Bill S764-2013

Authorizes community colleges, college sponsors, and local governments to establish community college regions to sponsor an existing community college

Authorizes community colleges, college sponsors, and eligible local governments to establish community college regions to sponsor an existing community college operating under the program of SUNY, to transfer sponsorship from the existing sponsor to the community college region, and to protect the employment and collective bargaining rights of all employees of a community college.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S764

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the education law, in relation to the establishment of community college regions

PURPOSE:

To amend the Education Law to authorize local community colleges, college sponsors, and eligible local governments to establish community college regions to sponsor an existing community college operating under the program of State University of New York; to transfer sponsorship from the existing sponsor to the community college region; and to protect upon transfer the employment and collective bargaining rights of all employees of a community college

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision two of section 6302 of the Education Law to remove a restriction which currently limits the availability of community college regions as an optional form of community college sponsorship only to existing community colleges outside of New York City sponsored by a school district or a city.

Section 2 amends section 6310 of the Education Law by adding a number of specific provisions providing for the transfer of sponsorship of a community college from its existing sponsor to a community college region, including the transfer of community college assets, the assumption by the community college region of the liabilities and obligations of the community college, the retention of community college employees by the community college region, the recognition and retention of employment and collective bargaining benefits enjoyed by such employees after the transfer of sponsorship to a community college region, and the authorization of all actions necessary by the parties to the sponsorship transfer to avoid the possible invalidation of actions taken in good faith to accomplish transfer due to the inadvertent failure to follow specific technical procedures. These provisions had previously been contained in special legislation passed with, and applicable only to, the establishment of the Coming and Jamestown Community College Regions.

JUSTIFICATION:

In 1985, the chancellor of State University established a task force to review and make appropriate recommendations in response to findings on community colleges made in The Challenge and the Choice the Report of the Independent Commission on the Future of the State University. The task force was made up of four committees which studied the areas of governance, articulation, academic and general programmatic issues, and funding, Several recommendations were developed for each area. The governance recommendations addressed, among other matters, concerns related to the governance and fiscal operations of community colleges.

Noting "persistent problems" experienced by some colleges in obtaining adequate financial support from local sponsors, both the Independent Commission on the Future of State University and the succeeding Chancellor's Task Force on Community Colleges recommended governance by community college regions as an optional alternative form of college sponsorship.

In recommending the regional alternative, the Governance Committee of the Chancellor's Task Force noted:

There are also community colleges which, for a variety of reasons, have other problems which cannot be adequately addressed by change of the fiscal mode of operation, For these colleges a more basic structural change may be required, such as a regional sponsorship... Regionalism has been implemented successfully at Corning Community College...

In 1995, the State University chancellor appointed a task force to again examine critical issues related to the administration and governance of SUNY's community colleges, The task force was composed of community college presidents, trustees, and faculty, as well as a president of a SUNY State-operated college and a representative of the New York State Association of Counties, Citing continued financial difficulties faced by community college sponsors throughout New York State which continue to affect their ability to maintain necessary levels of support for their community colleges, the task force recommended broadening the availability of the authorization to establish a community college region to any existing SUNY community college.

This measure will make available to all SUNY community colleges outside of New York City the statutory authority used to effectuate the establishment of the Corning and Jamestown Community College Regions, Any proposed transfer of an existing community college to a community college region would additionally require approval of the college trustees, all local governments involved, the State University Board of Trustees, and, as appropriate, the passage of special legislation establishing the composition of the community college regional board of trustees and the terms of office of its members.

Over the years community college educational programs, especially business, technical, and career curricula, have assumed a growing importance in local communities. some of the community college sponsors have experienced substantial financial strains maintaining college services and the quality of college academic offerings. This trend is exacerbated by the limited tax base and population of individual local governments in some regions of the State, and the increasing cost of providing mandated services.

Community colleges have become a critical part of the educational structure of these economically hard-pressed areas. In many instances, these colleges represent the only real opportunity for residents of the college's sponsoring locality, and others living within the service area of the college, to obtain post-secondary educational opportunities.

This proposal would allow county governments in the vicinity of community colleges currently sponsored by a county or counties to combine to form a community college region The regional sponsor would have the necessary tax and population base to support high quality college academic and employment training programs to serve the needs of all residents of the college's service area. This would have a positive impact, not only on educational quality, but on regional economic and job development

This legislation would have no effect on the total cost of local government sponsorship of a community college. There would be some shift in the apportionment of this cost among participants in the community college region.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12 S.2016; 2009-2010 S.2921; 2007-08, S.1243; 2005-2006, S.556-A; 2003-2004, S.303; 2002, S.2236; 1999, S.4601

