Directs the commissioner of education to establish an online learning advisory council to make recommendations for establishment of a statewide online and blended learning program.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to direct the commissioner of education to establish an online learning advisory committee to make recommendations on establishing a statewide online and blended learning program
This bill directs the Commissioner of Education to establish an online learning advisory committee to make recommendation for the establishment of a statewide online and blended learning program.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 sets forth the legislative intent.
Section 2 sets forth guidelines to be followed by the commissioner of education, in consultation with the New York state broadband program office, New York State Energy Research and Development Agency, and the New York State Public Services Commission, to establish an online learning advisory committee, consisting of twelve members, that will make recommendations relating to the implementation of a statewide online and blending learning program.
Section 3 directs the advisory committee to submit preliminary recommendations by January 1, 2014 to the Executive, legislature and Chair of the legislative Commission on Rural Resources for consideration in the SFY 2014/15 Executive Budget. A final report must be submitted to the Executive, legislature and Chair of the legislative Commission on Rural Resources by October 1, 2014.
Section 4 sets an immediate effective date.
An unfortunate consequence of the recent fiscal climate has been the significant challenges presented to our New York schools. Many have faced difficult decisions with respect to programming and services. Online and blended learning initiatives, however, offer the opportunity for students in our most rural districts to receive instruction on cutting-edge and innovative topics through a fiscally responsible medium. New York is home to successful projects in online and blended learning including those in New York City as well as pockets of upstate New York. Nevertheless, there has been a demonstrated need for a comprehensive, statewide program to encourage the delivery of services to all New York schools.
In September 2011, the New York State Education Department convened a group of education leaders to examine opportunities provided by online and blended learning. The New York State Online and Blended Learning Summit identified a "roadmap" as a top priority for the development of these programs in the state. This legislation builds upon the recommendations of this group and establishes an advisory committee, formed by the Commissioner of Education, NYSERDA, the Public Service Commission, and the Broadband Program Office, to be charged with making a statewide online and blended learning program. Among the
considerations to be reviewed by the committee are broadband access, seat-time requirements, administrative barriers, among others.
By enabling a cohesive program for virtual and online learning statewide, all students will be given the opportunity to capitalize on advancements throughout the state, gain critical experience with technology, and gain the skills necessary to compete in our 21s1 century world.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5509 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. YOUNG -- (at request of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to direct the commissioner of education to establish an online learning advisory committee to make recommendations on establishing a statewide online and blended learning program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature recognizes that there is a demonstrated need to reevaluate the delivery of education in New York state in light of educational advancements and a more technolog- ically driven economy. In light of academic discrepancies for those in the most rural and underrepresented areas within the state as well as the unstable economic times, we believe that there is a need to advance emerging technologies and the potential for implementation of a state- wide online and blended learning program. This will provide an opportu- nity to highlight the state's most successful programs and make them universally accessible. A statewide online and blended learning program will not only have the potential to provide equal educational opportu- nities to the most remote areas of the state, but help all students as they transition into a competitive marketplace. S 2. The commissioner of education, in consultation with the New York state broadband program office of the empire state development corpo- ration, the New York state energy research and development authority and the public service commission, shall establish an online learning advi- sory committee which shall develop recommendations for establishment of a statewide online and blended learning program. Such advisory committee shall be composed of 12 members appointed by the commissioner of educa- tion. Provided that three members shall be appointed upon the recommen- dation of the governor, three members shall be appointed upon the recom- mendation of the temporary president of the senate, and three membersEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10800-02-3 S. 5509 2
shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the speaker of the assem- bly. The members of the committee shall have demonstrated experience with or expertise in one of the following areas: private or public online providers, accreditation of programming, boards of cooperative educational services, school administration, educational delivery in a rural setting, existing online and blended learning program development or institutions of higher education. The recommendations of the advisory committee shall include, but not be limited to: (a) definitions of online and blended learning; (b) connecting modules throughout the state in order to create a statewide online and blended learning system including, but not limited to, remote and rural school districts; (c) model school district policies, as well as model agreements to be used by school districts in implementation of an online and blended learning program including, but not limited to, agreements that address billing, fees, responsibilities of online course providers and school districts; (d) best practices from throughout the state that can be modeled and replicated; (e) implementation guidelines and policies for schools without online and blended learning programs; (f) state and federal funding opportunities for online and blended learning programs, as well as a review of state aid to online and blend- ed learning programs; (g) regulatory review and development of new regulations pertaining to online and blended learning programs; (h) content and course evaluation; (i) identifiable academic programming suited for online and blended learning that have been eliminated from course offerings within the past five years including, but not limited to, foreign language courses, technology classes, art and music, and career and college ready programs; (j) partnerships with institutions of higher education for workforce opportunities using online and blended learning; (k) teaching and professional development requirements including recommendations regarding licensure, and compliance with current state laws; (l) technology support, including but not limited to, technological delivery and broadband access to remote and underrepresented geographic areas; (m) quality assessment and licensing of online providers; (n) operational and administrative support guidelines; (o) addressing barriers to the implementation of online and blended learning programs; and (p) local school district flexibility including recommendations for compliance with seat-time and graduation requirements. S 3. The advisory committee shall convene on October 1, 2013 to devel- op its recommendations. On or before January 1, 2014, the committee shall submit a preliminary report of its recommendations for consider- ation in the executive budget for the 2014-2015 state fiscal year, and, on or before October 1, 2014, shall submit a final report of its recom- mendations to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly and the chairmen of the legislative commission on the development of rural resources. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.