Provides for notice of a bedbug infestation in a public school to the guardians of affected students in the school; authorizes the declaration a bedbug infestation in a discrete area of a school, and to limit the notification to parents, persons in parental relationship and guardians of students of affected students in such area; requires notification information to be developed in consultation with city agencies.
Ayes (15): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, Marcellino, Maziarz, Robach, Saland, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
Ayes W/R (3): LaValle, Ranzenhofer, Seward
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to persons required to be notified of bedbug infestations in certain public schools; and to amend chapter 426 of the laws of 2010, amending the education law relating to directing a city school district having a population of one million or more to provide notice of bedbug infestations in public schools, in relation to the effective date thereof
This legislation would amend Chapter 426 of the Laws of 2010 to provide flexibility in notifying parents of students potentially affected by bedbug infestations in certain school districts.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of §920 of the Education Law, as added by Chapter 426 of the Laws of 2010, to provide more operational flexibility. Without these amendments, §920 would require a public school principal in a city school district having a population of 1 million or more to immediately notify all of the students' parents or persons in parental notification of a finding relating to infestation of bedbugs in that school, without regard to case-specific circumstances. This could lead to unnecessary notifications in circumstances where the infested area would not be expected to affect all or most pupils (e.g., self-contained classroom, nurse's office).
This bill provides that, where the Commissioner of Education has adopted regulations delineating circumstances where an infestation would be contained to a subset of the student population, notifications may be limited to the families of those students potentially affected by an infestation. This will enable the district to avoid the expense and confusion resulting from any inappropriate over-notifications. In such cases, the principal would advise the parents' association or PTA of the scope of the notification.
Bill § 1 also amends subdivision 2 of new §920 to ensure that a consistent and informative notice is developed and employed citywide. This notice will be developed with the assistance of city agencies with expertise in this area, and will provide parents with essential information on bedbug detection and proper prevention and control measures.
Bill §2 amends the effective date language of the chapter law adding §920 to clarify a reference to the Commissioner of Education.
Without these amendments, §920 would be subject to the interpretation that excessive notification was mandated whether appropriate or not, as discussed above.
While it is important that the families of students who may have been affected by a bedbug infestation in their school should be informed of this fact and of the measures they should take, it is equally important that the families of students who are not at risk should not be caused needless worry by erroneous and excessive notifications. This bill will provide school principals with necessary guidance to allow targeted notifications to affected students in appropriate cases.
2010: A.11689 Referred to Assembly Education Committee S.8470 Referred to Senate Rules Committee
The flexibility added by this legislation will reduce any costs that would otherwise result under §920. Fewer notices will have to be generated and disseminated, and the more targeted nature of the notice will reduce any costs of responding to parents who would have been needlessly concerned about infestations in areas that could not have affected their children.
This act shall take effect immediately, except section 1 shall take effect on July 1, 2011, the same date as Chapter 426 of the Laws of 2010.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4231 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 24, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. GIANARIS -- 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 persons required to be notified of bedbug infestations in certain public schools; and to amend chapter 426 of the laws of 2010, amending the education law relating to directing a city school district having a population of one million or more to provide notice of bedbug infestations in public schools, in relation to the effective date thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 920 of the education law, as added by chapter 426 of the laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows: 1. In a city school district having a population of one million or more inhabitants, the principal of each public school shall provide immediate notification to
[all]parents [or], persons in parental relation OR GUARDIANS OF POTENTIALLY AFFECTED STUDENTS ATTENDING THE SCHOOL, disclosing a finding relating to the infestation of bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) in such school; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IF PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER IT IS DETERMINED THAT ANY INFESTATION IS CONTAINED WITHIN A DISCRETE AREA, THE PRINCIPAL MAY LIMIT SUCH NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS, PERSONS IN PARENTAL RELATIONSHIP OR GUARDIANS OF ALL POTENTIALLY AFFECTED STUDENTS WITHIN SUCH AREA, AND SHALL ADVISE THE PARENTS' ASSOCIATION OF THE SCOPE OF SUCH NOTIFICATION. 2. Along with the notification required pursuant to subdivision one of this section, the principal of such public school shall also include information regarding proper procedures to prevent further infestations at the school and to prevent the transfer of bedbugs from the school to the residences of students. Such information [may]SHALL be developed by the board of education in consultation with other city agencies and shall be available in various languages as deemed necessary.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10016-01-1 S. 4231 2
S 2. Section 2 of chapter 426 of the laws of 2010, amending the educa- tion law relating to directing a city school district having a popu- lation of one million or more to provide notice of bedbug infestations in public schools, is amended to read as follows: S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however that any rules and regulations OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are author- ized and directed to be completed on or before such date. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately, except that section one of this act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as chapter 426 of the laws of 2010 takes effect.