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

There would be no increased cost to the State, since the community funding formula would not be affected.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 764 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the establishment of community college regions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 6302 of the education law, as amended by chapter 295 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows: 2. Pursuant to section sixty-three hundred ten of this article, any eligible county, city or school district acting through its local legis- lative body or board, may by local law or resolution, and pursuant to the master plan, standards and regulations prescribed by the state university trustees, and with the approval of said trustees, combine with one or more contiguous counties, cities or school districts, or any combination thereof, to constitute a community college region for the purpose of operating, as local sponsor, an existing community college [which is currently sponsored by a city or school district] other than A COMMUNITY COLLEGE CURRENTLY SPONSORED BY a school district located in a city with a population of one million or more. S 2. Section 6310 of the education law is amended by adding five new subdivisions 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 to read as follows: 18. THE SPONSOR OF ANY EXISTING COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR WHICH SPONSOR- SHIP IS TRANSFERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION MAY TERMINATE ITS SOLE SPONSORSHIP OF SUCH COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND TRANSFER THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE BY RESOLUTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THIS ARTICLE, THE MASTER PLAN, STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES, AND WITH THE APPROVAL OF SAID TRUSTEES; AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION
ESTABLISHED TO SPONSOR SUCH COMMUNITY COLLEGE MAY ACCEPT THE TRANSFER OF SUCH COLLEGE BY RESOLUTION. 19. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF ANY OTHER LAW, THE SPONSOR OF ANY EXISTING COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR WHICH SPONSORSHIP IS TRANSFERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION MAY GRANT, TRANSFER, OR CONVEY TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION ESTABLISHED TO SPONSOR SUCH COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR AN AGREED AMOUNT OF CONSIDERATION, AND THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION MAY ACCEPT, RECEIVE, AND HOLD ANY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY OR ASSIGNED ASSETS, OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN, CONSISTING OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE. 20. THE SPONSOR OF ANY EXISTING COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR WHICH SPONSOR- SHIP IS TRANSFERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE BY AGREEMENT WITH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY LIABILITIES INCURRED BY IT FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE PURPOSES, INCLUDING ALL DEBTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF EVERY KIND, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY OBLIGATIONS OUTSTANDING PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF SPONSORSHIP OF THE COLLEGE TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION. SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF TRANSFER OF SPONSORSHIP, AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF ANY OTHER LAW, THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO BORROW MONEY IN ANTICIPATION OF REVENUE DUE TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION AND SHALL, SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTRACTING INDEBTEDNESS UNDER SECTION 25.00 OF THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW, BE DEEMED A MUNICIPALITY. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION SHALL BE THE FINANCE BOARD, ITS CHAIRMAN SHALL BE ITS CHIEF FISCAL OFFICER, AND ITS FISCAL YEAR SHALL BE AS SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION; PROVIDED FURTHER THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 162.00 OF THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW SHALL BE APPLICA- BLE TO REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTES ISSUED UNDER THIS SECTION. 21. THE SPONSOR OF ANY EXISTING COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR WHICH SPONSOR- SHIP IS TRANSFERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION AND THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION SHALL MAKE PROVISION FOR THE TRANSFER OF ALL PERSONNEL OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, SUCH EMPLOYEES SO TRANSFERRED SHALL IMME- DIATELY BECOME EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION AND SHALL RETAIN ALL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES ACCRUED AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, TENURE, PENSION, EMPLOYMENT STATUS, AND SENIORITY. FOR SALARY, SICK LEAVE, AND OTHER PURPOSES AS APPROPRIATE, AN EMPLOYEE'S LENGTH OF SERVICE WITH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SHALL BE CREDIT- ED AS EMPLOYMENT TIME WITH THE REGIONAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE. ALL COLLEC- TIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS NEGOTIATED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW AND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE THEN CURRENT EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR WHICH SPONSORSHIP IS BEING TRANSFERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION, INCLUDING ANY PAST PRACTICES THAT CONSTITUTE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT, SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL MODIFIED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW. ALL NEGOTIATING UNITS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL CONTIN- UE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW, AND ALL CERTIFIED EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS SHALL CONTINUE TO REPRESENT EMPLOYEES IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION UNTIL MODIFIED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOUR- TEEN OF THE CIVIL SERVICE LAW. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT DIMINISH ANY CURRENT RIGHTS OR BENEFITS OF NOR CONFER ANY ADDITIONAL RIGHTS OR BENE- FITS TO ANY EMPLOYEE OR EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION. 22. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF ANY OTHER LAW, THE SPONSOR OF AN EXISTING COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR WHICH SPONSORSHIP IS TRANS- FERRED TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION, THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, THE COMMU- NITY COLLEGE REGION, OR ANY COUNTY ELIGIBLE TO APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE
COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGIONAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES ARE AUTHORIZED TO TAKE ALL ACTIONS NECESSARY OR PROPER WITH RESPECT TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION OR THE TRANSFER OF SPONSORSHIP OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION, INCLUDING THE APPROVAL OF ANY BUDGET OR TAX, THE APPROVAL OF AND THE ISSUANCE OF REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTES AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS, ALL CONTRACTS, PURCHASES, AGREEMENTS, AND APPOINTMENTS MADE AND ENTERED INTO BY SUCH SPONSOR, COLLEGE REGION AND COUNTIES ON BEHALF OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ALL CONTRACTS, PURCHASES, AGREEMENTS, AND APPOINTMENTS MADE AND ENTERED INTO BY THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ALL ACTIONS TAKEN BY ITS SPONSOR, AND SUCH COUNTIES IN INCUR- RING ANY OBLIGATION TO FINANCE ANY EXPENDITURES OF SUCH COMMUNITY COLLEGE, THE ACTIONS OF SUCH SPONSOR IN TRANSFERRING TITLE OF ALL COLLEGE PROPERTIES TO THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE REGION, AND ANY AND ALL ACTIONS TAKEN BY SUCH COUNTIES, SPONSOR, AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE WITH RESPECT TO THE AFORESAID MATTERS FOR ANY PURPOSES RELATING TO THE PROVISION OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES AND SERVICES FOR THE STUDENTS OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE. S 3. If any clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part of this act be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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