Relates to the expenditure of prekindergarten program grant funds.
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Aubertine, Bonacic, Breslin, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Farley, Foley, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Johnson O, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Padavan, Parker, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Thompson, Valesky, Volker, Winner, Young
Excused (3): Flanagan, Fuschillo, Morahan
BILL NUMBER: S6777
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the education law, in relation to the expenditure of pre-kindergarten program grant funds
The Universal Prekindergarten Program (UPK) is a State-funded program that provides educationally-based high-quality prekindergarten to four year old children. UPK programs operate for a minimum of 2 1/2 hours per day for five days a week during the school year. This legislation would provide school districts with greater flexibility in the use of their unexpended UPK grants to maximize the number of children who are served.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1 would permit a school district which is eligible to receive a UPK grant but unable to fill all of their funded slots the ability to utilize unexpended grant money to create full-day slots, and support the cost of transporting pre-k students.
Section 2 would revise a Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement that penalizes school districts that provide supplemental funding to serve more students than their UPK grant permits by reducing state aid if they serve fewer students in a subsequent year.
Early education programs provide a strong foundation for at-risk children. Research has shown that children who are enrolled in high quality pre-kindergarten programs are less likely to require special education services, repeat grades or drop out of school. However, full implementation of UPK has not been realized.
Approximately 220 school districts in the state have yet to implement UPK due primarily to restrictions in how the funding is used. Information reported to the State Education Department has indicated that uncertainty about funding; insufficient per-pupil allocations; parental desire for full-day programs; and the lack of transportation for pre-k program are all barriers to full enrollment. The City of New York was unable to use over $25 million in UPK funding in the 2008-2009 SFY, due to these restrictions. This legislation would allow school districts to more fully utilize their UPK grant and remove disincentives for districts to serve additional students when economically possible.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : July 1, 2010
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6777 IN SENATE February 4, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sens. OPPENHEIMER, ADAMS, C. JOHNSON, KRUEGER, MONSERRATE, MONTGOMERY, ONORATO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when print- ed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the expenditure of pre-kindergarten program grant funds THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 10 of section 3602-e of the education law is amended by adding a new paragraph d to read as follows: D. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY IN THE EVENT A SCHOOL DISTRICT WHICH IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A GRANT UNDER THIS SECTION IS UNABLE TO EXPAND PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER THEN SUCH DISTRICT SHALL BE PERMITTED TO UTILIZE THE EQUIVALENT OF SUCH UNUSED PRE-KINDERGARTEN GRANT FUNDS FOR LOCAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN INITIATIVES, FULL-DAY PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND/OR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR PRE-KINDERGARTEN PUPILS AS APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH EXCESS MAY NOT BE GENERATED THROUGH A REDUCTION IN PRE-KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS SERVED FROM THOSE SERVED IN THE BASE YEAR. S 2. Subdivision 11 of section 3602-e of the education law, as amended by section 19 of part B of chapter 57 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: 11. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision ten of this section, where the district serves fewer children during the current year than PROVIDED FOR BY THE GRANT in the base year, the school district shall have its apportionment reduced in an amount proportional to such defi- ciency in the current year or in the succeeding school year, as deter- mined by the commissioner, except such reduction shall not apply to school districts which have fully implemented a universal pre-kindergar- ten program by making such program available to all eligible children. SUCH REDUCTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO DISTRICTS THAT REDUCE THE NUMBER OF AVAILABLE PRE-KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS SERVED SO LONG AS THE DISTRICT CONTINUES TO SERVE THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN PROVIDED FOR IN THE BASE YEAR. Expenses incurred by the school district in implementing a pre-kinder- garten program plan pursuant to this subdivision shall be deemed ordi- nary contingent expenses. S 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14964-02-9