Eliminates age requirement for eligibility for high school athletic competition for pupils with a developmental or physical disability; guarantees 5 years of eligibility to such pupils if qualified and chosen to compete.
BILL NUMBER: S6934
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the education law, in relation to eligibility for senior high school athletic competition
PURPOSE OF GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : The bill would direct th Commissioner of Education to outline a regulation that eliminates the age requirement on eligibility for interscholastic athletic competition when student has a developmental or physical disability.
JUSTIFICATION : The public education system entrusts the state with the responsibility for education of the whole person, including character, knowledge and other skills and abilities. Participation in interscholastic sports helps students in the development of the whole person by contributing to social skills ,self-esteem and team building.
This new section of law is necessary to support models of inclusion and give special needs students the opportunity to participate in sporting activities, while at the same time ensuring the safety of all participants.
Despite previous successful efforts to include special needs students in regular public classrooms and other school activities, regulations in high school athletics have unfortunately not developed to reflect these newer models.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6934 IN SENATE February 26, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- 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 eligibility for senior high school athletic competition 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 3208-b to read as follows: S 3208-B. ELIGIBILITY FOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC COMPETITION; DISABILITY EXCEPTION. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO ELIMINATE THE AGE REQUIREMENT ON ELIGIBILITY FOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC COMPETITION WHEN A STUDENT WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY, SUCH AS AUTISM OR ASPERGER SYNDROME, OR A PHYSICAL DISABILITY, WHO IS OTHERWISE QUALIFIED TO COMPETE AND HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR SUCH COMPETI- TION IN THE PAST, HAS NOT YET GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO GUARANTEE THAT A STUDENT WITH A DEVELOP- MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY IS ELIGIBLE FOR FIVE YEARS OF SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC COMPETITION IF SUCH STUDENT IS QUALIFIED TO COMPETE AND HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR SUCH COMPETITION. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DEFINE DEVELOPMENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY FOR PURPOSES OF THIS WAIVER IN ACCORDANCE WITH PART TWO HUNDRED OF THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. 2. THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OR THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ANY SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE SAME SECTION OF THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION MAY FILE A COMPLAINT TO CHALLENGE A STUDENT WITH A DISABILITY FROM BEING ELIGIBLE FOR A FIFTH YEAR OF SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT'S SECTION OF THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION IF THERE ARE CONCERNS REGARDING THE SAFETY OF SUCH STUDENT OR OTHER STUDENT ATHLETES COMPETING WITH SUCH STUDENT. 3. UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH COMPLAINT, A DISTRICT DIRECTOR MAY DISQUALIFY A STUDENT'S ELIGIBILITY FOR A FIFTH YEAR OF ATHLETIC COMPETITION. A DISQUALIFIED STUDENT MAY COMMENCE AN APPEALS PROCESS WITH THE ATHLETIC COUNCIL OF THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF SUCH DETERMINATION. THE ATHLETIC COUNCIL SHALLEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14862-04-9 S. 6934 2
REVIEW THE DISTRICT DIRECTOR'S DECISION AND ANY EVIDENCE OR MATERIALS USED TO MAKE SUCH DECISION. SUCH COUNCIL MAY HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS FROM INVOLVED AND INTERESTED PARTIES. THE COUNCIL SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO AFFIRM, REVERSE, OR MODIFY THE DECISIONS OF THE DISTRICT DIRECTOR. 4. AN APPEAL FROM THE DETERMINATION OF THE ATHLETIC COUNCIL MAY BE TAKEN TO THE APPEAL PANEL OF THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF SUCH DETERMINATION. THE APPEAL PANEL SHALL REVIEW THE EVIDENCE, MAY HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS FROM INVOLVED AND INTERESTED PARTIES, AND SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO AFFIRM, REVERSE, OR MODIFY THE DECISIONS OF THE ATHLETIC COUNCIL. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.