEMED GROUNDS FOR REVOCA- TION OF THE CHARTER. A charter shall not be issued to any school that would be wholly or in part under the control or direction of any reli- gious denomination, or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine would be taught. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.