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A08319 Summary:

BILL NOA08319
 
SAME ASSAME AS S06687
 
SPONSORNolan
 
COSPNSRZebrowski, Jaffee, Sweeney
 
MLTSPNSR
 
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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A08319 Text:



 
                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.
                                                                   LBD11971-01-1

        A. 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  she

        A. 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 on

        A. 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.
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