This bill has been amended

Bill S7225-2011

Relates to certain information to be provided prior to hearings held for certain pupils being suspended from school

Relates to certain information about special education upon entry to school.

Details

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  • May 2, 2012: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7225

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to certain information to be provided prior to hearings held for certain pupils being suspended from school

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: When a student is being suspended from school for more than five days, a fair hearing must be offered. This bill requires that prior to attending the hearing, the parent or guardian of the student must be provided with information concerning the Committee on Special Education (CSE) referral process.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subparagraph 1 of paragraph c of subdivision 3 of section 3214 of the Education Law, as amended by Chapter 430 of the Laws of 2006 is amended.

JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, when a student is suspended from school for more than five days, a fair hearing must be offered to allow the student opportunity to have counsel, question witnesses and to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf. This legislation requires that the school district provide the parents or guardian of the student with information concerning the CSE referral process prior to the hearing.

For safety reasons, it is widely recognized that serious violations of a school district code of conduct must be dealt with in a timely manner and be consistent in implementation. It is not the intent of this bill to interfere with that process. However, repeated behavioral infractions can sometimes be the manifestation of a mental illness or other disabling condition. The bill requires that parents be provided with information on how to access school services (such as a psychological evaluation) when a student is facing a long term suspension.

In instances where a disability exists and has gone undiagnosed, repeated removal from school often exacerbates the condition and does not address the need to prevent further infractions.

Providing the parents with information on where to seek school related services at this juncture will offer an alternative approach that may be warranted if the student has an undiagnosed disability.

Under the provisions of this bill, the information to be provided to parents would include the name and contact information for the Chairperson of the school district's Committee on Special Education or another individual who is already charged with processing referrals to the committee, and the manner in which a parent may refer their child.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7225 IN SENATE May 2, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- 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 certain information to be provided prior to hearings held for certain pupils being suspended from school THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph c of subdivision 3 of section 3214 of the education law, as amended by chapter 430 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (1) No pupil may be suspended for a period in excess of five school days unless such pupil and the person in parental relation to such pupil shall have had an opportunity for a fair hearing, upon reasonable notice, at which such pupil shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against such pupil and to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf. PRIOR TO SUCH HEARING, SUCH PUPIL AND SUCH PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION TO SUCH PUPIL SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH AN INFORMATIONAL DOCUMENT BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL WHO IS CHARGED WITH PROCESSING REFERRALS TO THE COMMITTEE IN THE DISTRICT, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH A PARENT MAY REFER THEIR CHILD FOR EVALUATION IF THEY BELIEVE THE STUDENT'S BEHAVIOR IS THE MANIFESTATION OF A DISABILITY. Where the pupil is a student with a disability or a student presumed to have a disability, the provisions of paragraph g of this subdivision shall also apply. Where a pupil has been suspended in accordance with this subparagraph by a superintendent of schools, district superintendent of schools, or community superintendent, the superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a tape recording shall be deemed a
satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof. An appeal will lie from the decision of the superintendent to the board of education who shall make its decision solely upon the record before it. The board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superinten- dent of schools. Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in subdivision one of section 265.01 of the penal law, the hearing officer or superintendent shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceed- ing that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure. S 2. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph c of subdivision 3 of section 3214 of the education law, as amended by chapter 380 of the laws of 2001, is amended to read as follows: (1) No pupil may be suspended for a period in excess of five school days unless such pupil and the person in parental relation to such pupil shall have had an opportunity for a fair hearing, upon reasonable notice, at which such pupil shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against such pupil and to present witnesses and other evidence on his behalf. PRIOR TO SUCH HEAR- ING, SUCH PUPIL AND SUCH PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION TO SUCH PUPIL SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH AN INFORMATIONAL DOCUMENT BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL WHO IS CHARGED WITH PROCESSING REFERRALS TO THE COMMITTEE IN THE DISTRICT, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH A PARENT MAY REFER THEIR CHILD FOR EVALUATION IF THEY BELIEVE THE STUDENT'S BEHAVIOR IS THE MANIFESTATION OF A DISABILI- TY. Where a pupil has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision by a superintendent of schools, district superintendent of schools, or community superintendent, the superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required and a tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advi- sory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof. An appeal will lie from the decision of the superintendent to the board of education who shall make its decision solely upon the record before it. The board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superinten- dent of schools. Where the basis for the suspension is, in whole or in part, the possession on school grounds or school property by the student of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto or any of the weapons, instruments or appliances specified in subdivision one of section 265.01 of the penal law, the hearing officer or superintendent shall not be barred from considering the admissibility of such weapon, instrument or appliance as evidence, notwithstanding a determination by a court in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceed-
ing that the recovery of such weapon, instrument or appliance was the result of an unlawful search or seizure. S 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013; provided, however, that the amendments to subparagraph 1 of paragraph c of subdivision 3 of section 3214 of the education law made by section one of this act shall be subject to the expiration and reversion of such subparagraph pursuant to subdivision (a) of section 8 of chapter 430 of the laws of 2006, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section two of this act shall take effect. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized to be made on or before such date.

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