Continues early college high school programs.
- Mar 4, 2013: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
BILL NUMBER:S4008 TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to continuing early college high school programs in the state Purpose of the Bill: The purpose of this bill is to ensure the continuation of early college high school (ECHSs) programs in the State, which provide students often underrepresented in higher education with the opportunity and access to college-level courses in high school, by providing for the funding of such programs through tuition assistance program (TAP) funds. Summary of the Provisions of the Bill: Section 1 of the bill would set forth the Legislature's intent in enacting this bill. This section details the importance of Early College High School (ECHS) programs in the State by recognizing that an ECHS program increases a student's access to higher education by introducing the student to college-level coursework in high school where he or she has the combined support of high school and college-level staff and resources. This section further identifies that ECHSs offer students the ability to accelerate their completion of a college degree by offering college-level credits at the high school level. Section 2 of the bill would add a new � 667-d to the Education Law to authorize the President of the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to grant TAP awards, on an annual basis, to ECHSs. More specifically, Education Law � 667-d, as added, would provide that starting with the 2013-2014 academic year, an ECHS may apply to HESC for a TAP award if has an approved ECHS program in the State. The Commissioner of Education would be authorized to establish the criteria for the approval of an ECHS program eligible for TAP funds for purposes of such section. The amount of TAP funds awarded to any ECHS program would be based on the total number of students enrolled in the ECHS program who meet certain eligibility requirements, as further set forth below, multiplied by the excess cost to provide college-level coursework to each student at such ECHS. The Commissioner of Education would determine the excess cost per student based on a methodology prescribed by the Commissioner. Based on the cost per student expenditures of the Smart Scholars ECHS Program during the 2011-12 school year, the cost beyond traditional high school expenses to provide an ECHS program is estimated to be approximately $645 per student. In determining the total student enrollment for purposes of calculating the annual TAP award granted to an ECHS, a student would need to meet the following conditions in order to be counted as part of the ECHS's student enrollment. Foremost, a student may only be counted for such enrollment purposes if he or she is actually enrolled in an ECHS program. Therefore, a high school that separately offers an ECHS program may only count the students actually enrolled in the ECHS program within the school, and all other high school students in the school would not be counted. The student would also need to: (1) be a resident of the district in which the school is located, (2) be registered to attend the 11`x' or 12th grade in the ECHS program at the ECHS, (3) have been eligible to receive free or reduced price lunch in one of the two preceding school years, and (4) be matriculated in an approved program leading to the granting of a postsecondary degree or diploma or have demonstrated the ability to complete college-level coursework. The bases for these requirements are that students at these high grade levels have had the opportunity to receive adequate preparation and demonstrate their readiness for college level work. Moreover, it is in the 11th and 12th grades that the majority of college level courses are taken by students at the ECHS. Participation in the free and reduced price lunch program is a standard method for determining students' economic need at the secondary level. Since TAP aims to serve students of low to moderate income, a requirement that a student receive free or reduced price lunch helps ensure that a similar target population is being served. Under Education Law � 667-d, the Commissioner of Education would be authorized to determine the standards a student must meet to demonstrate that he or she is college ready. These criteria would include, but need not be limited to: (1) the student has successfully completed a specific number of hours of college-level instruction at an approved partnering college, (2) the student has obtained test scores in the 80th percentile or higher on all Regents examinations administered to such student in the 9th and 10th grades, and (3) the student has demonstrated the ability to complete college-level coursework through his or her performance in high school level math, English and science classes. The Commissioner of Education would be authorized to establish the specific number of hours of college-level instruction the student would have needed to complete at a partnering college in order to demonstrate college readiness. These requirements would be prescribed in the Commissioner's regulations. Education Law � 667-d, as added, would also ensure that a student would not be penalized for being counted towards an ECHS's student enrollment for TAP purposes by expressly providing that the amount and duration of a student's TAP award during higher education would not be limited by such student being counted for such enrollment purposes. Additionally, the bill would clarify that an ECHS would not otherwise be subject to the requirements for payment of TAP pursuant to Article 14 of the Education Law. Section 3 is the effective date. Statement in Support of the Bill: The Board of Regents supports implementation of innovative programs to increase student attainment of postsecondary degrees, especially among underrepresented students. One innovative strategy that is proving effective is early college high schools. An early college high school (ECHS) is a public school that provides disadvantaged students with the opportunity and structured preparation to accelerate the completion of their high school studies while earning up to 60 transferable college credits, tuition-free. This is particularly important given that many of these ECHS programs serve high needs school districts. The mission of ECHSs is consistent with that of the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): to increase underrepresented students' access to post secondary education and to reduce these students' costs for obtaining such education. The academic and social support that ECHSs provide their students helps to ensure these students successfully complete college course work after high school, thereby making the investment of TAP funds in ECHS programs a sound strategy. According to the national Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI), these schools are "based on the principle that academic rigor, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges."1 To provide college-level instruction at the high school level, ECHSs require additional funding, beyond traditional State Aid, to support the additional costs associated with these services (e.g. college tuition and college textbooks, college level laboratory equipment, and additional academic and social support structures). To date, ECHSs have had to primarily rely on temporary funding sources such as grants to support these additional costs. (e.g. