Establishes procedures for the orderly closure of a special act school district.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to special act school districts
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill establishes procedures to close a special act school district.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 requires the board of education of a special act school district to provide written notice to the commissioner of education with a plan for closure of the school and, until such school district meets all financial obligations, submit financial reports and statements. Section 2 requires special act school districts to submit as least annually enrollment reports, budgets and financial statements to the commissioner.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill establishes procedures for the orderly closure of a special act school district. In recent years two special act school districts have closed leaving outstanding obligations which have not and, now, cannot be met. This bill sets out steps that a board of education of special act school district must follow to close down its school district including: written notice to the commissioner of education, a plan for closure including the transfer of students and detailed list of revenues and expenses. In addition, until the school district is closed, the board of education of the school district shall submit to the commissioner financial reports and statements about tuition, close-down costs and revenues.
This bill also requires a special act school district to provide information about enrollments, budgets and finances to the State Education Department. With this information, the commissioner can monitor the fiscal stability of special act school districts,
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7264 IN SENATE May 8, 2014 ___________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 special act school districts THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 4405 of the education law is amended by adding a new paragraph j to read as follows: J. (I) IF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF A SPECIAL ACT SCHOOL DISTRICT LISTED IN CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN, AS AMENDED, SEEKS TO CLOSE A SPECIAL ACT SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE SPECIAL ACT SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE COMMISSIONER WITH A PLAN FOR CLOSURE OF THE SCHOOL AT LEAST NINETY DAYS PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. SUCH PLAN SHALL INCLUDE PROVISION FOR THE SAFE AND ORDERLY TRANSFER OF EACH STUDENT WITH A DISA- BILITY WHO WAS PUBLICLY PLACED IN THE PROGRAM AND A DETAILED AND ITEM- IZED LIST OF ESTIMATED EXPENSES NECESSARY TO CLOSE DOWN THE SCHOOL AND A DETAILED AND ITEMIZED LIST OF ANY ESTIMATED REVENUES TO BE RECEIVED. (II) DURING THE CLOSE-DOWN PERIOD AND UNTIL ALL NECESSARY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT HAVE BEEN MET PURSUANT TO THIS PARA- GRAPH, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REQUIRE THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO PERIODICALLY SUBMIT, AS REQUIRED BY THE COMMISSIONER, FINANCIAL REPORTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, DETAILING ANY TUITION, AND/OR CLOSE-DOWN COSTS AND ANY REVENUES GENERATED. IN APPLYING THE REIMBURSEMENT METHODOLOGY TO ANY REMAINING TUITION COSTS AND ANY OTHER REASONABLE AND APPROPRIATE EXPENSES NEEDED TO CLOSE-DOWN THE SPECIAL ACT SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REJECT ANY CLOSE-DOWN COSTS THAT ARE UNNECESSARY OR UNREASONABLE TO CLOSE-DOWN THE SCHOOL, WHETHER OR NOT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SUBMITS A CLOSE-DOWN PLAN. S 2. Section 4403 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 20 to read as follows: 20. (A) TO REQUIRE SPECIAL ACT SCHOOL DISTRICTS LISTED IN CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN, AS AMENDED, TO PROVIDE, ON AN ANNUAL BASIS OR MORE FREQUENTLY, AS NEEDED,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10183-04-4 S. 7264 2
ENROLLMENT REPORTS, INCLUDING CURRENT AND PROJECTED ENROLLMENTS, PROPOSED BUDGETS AND ANY FINANCIAL INFORMATION THE COMMISSIONER DEEMS APPROPRIATE, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, OUTSTANDING REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTES AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FIFTY-FIVE OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW, BALANCE OWED TO EMPLOYEE BENEFIT SYSTEMS, OUTSTANDING BONDS, LEASE COSTS, AND ANY OTHER DEBTS TO MONITOR THE FISCAL STABILITY OF SPECIAL ACT SCHOOL DISTRICTS. (B) UPON RECEIVING THE INFORMATION IDENTIFIED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE IF ANY SPECIAL ACT DISTRICT IS IN NEED OF FINANCIAL GUIDANCE AND ASSISTANCE UPON A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF SUCH INFORMATION PROVIDED. UPON A DETERMINATION THAT A SPECIAL ACT DISTRICT IS IN NEED OF FINANCIAL GUIDANCE AND ASSISTANCE, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL, AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, PROVIDE THE DISTRICT WITH SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE SPECIAL ACT DISTRICT'S FINANCIAL STANDING IN THE SHORT AND LONG-TERM. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.