|SAME AS||SAME AS S06687|
|COSPNSR||Zebrowski, Jaffee, Sweeney|
|Add S211-f, Ed L|
|Relates to intervention in chronically underperforming school districts, directs the development of a plan for school districts in academic or fiscal at-risk status and provides for the appointment of an education oversight board in cases where a district is found to be chronically underperforming.|
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 8319 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY June 13, 2011 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. NOLAN -- (at request of the State Education Department) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to intervention in chron- ically underperforming school districts The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 211-f 2 to read as follows: 3 § 211-f. Intervention in chronically underperforming school districts. 4 1. Stage one academic and/or fiscal at-risk status. 5 a. The commissioner shall identify as being in stage one academic 6 and/or fiscal at-risk status a school district: (i) that has been a 7 district requiring academic progress pursuant to paragraph seven of 8 subdivision (p) of section 100.2 of title eight of the New York state 9 codes, rules and regulations for at least three school years and/or has 10 one or more schools identified as a persistently lowest-achieving school 11 or a school under registration review; and/or (ii) in which the board of 12 education has failed to exercise appropriate fiscal management of the 13 school district by failing to take actions necessary to keep the school 14 district budget in balance and/or maintain an appropriate fund balance 15 for a period of at least two school years; provided that, in the case of 16 a school district that meets the criteria for stage one academic and/or 17 fiscal at-risk status and has been designated as a district requiring 18 academic progress for eight or more years and has nine or more schools 19 identified as persistently lowest-achieving schools or schools under 20 registration review, the commissioner may immediately identify such 21 district as being in stage two academic and/or fiscal intervention 22 status pursuant to subdivision two of this section. 23 b. Within ninety days of identification as being in stage one academic 24 and/or fiscal at-risk status, a school district shall develop a plan or 25 include in any existing state approved plan specific, measurable goals EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11971-01-1A. 8319 2 1 designed to remove the district from stage one academic and/or fiscal 2 at-risk status. For districts identified as being in stage one academic 3 and/or fiscal at-risk status, such goals must include, where applicable, 4 but need not be limited to: (i) a plan for making adequate yearly 5 progress on all applicable criteria and/or indicators in subdivision (p) 6 of section 100.2 of title eight of the New York state codes, rules and 7 regulations or otherwise meeting the requirements of the state account- 8 ability system; (ii) specific education improvement targets to be 9 attained in each of the school years covered by the plan; (iii) a 10 description of the technical assistance and specific staff development 11 to be provided and sustained in support of the plan; (iv) plans to main- 12 tain balanced revenues and expenditures and an appropriate fund balance; 13 and (v) such other goals as may be prescribed by the commissioner. The 14 district shall submit such plan to the commissioner for approval. The 15 district's plan shall be developed with the assistance of a joint school 16 intervention team appointed by the commissioner pursuant to paragraph b 17 of subdivision two of section two hundred eleven-b of this article and 18 its implementation must be supported by targeted technical assistance 19 and professional development, consistent with article fourteen of the 20 civil service law, from an external provider approved by the commission- 21 er at an expense to be borne by the district. The reasonable and neces- 22 sary expenses incurred in the performance of the joint school inter- 23 vention team's duties shall be a charge upon the school district. 24 c. The commissioner shall remove a district from stage one academic 25 and/or fiscal at-risk status if the district meets and maintains its 26 plan goals for three consecutive school years. If the district fails to 27 meet and maintain its plan goals for three consecutive school years, the 28 commissioner shall identify such district as being in stage two academic 29 and/or fiscal intervention status, provided that the commissioner may, 30 at any time during stage one academic and/or fiscal at-risk status, 31 identify a district as being in stage two academic and/or fiscal inter- 32 vention status where such district is found to be in noncompliance with 33 its plan or is unwilling or unable to make substantial progress towards 34 accomplishing its plan goals. 35 2. Stage two academic and/or fiscal intervention status. a. Upon 36 identification of a school district as being in stage two academic 37 intervention status, the commissioner may appoint a distinguished educa- 38 tor pursuant to section two hundred eleven-c of this article and/or, 39 where the district is identified as being in stage two fiscal inter- 40 vention status, a fiscal administrator to monitor and assist the 41 district in meeting its plan goals. The reasonable and necessary 42 expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of the distinguished 43 educator and/or fiscal administrator shall be a charge upon the school 44 district. 45 b. Upon appointment, the distinguished educator shall have the power 46 and duty to: (i) review and monitor the district's implementation of and 47 compliance with its plan; (ii) conduct an intensive review of district 48 and school systems, structures, operations and facilities; (iii) assess 49 the district's capacity to promote and support teaching and learning 50 within all schools in the district; (iv) work with district staff, 51 administration and the board of education to review data, analyze 52 district and school structures, plan for improvement, assist in target- 53 ing district priorities; (v) facilitate increased student performance 54 across the district; (vi) recommend administrative and operational 55 improvements to strengthen systems; and (vii) recommend modifications to 56 the district's plan which may include such other measures as he or sheA. 8319 3 1 deems appropriate to assist the district's progress toward meeting its 2 plan goals. 3 c. Upon appointment, the fiscal administrator shall have the power and 4 duty to: (i) review and monitor the district's implementation of and 5 compliance with its plan; (ii) notwithstanding any other provision of 6 law, rule or regulation to the contrary, approve any proposed contract 7 or other obligation having a projected cost of fifty thousand dollars or 8 more; and (iii) recommend to the board of education such measures as he 9 or she deems appropriate to assist the district's progress toward meet- 10 ing its plan goals, including making recommendations concerning strate- 11 gies to achieve cost reductions and other fiscal efficiencies and all 12 estimates of district revenues to ensure the accuracy of such revenue 13 estimates, and making findings regarding whether the authorization by 14 the board of education of items of expenditure, continuation of budget 15 appropriations by the board of education and/or budgeting of future 16 appropriations by the board of education are consistent with the 17 requirements of a balanced budget, an appropriate unreserved fund 18 balance in accordance with section thirteen hundred eighteen of the real 19 property tax law and the district's plan goals. 