Bill S669A-2013

Imposes a moratorium on the initiation of school closings in cities with a population of one million or more

Imposes a moratorium on the initiation of school closings in cities with a population of one million or more.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • Feb 21, 2013: PRINT NUMBER 669A
  • Feb 21, 2013: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S669A

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 of the bill amends paragraphs (a) and (f) of subdivision 2-a of § 2590-h of the education law, as amended by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009 by adding clauses stating that (a) the chancellor shall not be authorized to prepare of file and education impact statement for any proposed school closing, school phase-out, grade reconfiguration, re-siting or co-location of schools that would take effect during the two thousand fourteen-two thousand fifteen school year or the two thousand fifteen-two thousand sixteen school year and that (f) 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.

Section 2 of the bill amends paragraph (h) of subdivision 1 of 2590-g of the education law, as amended by chapter 345 of the laws of 2009, by adding a clause to state that the city board shall not approve any proposal for a school closing, school phase-out, grade reconfiguration, re-siting or co-location that would take effect during the two thousand fourteen-two thousand fifteen school year or the two thousand fifteen-two thousand sixteen school year.

Section 3 of the bill would create a School Closure Evaluation and Review Committee.

Section 4 of the bill sets forth and immediate effective date provided that the amendments made to sections 2590-h and 2590-g of the education law 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 (June 30, 2015).

JUSTIFICATION:

During the last three 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:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately provided that the amendments made to sections 2590-h and 2590-g of the education law 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.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 669--A 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 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee 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 added 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, GRADE RECONFIGURATION, RE-SITING OR CO-LOCATION OF SCHOOLS THAT WOULD TAKE EFFECT DURING THE TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN--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 extend 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 to sections 2590-h and 2590-g of the education law made 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.

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