Provides for aidable reimbursement for universal prekindergarten pupils in certain circumstances.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to reimbursement for transportation costs for universal prekindergarten students under certain circumstances
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill will allow school districts who are able to generate significant reductions in reimbursable transportation through employment of a variety of efficient practices to reinvest a portion of the savings to provide State Education Department reimbursable transportation to pupils enrolled in universal Pre-Kindergarten programs (UPK).
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill amends section 3622-a of the education law by adding a new subdivision 8, to permit school districts that have reduced reimbursable transportation costs by at least 5% year over year to reinvest up to 60% of the savings to provide State Education Department reimbursed transportation to UPK pupils at the level reimbursed for all enrolled school age pupils.
JUSTIFICATION: Prekindergarten Programs (UPK) provide opportunities for young children to participate in challenging, stimulating programs, designed to support their language, cognitive and social development while being sensitive to their strengths and needs.
Districts like the Rochester City School District have goals to enroll every four year old child within the District in UPK. To some extent, the lack of access to transportation for parents and students is a barrier to achieving this goal. And in some districts, getting to the UPK program can be exceptionally hazardous and/or unsafe, especially for children of this age.
State policy should provide incentives to districts to develop economies in transportation policy which conserve precious natural resources. By permitting districts who achieve at least 5% savings in year over year transportation costs to retain 60% of the savings to develop a reimbursable transportation program for UPK students, an appropriate balance of incentives and affordability is achieved which will save energy AND safely transport our most precious resources, our children.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010 Referred to Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Reduced cost to the State. School districts who can meet the eligibility standards in the bill will save the State at least 40% of its savings.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately, with provisions.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 704 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ROBACH -- 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 reimbursement for transportation costs for universal prekindergarten students under certain circumstances THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3622-a of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 8 to read as follows: 8. AIDABLE REIMBURSEMENT FOR UNIVERSAL PREKINDERGARTEN PUPILS IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION OR ANY LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR A SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR TRANSPORTING PUPILS ENROLLED IN A UNIVERSAL PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWO-E OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE AIDABLE AS IF THEY WERE TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR PUPILS OTHER- WISE ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF THE FOLLOW- ING CONDITIONS ARE MET: A. SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL HAVE SHOWN A DECREASE IN AIDABLE TRANS- PORTATION COSTS FROM ONE SCHOOL YEAR TO THE NEXT (BASE YEARS) OF AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT, AS REFLECTED IN APPROVED BUDGETS BY THE SCHOOL BOARD IN THE BASE YEARS; B. IF THE STANDARD IN PARAGRAPH A OF THIS SUBDIVISION IS MET, A SCHOOL BOARD MAY ELECT TO INCLUDE IN ITS APPROVED SCHOOL BUDGET IN ANY SUBSE- QUENT SCHOOL YEAR FOLLOWING THE BASE YEARS UP TO SIXTY PERCENT OF THE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE DECREASE TO TRANSPORT PUPILS ENROLLED IN THE DISTRICT'S UNIVERSAL PREKINDERGARTEN PURSUANT TO SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWO-E OF THIS ARTICLE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that the base years used to calculate eligibility for reimbursement pursuant to this act may be before the effective date of this act.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02063-01-1