Bill S5647-2011

Continues early college high schools in the state

Continues early college high schools in the state.

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  • Jun 12, 2012: referred to higher education
  • Jun 12, 2012: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 12, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 12, 2012: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1150
  • Jun 12, 2012: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Jan 4, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jan 4, 2012: died in assembly
  • Jun 14, 2011: referred to higher education
  • Jun 14, 2011: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 14, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 13, 2011: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1178
  • Jun 11, 2011: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 8, 2011: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

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BILL NUMBER:S5647               REVISED 02/27/12

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the education law, in relation to continuing early college high schools in the state

PURPOSE OF THE BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to ensure the continuation of early college high schools (ECHSs) in the State, which provide students often under-represented 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 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 2012-2013 academic year, an ECHS may apply to HESC for a TAP award if the ECHS is an approved ECHS in the State. The Commissioner of Education would be authorized to establish the criteria for the approval of a public high school as an ECHS eligible for TAP funds for purposes of such section.

The amount of TAP funds awarded to any ECHS 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 its first implementation year (2010-11), the cost beyond traditional high school expenses to provide an ECHS program is estimated to be approximately $582 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 11th 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 II th and 1 th 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 though 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 United States Department of Education and the New York State Board of Regents are seeking innovative programs to increase student attainment of postsecondary degrees, especially among under-represented 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 ECHSs serve a school district with a high-needs school.

The mission of ECHSs is consistent with that of the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): to increase under-represented 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." ECHSI website at http://www.earlycollege.org/.

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. By 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 under-represented students.

There are currently 23 ECHSs in New York State, with the earliest of such high schools opening in 2002 through the Early College

Initiative at CUNY. The CUNY program has grown to include 12 ECHSs and will open a new ECHS in September 2011. In 2009, the New York State Board of Regents established the Smart Scholars Early College High School Program, which has an initial cohort of 11 ECHSs across New York State. All of these ECHS programs received significant initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Within the next two months, NYSED plans to award start-up grants to 16 new Smart Scholars ECHS programs with State funding that will satisfy a required match to the initial $6 million that the Smart Scholars program was awarded by the Gates Foundation. 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 64% participate in the free and reduced price lunch program. In 2009, 3,000 students graduated from the 64 early college schools in the national ECHSI network that were in operation for four plus years. These students earned an average of 20 plus college credits. Thirty-nine percent earned at least a year of transferable credit, while 25 % earned two full years of college credit or an Associate's degree. Among the six CUNY ECHSs that had graduating classes in 2009, 45% of the graduates entered CUNY colleges with an average number of college credits ranging up to 15 credits, with many students earning at least a full semester of college. 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-savings 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 $582 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 $582 per student, the bill will cost approximately $1,834,464.00 in TAP funds during the first year of the bill's implementation.

The following table outlines these costs:

School Year Projected Projected Percent Projected Number ECHS (rounded) and ECHS-TAP 11th and 12th Number ECHS Award Graders Students Eligible for TAP

2012-2013 4,057 74% = 3,152 $1,834,464

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 2012-2013 school year, by the estimated average excess cost per student ($582). 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.

These figures also include the students anticipated from the 16 new ECHS programs that will open in September 2011 with the second round of Smart Scholars funding. Although these schools may be eligible to apply for such funding in the 2012-2013 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:

This is a new legislative proposal.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect July 1, 2012.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5647 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 8, 2011 ___________
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 schools 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 schools 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 a 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
recognizes 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-sec- ondary 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 SCHOOLS 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 PROGRAM" MEANS AN EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM, APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER, WHICH PROVIDES ELIGIBLE STUDENTS ENROLLED AT SUCH PROGRAM WITH HIGH SCHOOL COURSES LEADING TO THE GRANT- ING 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; AND B. "APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL" MEANS A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL THAT OPERATES AN APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM; C. "ELIGIBLE STUDENT" MEANS A STUDENT WHO: (I) IS A RESIDENT OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH THE 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 BY SUCH SCHOOL; (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 COURSE WORK IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVISION THREE 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 SCHOOLS IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER: A. COMMENCING WITH THE TWO THOUSAND TWELVE--TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN ACADEMIC YEAR, AN APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL MAY APPLY TO THE CORPORATION FOR AN ANNUAL TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARD IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE PRODUCT OF: (I) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE STUDENTS ENROLLED IN AN APPROVED EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM IN SUCH SCHOOL AND (II) EITHER FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR THE EXCESS COST PER STUDENT, WHICHEVER IS LESS. 4. A STUDENT SHALL BE CONSIDERED A STUDENT WITH THE ABILITY TO COMPLETE COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSE WORK IF HE OR SHE MEETS AT LEAST TWO REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSIONER IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE
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 COURSE WORK THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL COURSE WORK 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 EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL 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, 2012, it shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after July 1, 2012.

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