Relates to the New York state office of religious and independent schools establishment act.
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Kennedy, Klein, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (5): Avella, Hoylman, Krueger, Perkins, Squadron
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the state office of religious and independent schools establishment act
PURPOSE: Establishes a New York State Office for Religious and Independent Schools and permits the center to disburse school safety funds allocated in the 2013-2014 State Budget.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 2: Creates Article 12-B which establishes the New York State Office for Religious and Independent Schools
Section 3: Sets forth an immediate effective date, provided that any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act shall be promulgated and take effect 180 days after such effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Presently, the state provides resources to support students who attend independent or religious schools. Specifically, resources are allocated for the purpose of obtaining instructional materials, academic intervention services, transportation services, and school health and safety measures. The present mechanism for providing much of these services requires the local public school district to administer these funds to the independent or religious school where pupils residing in the public school district attend. The administration of aid programs benefiting religious and independent school students often become the responsibility of the public school districts or BOCES in which such independent or religious schools are located or in which such independent and religious school students reside. Placing a burden on the public school system for administering programs intended to benefit students who attend religious and independent schools is unfair, inefficient and often ineffective.
The administration of programs benefiting religious and independent schools can be handled directly by the State Education Department with increased efficiency and effectiveness with the creation of an office dedicated for such purpose. Therefore, this legislation would address these challenges by creating an Office for Religious and Independent Schools within the State Education Department that would be exclusively responsible for serving the needs of students who attend independent and religious schools. The Office for Religious and Independent Schools will provide an efficient and cost-effective means of administering the safety equipment and academic intervention funds, and potentially other programs, while providing religious and independent school administrators with a single and self-sustaining office for accessing information and resources intended for their benefit. Moreover, creating the Office within the State Education Department will help ensure that the state's religious and independent schools remain integrally connected to the Regents' efforts to prepare all students for college and careers.
Additionally, the health and safety of our students, regardless of where they attend school is of the utmost importance. As such, in early 2013 resources were appropriated for school districts to upgrade or install safety equipment. Additional funds for the purchase of
school safety equipment were appropriated for independent and religious schools in the 2013-2014 Budget. The Office for Religious and Independent Schools will provide an efficient, cost-effective, transparent and accountable means of disbursing this safety equipment funding.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No new fiscal implications to the state. Funding for the New York State Office for Religious and Independent Schools is subject to funding currently appropriated in the 2013-2014 Enacted State Budget.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately, provided that any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act shall be promulgated and take effect 180 days after its enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5253--A Cal. No. 1290 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. FLANAGAN, DeFRANCISCO, LANZA, MARTINS, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Finance -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Rules -- ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the state office of religious and independent schools establishment act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature recognizes that religious and independent schools play a vital role in the educa- tion of children within the many communities throughout the state and that is is incumbent on the state to continue to support New York students who attend these schools. The legislature further recognizes that while religious and independent school students are included in an array of state and federal programs intended to benefit students in all schools including, but not limited to, instructional materials, school health and safety measures, academic intervention, professional develop- ment and transportation services, the administration of those programs falls most often to the public school districts in which such religious or independent schools are located or the school districts in which such religious and independent school students reside. The legislature also recognizes the substantial administrative burden placed on public school districts charged with administering services for students over whom such districts have little direct responsibility. The legislature further recognizes the inefficiencies that exist in administering programs to benefit students attending religious and independent schools. Therefore, the legislature recognizes the need to create the state office for religious and independent schools for the purpose ofEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10879-02-3 S. 5253--A 2
providing an efficient and cost-effective means of administering programs and services to benefit students enrolled in religious and independent schools. S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new article 12-B to read as follows: ARTICLE 12-B STATE OFFICE OF RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS SECTION 571. SHORT TITLE. 572. STATE OFFICE FOR RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS. 573. RULES AND REGULATIONS. S 571. SHORT TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE "STATE OFFICE OF RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS ESTABLISHMENT ACT". S 572. STATE OFFICE FOR RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS. 1. THE STATE OFFICE FOR RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE AND COORDINATE SERVICES AND ADMINISTER STATE AND FEDERAL PROGRAMS AND APPROPRIATIONS AS MAY BE IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS AND PERSONNEL IN RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS AND TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION AND CARRY OUT OTHER ACTIVITIES INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS AND PERSONNEL IN RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS. 2. THE DEPARTMENT, ON BEHALF OF THE OFFICE, SHALL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT AND RECEIVE ANY GRANTS, AWARDS, APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER FUNDS AS MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE TO CARRY OUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE. ALL SUCH FUNDS RECEIVED BY OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE HELD IN A DISTINCT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO CARRY OUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE. 3. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL UTILIZE A PORTION OF STATE AND/OR FEDERAL FUNDS APPROPRIATED SOLELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS FOR PERSONNEL SERVICES NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE. S 573. RULES AND REGULATIONS. THE COMMISSIONER MAY PROMULGATE ANY RULES OR REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTI- CLE. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act shall be promulgated and take effect 180 days after such effective date.