Expands the school districts that may, by district vote, consolidate their school district with a school district of a city with less than one hundred twenty-five thousand inhabitants.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to consolidation with city school districts
To allow for the voluntary consolidation of a school district in close proximity with a city school district within the education law.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends section 1524 of the education law to allow a school district in close proximity to a city school district, to voluntarily consolidate with that city school district.
Section two provides for the effective date.
Currently, the Education Law allows for the voluntary consolidation of a school district or districts contiguous to a city school district. It does not allow a school district in close proximity to a city school district to pursue such consolidation.
New York state law provides school districts contiguous to city school districts, with the option to pursue consolidation, with the potential of achieving greater efficiency and cost savings. However, a school district which is in close proximity to a city school district, yet not contiguous to that city school district cannot pursue consolidation under the current law. The ability to consider consolidation among school districts should be expanded so that those school districts in close proximity to a city school district, might also have the benefit of considering consolidation as an option.
School districts in New York State face problems including declining enrollment, escalating costs and limited resources. As a result of such pressures, school districts are forced to look at the configurations of their schools with the objective of seeking efficiencies and strategies to control ever increasing costs, while still providing a high quality education for students.
The option to consider consolidation should not be limited to only those school districts contiguous to city school districts. Broadening the law to allow schools in close proximity to city school districts to consider consolidation gives these schools one more tool to use as they try to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.
This is a new bill.
This bill may result in savings to those school districts who chose to consolidate their operations.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7189 IN SENATE May 2, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. RITCHIE -- 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 consolidation with city school districts THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 1524 of the education law, as amended by chapter 461 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or any other gener- al, special, or local law to the contrary, whenever the qualified voters of a school district which is contiguous to the city school district OR IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT of a city with less than one hundred twenty-five thousand inhabitants, according to the latest federal census, by a majority vote taken at an annual or special meeting of such district shall adopt a proposition to consolidate such school district with such city school district, and the board of education of such city school district shall by resolution duly adopted consent ther- eto, the commissioner
[of education]may by order consolidate such school district with such city school district; provided, however, that where several school districts are contiguous to each other and at least one of such school districts is contiguous to such city school district OR IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SUCH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, such vote may be taken in each of such school districts at the same time, and if the proposition to consolidate is adopted by a majority vote in each such district, including any votes cast by absentee ballot as provided under section two thousand eighteen-a or two thousand eighteen-b of this chap- ter, whichever shall apply, and upon the consent of the city school district board of education, the commissioner [of education]may include each such district in one order of consolidation; provided, further, however, that if the proposition to consolidate is not adopted by a majority vote in each such district, but is so adopted in one or more of such districts, upon the consent of the city school district board of education, the commissioner may include in one order of consolidationEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14700-01-4 S. 7189 2
only such district or districts as, either singly or as a group, are contiguous to such city school district OR IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO SUCH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT. Such order shall specify a date on which the same shall take effect, and shall have the same effect as an order made by a district superintendent dissolving two or more common school districts and forming a new district therefrom, or dissolving one or more common school districts and uniting the territory thereof to a union free school district under the provisions of article thirty-one of this chap- ter. A copy of such order shall be filed with the clerk of each school district affected thereby. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.