Imposes a moratorium on the initiation of school closings in cities with a population of one million or more.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to imposing a moratorium on the initiation of school closings in cities with a population of one million or more
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to establish a moratorium on the initiation of any proposed school closing or significant change in school utilization.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1. reads as follows: Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of the education law or any other law to the contrary, there is hereby established a moratorium on the initiation of any proposed school closing, including a phase-out plan or grade reconfiguration, for any public school located within such city school district.
Section 2 of the bill amends paragraph (h) of subdivision 1 of section 2590-g of the education law, as amended by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, to state that the city board shall not approve any proposal for a school closing, school phase-out, or grade reconfiguration that would take effect during the two thousand thirteen-two thousand fourteen school year or the two thousand fourteen-two thousand fifteen school year.
Section 3 of the bill would create a School Closure Evaluation and Review Committee.
During the last two years, there has been an explosion of school closures in New York City. However, it is not clear that the academic performance of the students who are adversely impacted or dispersed by a school closure have measurably improved. Similarly, there is limited evidence that replacement schools perform any better than those that have been closed.
In the view of many education professionals, efforts to enhance student performance requires comprehensive academic intervention and not simply a shut-down strategy most commonly found in the consumer retail market. A one-year moratorium will provide the legislature and the State Education Department with the time to evaluate the effectiveness of the aggressive school closure practices of the NYC Department of Education, and determine the best course of action to meet the educational needs of public school students.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.4465-A/A.6158-B (Jeffries)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall expire and be deemed repealed one year after such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 669 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. AVELLA, HASSELL-THOMPSON, PARKER -- 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 imposing a moratorium on the initiation of school closings in cities with a population of one million or more THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraphs (a) and (f) of subdivision 2-a of section 2590-h of the education law, as amended by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows: (a) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, prepare an educational impact statement regarding any proposed school closing or significant change in school utilization, including the phase-out, grade reconfiguration, re-siting, or co-location of schools, for any public school located within the city district; PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT THE CHAN- CELLOR SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PREPARE OR FILE AN EDUCATIONAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR ANY PROPOSED SCHOOL CLOSING, SCHOOL PHASE-OUT, OR GRADE RECONFIGURATION THAT WOULD TAKE EFFECT DURING THE TWO THOUSAND FOUR- TEEN--TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SCHOOL YEAR OR THE TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN--TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN SCHOOL YEAR. (f) In the event that the chancellor determines that a school closing or significant change in school utilization is immediately necessary for the preservation of student health, safety or general welfare, the chan- cellor may temporarily close a public school or adopt a significant change in the school's utilization on an emergency basis. Such emergency school closing or significant change in school utilization shall only remain in effect for six months, during such time the chancellor shall comply with the requirements of this subdivision in order for such school closure or significant change in school utilization to extendEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03422-01-3 S. 669 2
beyond the six month period; PROVIDED THAT ANY EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING OCCURRING DURING THE TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN--TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SCHOOL YEAR OR THE TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN--TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN SCHOOL YEAR SHALL ONLY REMAIN IN EFFECT DURING SUCH TIME AS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN ORDER TO PRESERVE STUDENT HEALTH, SAFETY OR GENERAL WELFARE. S 2. Paragraph (h) of subdivision 1 of section 2590-g of the education law, as added by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: (h) approve proposals for all school closures or significant changes in school utilization including the phase-out, grade reconfiguration, re-siting, or co-location of schools, following any hearing pursuant to subdivision two-a of section twenty-five hundred ninety-h of this arti- cle; PROVIDED THAT THE CITY BOARD SHALL NOT APPROVE ANY PROPOSAL FOR A SCHOOL CLOSING, SCHOOL PHASE-OUT, OR GRADE RECONFIGURATION THAT WOULD TAKE EFFECT DURING THE TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN--TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SCHOOL YEAR OR THE TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN--TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN SCHOOL YEAR. S 3. Section 305 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 43 to read as follows: 43. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A SCHOOL CLOSURE EVALUATION AND REVIEW COMMITTEE, WHICH SHALL REVIEW THE IMPACTS RELATING TO THE NUMBER OF LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS THAT HAVE BEEN CLOSED IN THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCATED IN A CITY OF ONE MILLION OR MORE INHABITANTS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPACT TO STUDENT EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT, AND SHALL ALSO CONSIDER WHETHER ALTERNATIVE POLICIES WOULD HAVE A MORE POSITIVE IMPACT ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. THE COMMITTEE SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, ACADEMICIANS WHO STUDY EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES, PSYCHOMETRICIANS AND EDUCATION POLICY EXPERTS. THE COMMISSION- ER SHALL REPORT THE COMMITTEE'S FINDINGS TO THE CHAIRS OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE AND THE CHAIR OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMIT- TEE AND THE CHAIR OF THE ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the amend- ments made to sections 2590-h and 2590-g of the education law by sections one and two of this act shall not affect the expiration of such sections pursuant to chapter 91 of the laws of 2002 and shall expire and be deemed repealed therewith.