20 d. The distinguished educator and/or fiscal administrator shall submit 21 periodic reports as may be required by the commissioner on the 22 district's progress toward meeting its plan goals and may make recommen- 23 dations to the commissioner, including but not limited to: (i) that the 24 commissioner order the board of education to require training and/or 25 professional development for the board, district officers and/or staff, 26 as appropriate, consistent with article fourteen of the civil service 27 law; and/or (ii) that the commissioner order the implementation of other 28 measures as appropriate to assist the district in implementing its plan 29 and meeting its plan goals; and/or (iii) that the commissioner identify 30 the district as potentially being in stage three academic and/or fiscal 31 restructuring status. 32 e. The commissioner shall remove a district from stage two academic 33 and/or fiscal intervention status if it meets and maintains its plan 34 goals for three consecutive school years. If the district fails to meet 35 and maintain its plan goals for three consecutive school years, the 36 commissioner shall identify such district as potentially being in stage 37 three academic and/or fiscal restructuring status, provided that the 38 commissioner may at any time during stage two academic and/or fiscal 39 intervention status identify a district as potentially being in stage 40 three academic and/or fiscal restructuring status where such district is 41 found to be in noncompliance with its plan or is unwilling or unable to 42 make substantial progress towards accomplishing its plan goals. 43 3. Stage three academic and/or fiscal restructuring status: appoint- 44 ment of an education oversight board. a. Upon identification of a 45 school district as potentially being in stage three academic and/or 46 fiscal restructuring status, the commissioner shall appoint an independ- 47 ent review team to assess the reasons for the district's potential 48 academic and/or fiscal restructuring status and the prospects for 49 improvement and report to the board of regents. 50 b. In the event that the independent review team concludes that the 51 board of education's actions and/or omissions have interfered with 52 implementation of the district's plan, the board of regents may declare 53 that problems in governance are a substantial factor in the district's 54 chronic underperformance and that the district is in stage three academ- 55 ic and/or fiscal restructuring status. Upon issuance of such declara- 56 tion, the board of regents shall appoint a three member team to serve onA. 8319 4 1 an education oversight board for the school district, which shall have 2 all the powers and duties of the board of education. Upon appointment of 3 an education oversight board, all members of the board of education 4 shall be removed from office and no new board members may be elected or 5 appointed while the education oversight board is in place. Where the 6 independent review team so recommends and the board of regents accepts 7 such recommendation, the superintendent of schools shall vacate his or 8 her office and be deemed removed for cause and the education oversight 9 board shall appoint a new superintendent of schools. 10 c. In the event that the independent review team does not conclude 11 that the board of education's actions and/or omissions have interfered 12 with implementation of the district's plan or the board of regents does 13 not declare that problems in governance are a substantial factor in the 14 district's chronic underperformance, the district shall return to stage 15 two academic and/or fiscal intervention status until it meets and main- 16 tains its plan goals for three consecutive school years. When the 17 district returns to stage two academic and/or fiscal intervention 18 status, the distinguished educator and/or fiscal administrator may make 19 recommendations for additional measures the district must implement to 20 assist its progress toward meeting and maintaining its plan goals. 21 d. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to 22 the contrary, where the commissioner removes at least a majority of the 23 members of a board of education pursuant to section three hundred six of 24 this title, the board of regents may declare that the district is in 25 stage three academic and/or fiscal restructuring status and appoint a 26 three member team to serve on an education oversight board for the 27 school district pursuant to this subdivision. 28 e. At least once every four years, the commissioner shall appoint an 29 independent review team to evaluate and make recommendations to the 30 board of regents on the effectiveness of the education oversight board 31 and the need, if any, to continue to have an education oversight board 32 in place. If the board of regents determines that continuation of an 33 education oversight board is necessary, they may reappoint members of 34 the oversight board or appoint a new oversight board pursuant to this 35 subdivision. If the board of regents determines that continuation of an 36 education oversight board is not necessary and that the education over- 37 sight board should be eliminated, the commissioner shall order that a 38 special election be held and when all such newly elected board members 39 take office, the appointment of the education oversight board shall 40 terminate. 41 f. At any time after the appointment of an education oversight board, 42 twenty-five qualified voters, or five percent of the number of voters 43 who voted at the last election of members of the board of education, 44 whichever is greater, may petition the commissioner for a determination 45 whether the appointment of an education oversight board should be modi- 46 fied or eliminated and whether the school district is no longer in 47 academic and/or fiscal status. The determination of the commissioner 48 shall be subject to review by the board of regents. If the board of 49 regents determines that the education oversight board should be elimi- 50 nated, the commissioner shall order that a special election be held and 51 when all such newly elected board members take office, the appointment 52 of the education oversight board shall terminate. 53 g. For purposes of this section, "school district" shall mean a 54 common, union free, central, central high school or city school 55 district, other than a city school district in a city having a popu- 56 lation of one million or more.A. 8319 5 1 h. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate any regulations and to 2 take any other measures necessary to implement the provisions of this 3 section. 4 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.