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). The unreliability of these funding sources and possible depletion of funds, subjects these schools to possible closure and jeopardizes the student's education at both the high school and college level. Making ECHSs statutorily eligible to receive TAP funds to pay these extra costs would help ensure the long-term sustainability of this valuable strategy for increasing high school graduation and postsecondary degree completion rates among underrepresented students. There are currently 34 ECHSs in New York State, with the earliest of such high schools opening in 2002 through the Early College Initiative (ECI) at CUNY. The CUNY program has grown to include 13 ECHSs with the most recent opening in September 2011. In 2009, the Board of Regents established the Smart Scholars Early College High School Program, which has an initial cohort of 11 ECHSs (Cohort 1). All of these ECHS programs received significant initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2011, to satisfy a required match to the initial $6 million that the Smart Scholars program was awarded by the Gates Foundation, NYSED awarded start-up grants to 12 new (Cohort 2) Smart Scholars ECHS programs and expansion grants to 4 Cohort 1 projects with State funding. There are now 23 Smart Scholars ECHS projects across New York State, including two of the CUNY ECI schools. All of the Smart Scholars grants are four-year awards, and the funded schools will need new funding sources to continue to meet the excess costs of their ECHS programs once their grant programs end. Other New York ECHS are already facing similar challenges with finding long-term funding to sustain their programs. Therefore, a structured funding mechanism is needed to sustain these valuable programs throughout the State. Furthermore, tracked student performance demonstrates the value of ECHSs to students and reinforces the need and appropriate use of TAP funds to sustain these programs. The national ECHSI has developed a Student Information System (SIS) to track student progress in approximately 200 of its ECHSs currently operating in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Outcomes for students in the ECHSI support the effectiveness of early college high schools as a strategy for closing the achievement gap. Nationwide, 70% of ECHSI students are students of color and 59% are eligible for the free or reduced lunch program. These figures are higher for ECHS students in New York State. For example, over 90% of the students in CUNY's Early College Initiative are students of color, and 66% participate in the free and reduced price lunch program. In 2010, over 5,400 students graduated from the 68 Early College High School Initiative schools that had been open for four or more years, and ECHS graduation rates outpaced district school graduation rates by 8% (84% to 76%, respectively). In addition, 77% of graduates went on to some form of postsecondary education, with 52% enrolled in a 4-year college, 23% enrolled in a 2-year college, and 2% enrolled in technical programs. Thus, ECHSs not only prepare students for college but they provide the incentive and motivation for students to complete their college degrees at an accelerated level. Budgetary Implications of the Bill: This bill is anticipated to result in overall cost-sayings to TAP as well as to the State given that an ECHS program accelerates a student's completion of his or her college degree at the high school level so that the student should not require as much TAP funding while in college. Furthermore, while a student may likely receive a maximum TAP award of $5,000 at the college level, an ECHS may only require $645 per student to provide college instruction at the high school level. Any savings in providing college instruction at the high school level rather than the college level would further result in costs savings on the State. It is estimated that based on an expected excess cost of $645 per student, the bill will cost approximately $1,540,905 in TAP funds during the first year of the bill's implementation. The following table outlines these costs: School Year Projected Projected Percent Projected ECHS 11th and 12th (rounded) and ECHS-TAP Graders ECHS Award Students Eligible for TAP 2012 - 2013 3,513 68%% = 2,389 $1,540,905 For further clarification, this cost was determined by multiplying the number of ECHS students projected to be eligible to be counted for ECHS TAP purposes in the 2013-2014 school year, by the estimated average excess cost per student ($645). The estimate for the number of eligible students is based on projections of the percentage of juniors and seniors in New York ECHS that would be eligible for the free and reduced price lunch program in such year. Although these schools may be eligible to apply for such funding in the 2013-2014 school year, no one school is required to apply. Rather, application for TAP funding should be made on an as needed basis since these funds should be used to help replace the grant funding when such funding expires. Therefore, the projections for this year could be considerably lower. Prior Legislative History: In 2011, the bill was introduced in the Senate as S.5647. It passed the Senate and was not introduced in the Assembly. In 2012, the bill was reintroduced in the Senate and was introduced in the Assembly as A.9312. The bill passed the Senate and was and referred to the Higher Education Committee. Effective Date: This act would take effect July 1, 2013.