Bill S812-2011

Requires school districts to develop a policy limiting the use of school-owned cell phones to school related purposes

Requires school districts to develop a policy regulating the use of school-owned cell phones to include, but not be limited to, requiring that they be used only for school related purposes.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S812

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring public school districts to develop policies limiting the use of district-owned cellular phones

PURPOSE:

Requires school districts to develop a policy limiting the use of school-owned cell phones to school related purposes.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

The education law is amended by adding a new section 308-a.

JUSTIFICATION:

New York State's taxpayers invest more than $39 billion per year for education in New York State. It is an investment that New Yorkers make because of their longstanding commitment to ensuring a quality education for all of their children and because of the recognition of the crucial role that education plays in ensuring the continued vitality of the state.

Because the investment is so important, it is crucial that we do everything we can to ensure that money is spent in a fiscally prudent and financially responsible manner. Unfortunately, recent events have underscored the fact that financial oversight of school districts is woefully inadequate and that fundamental change is required in order to ensure the continued confidence of New Yorkers in their education investment. Audits conducted by the State Comptroller's Office have revealed that some school districts have reimbursement policies for personal usage, while others completely lack policies and make feeble, if any, attempts to recoup monies for personal use of district cellular phones.

Although the Legislature enacted laws to improve the fiscal oversight of school district finances in the 2005 Legislative Session, this legislation did not substantially improve accountability and the use of district automobiles, cellular phones, and credit cards. This legislation will ensure that districts have "use policies" for cell phones and prevent the misuse of such taxpayer funded items. The lack of written policies makes it nearly impossible to ensure that money is being spent according to Board of Education policies and in the best interest of the school district and local taxpayers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-10, S.1076; 2007-08, S.873; 2005-06, S.6665

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 812 A. 521 2011-2012 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring public school districts to develop policies limiting the use of district- owned cellular phones THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 308-a to read as follows: S 308-A. POLICIES; CELLULAR PHONES. THE COMMISSIONER IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO REQUIRE ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO DEVELOP A POLICY REGULATING THE USE OF CELLULAR PHONES PURCHASED BY SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR USE BY SCHOOL PERSONNEL. SUCH POLICY SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NEED NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE RESTRICTION OF SUCH CELLULAR PHONES TO USE BY SCHOOL PERSONNEL ONLY AND ONLY FOR PURPOSES DIRECTLY RELATED TO SCHOOL DISTRICT RELATED BUSINESS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "SCHOOL PERSONNEL" SHALL INCLUDE FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME FACULTY, STAFF, ADMINISTRATION, AND SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND OTHER VOLUNTEERS ENGAGED FROM TIME TO TIME IN SCHOOL DISTRICT RELATED BUSINESS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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