Relates to the imposition of community service for students in place of or in conjunction with suspension.
Ayes (59): Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (2): Larkin, Little
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing the option of assigning community service as an alternative to suspension of students or in conjunction thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Allows for the imposition of community service in place of or in conjunction with suspension
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the education law by adding a new section 3214-a
Section 2 - effective date
JUSTIFICATION: Under the current law, school principals may impose a variety of penalties to students who violate the Code of Conduct, including detentions, in-school suspensions from school, and out-ofschool suspensions from school for a period of up to five (5) days. Principals have wide discretion in making these determinations. However, when a student commits a significant violation of the Code of Conduct that leads to hearing before the Superintendent of Schools, the only penalty that a Superintendent may impose, if the student is in fact proven guilty of the violation, is a further suspension of school. That suspension can be for additional days, weeks or months, depending on the severity of the violation.
Under certain circumstances, it is prudent to remove students from school in order to protect and preserve the safety and continuity of the learning environment for other students. However, in many cases a prolonged absence from school significantly undermines the viability of the educational program of the suspended students. This is true even when the students (of compulsory age) are provided an alternative learning settings (tutoring, etc.) to which that they are entitled. (School districts are not required to provide alternative learning opportunities for students who are beyond compulsory age.) Furthermore, for those students who may not be fully invested in their schooling, a lengthy suspension from school may in fact be an incentive to violate a school's Code of Conduct. Thus in some circumstances, a lengthy suspension from school may be counterproductive to the overarching goal of schools, to prepare students to be contributing members of our communities.
It is worthy to mention that under some circumstances, school districts can work with families to reach an agreement whereby students must perform community service in addition to or in lieu of a suspension from school. However, absent such an agreement, a penalty of community cannot be imposed. Therefore, this change to the law would provide Superintendents with the discretion to determine the best course of action with respect to a penalty for each student who comes before him/her after a serious violation of the district's Code of Conduct.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: new bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: none
EFFECTIVE DATE: this act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6282 IN SENATE January 9, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- 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 authorizing the option of assigning community service as an alternative to suspension of students or in conjunction thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3214-a to read as follows: S 3214-A. COMMUNITY SERVICE. AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROVISIONS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION THIRTY-TWO HUNDRED FOURTEEN OF THIS ARTICLE, A BOARD OF EDUCATION, BOARD OF TRUSTEES OR SOLE TRUSTEE, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OR PRINCIPAL OF A SCHOOL MAY REQUIRE A PUPIL TO PERFORM COMMUNITY SERVICE WHEN, IN HIS OR HER DISCRETION, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, BOARD OF TRUS- TEES OR SOLE TRUSTEE, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, DISTRICT SUPER- INTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OR PRINCIPAL OF A SCHOOL DEEMS THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH COMMUNITY SERVICE IS APPROPRIATE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11971-02-3