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ 4008 2013-2014 Regular Sessions I N SENATE March 4, 2013 ___________ Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- (at request of the State Education Department) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to continuing early college high school programs in the state 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 and declares it necessary to preserve and continue early college high school programs in the state that provide various students, including those traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education, with the opportunity to access college-level courses and college degree credits at the high school level with the combined support of high school and college staff and resources. The early college high school program not only increases these students' access to higher education, but also reduces potential costs for these students in completing college degrees by allowing them to either complete a degree upon graduation from high school or to apply their earned college credits towards an Associate's or Baccalaureate's degree. This innovative program provides incentives to high school students to proceed to college and to earn a college degree by accelerating their overall completion of such a degree. It also better prepares them for college-level coursework, which, will in turn, increase their academic performance. Ultimately, this program increases graduation rates both at the high school and college levels. The legislature hereby finds and declares it necessary to provide funding for these schools to ensure that they continue in operation and continue to provide students with these valuable services. Although early college high schools are public high schools, the cost of provid- ing college-level courses, including the costs of instruction at a part- nering college and college-level books and materials, exceeds the costs of a traditional public school. At the same time, the legislature recog- EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07966-01-3 S. 4008 2 nizes that accelerating the completion of a student's college degree at the high school level will result in a student requiring less tuition assistance funds (TAP) to complete their degree at the post-secondary level. Therefore, these schools ultimately result in significant cost- savings to TAP funds. Furthermore, given these students' increased preparedness for post-secondary education, which should, in turn, equate to enhanced academic performance in school, they are a great investment of TAP funds. S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 667-d to read as follows:
S 667-D. SUPPLEMENTAL TUITION ASSISTANCE AWARDS FOR EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY RULE, REGULATION, OR LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE PRESIDENT SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE ANNUAL TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARDS TO APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS IN THE STATE THAT OPERATE APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS ON BEHALF OF ELIGIBLE STUDENTS ENROLLED IN SUCH PROGRAMS. 2. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
(A) "APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS" MEANS AN EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM, APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER, WHICH PROVIDES ELIGIBLE STUDENTS ENROLLED IN SUCH PROGRAM WITH HIGH SCHOOL COURSES LEADING TO THE GRANTING OF A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AND COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSES LEADING TO THE GRANTING OF A POST-SECONDARY DEGREE OR DIPLOMA AT A PARTNERING COLLEGE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT; (B) "EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL" MEANS A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL THAT OFFERS AN APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM TO ITS STUDENTS; AND (C) "ELIGIBLE STUDENT" MEANS A STUDENT WHO:
(I) IS A RESIDENT OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH THE EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL IS LOCATED AND IS ENROLLED IN SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT; (II) IS REGISTERED TO ATTEND THE ELEVENTH OR TWELFTH GRADE AT SUCH HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR IN WHICH THE TUITION ASSISTANCE AWARD IS BEING SOUGHT; (III) WAS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FREE OR REDUCED PRICE LUNCH IN ONE OF THE TWO PRECEDING SCHOOL YEARS; AND (IV) IS EITHER MATRICULATED IN AN APPROVED PROGRAM LEADING TO THE GRANTING OF A POST-SECONDARY DEGREE OR DIPLOMA, OR WHO HAS DEMONSTRATED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COMMISSIONER THE ABILITY TO COMPLETE COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSEWORK IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION; (D) "EXCESS COST PER STUDENT" MEANS THE ADDITIONAL COST OF PROVIDING AN ELIGIBLE STUDENT WITH COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSE WORK, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER IN ACCORDANCE WITH A METHODOLOGY PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMIS- SIONER. 3. THE PRESIDENT SHALL MAKE TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARDS TO APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:
COMMENCING WITH THE TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN--TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN ACADEM- IC YEAR, AN APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM MAY APPLY TO THE CORPORATION FOR AN ANNUAL TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARD IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE PRODUCT OF:
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE STUDENTS ENROLLED IN THE APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM AND THE EXCESS COST PER STUDENT. 4. A STUDENT SHALL BE CONSIDERED A STUDENT WITH THE ABILITY TO COMPLETE COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSEWORK IF HE OR SHE MEETS AT LEAST TWO REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSIONER IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE S. 4008 3 COMMISSIONER, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NEED NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:
(A) THE STUDENT HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A SPECIFIED NUMBER OF HOURS OF COLLEGE-LEVEL INSTRUCTION AT AN APPROVED PARTNERING COLLEGE, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER; (B) THE STUDENT HAS OBTAINED A TEST SCORE OF AT LEAST THE EIGHTIETH PERCENTILE ON ALL REGENTS EXAMINATIONS ADMINISTERED TO SUCH STUDENT IN THE NINTH AND TENTH GRADES; AND (C) THE STUDENT HAS DEMONSTRATED THE ABILITY TO COMPLETE COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSEWORK THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL COURSEWORK IN MATHEMATICS, ENGLISH AND SCIENCE, INCLUDING TESTS, HOMEWORK, AND LAB WORK. 5. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE PAYMENT OF A TUITION ASSISTANCE AWARD PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION ON BEHALF OF AN ELIGIBLE STUDENT SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OR DURATION OF A TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARD AVAILABLE TO ANY SUCH STUDENT. 6. AN APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM SHALL NOT OTHERWISE BE SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIVING PAYMENT ON A TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARD PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that if this act shall have become a law on or after July 1, 2013, it shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after July 1, 2013.