Relates to instruction on the history of people with disabilities.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to instruction on the history of people with disabilities
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To include the history of people with disabilities in the state's mandatory curriculum.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one: adds "the history of people with disabilities in New York State" to the list of mandatory subjects to be taught. It also provides that the instruction should be concentrated, but not limited to the third full week in October to coincide with the state's Disability History Week.
JUSTIFICATION: Among the list of mandatory subjects in school are patriotism, human rights, the Holocallst, and the mass starvation in Ireland. This bill adds the history of people with disabilities to that important list.
It is important for our youth to understand the history in order to appreciate how individuals with disabilities were once viewed and treated. The bill would authorize the board of Regents to adopt a statewide curriculum that would provide students with the opportunity to learn how people with disabilities were instrumental in changing history, and how they became active participants in changing societal attitudes about their needs, desires, and capabilities. By teaching disability history in schools we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that history is not repeated and that there continues to be movement towards and even more accessible society in future generations.
Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington have all followed the precedent set by West Virginia in establishing the third week of October as Disability History Week. New York has established that week also as Disability History Week, and this legislation will ensure the educational aspect.
This legislation lays the foundation for good citizenship and inspires respect for individual differences and will create a road map for an accepting society in New York State.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 05/06/08 REFERRED TO EDUCATION
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 560 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ROBACH -- 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 instruction on the history of people with disabilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 801 of the education law, as amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended to read as follows: 1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intel- lectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obli- gations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular atten- tion to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, AND THE HISTORY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, TO BE CONCENTRATED DURING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE THIRD FULL WEEK OF OCTOBER, to be maintained and followed in all the schools of the state. The boards of education and trustees of the several cities and school districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction. Similar courses of instruction shall be prescribed and maintained in private schools in the state, and all pupils in such schools over eight years of age shall attend upon such courses. If such courses are not so established and maintained in a private school, attendance upon instruc- tion in such school shall not be deemed substantially equivalent toEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01984-01-1 S. 560 2
instruction given to pupils of like age in the public schools of the city or district in which such pupils reside. 3. The regents shall determine the subjects to be included in such courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground rail- road), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, THE HISTORY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, TO BE CONCENTRATED DURING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE THIRD FULL WEEK OF OCTOBER, and in the history, meaning, significance and effect of the provisions of the constitution of the United States, the amendments thereto, the declara- tion of independence, the constitution of the state of New York and the amendments thereto, and the period of instruction in each of the grades in such subjects. They shall adopt rules providing for attendance upon such instruction and for such other matters as are required for carrying into effect the objects and purposes of this section. The commissioner shall be responsible for the enforcement of such section and shall cause to be inspected and supervise the instruction to be given in such subjects. The commissioner may, in his OR HER discretion, cause all or a portion of the public school money to be apportioned to a district or city to be withheld for failure of the school authorities of such district or city to provide instruction in such courses and to compel attendance upon such instruction, as herein prescribed, and for a non- compliance with the rules of the regents adopted as
[herein]provided IN THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.