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A09911 Summary:

BILL NOA09911
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07824
 
SPONSORNolan
 
COSPNSRBuchwald
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 4007 & 4008, amd 4004 & 4405, Ed L; amd 494, Soc Serv L; add 563 & 564, Exec L
 
Relates to funding for special act school districts and children with special needs.
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A09911 Actions:

BILL NOA09911
 
02/22/2018referred to education
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A09911 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9911
 
SPONSOR: Nolan
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, the social services law, and the executive law, in relation to funding for special act school districts and children with special needs   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This act addresses issues that now cause fiscal and administrative stress to 4410, 4201, 853, and Special Act schools   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Education Law Section 4007 to exempt special act schools districts from annual performance evaluations. Section 2 amends Section Education Law 4004 to authorize special act schools districts to establish a stabilization reserve fund. Section 3 amends Education Law 4405 to address tuition methodology and reimbursable costs for education of students private residential and non-residential schools for students with disabilities. Section 4 amends Education Law Section 4405 to address excessive staff turnover at schools for students with disabili- ties. Section 5 amends Section 4008 of the Education Law and Section 6 amends Section 4894 of the Social Services Law about allegations of abuse and neglect. Section 7 adds a new section to the Executive Law to establish joint at educational facilities overseen by the justice center and other agencies. Section 8 adds a new section to Section 564 of the Executive Law about hearing officers. Section 9 is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This legislation provides fiscal and programmatic stability as well as regulatory relief and provides, in statute, due process for the professions who work in 4410, 4201, 853, and Special Act schools who have dedicated their lives and professions to the students that attend these schools, many with intense needs that cannot be met traditional public schools in New York State. The children that attend these specialty schools deserve educational funding parity, so to be on par with that of the children that attend traditional public schools in their community, so that they may thrive at these institutions serving pre-school-age and school-age children with specialized requirements and intense needs. While both Special Act schools and 853 schools received a modest increase in funding over the past three years, the many years of stag- nant funding and increased costs endanger the future of these insti- tutions. Several Special Act school districts have been forced to close, and others are facing dire financial situations. Schools that serve the blind and deaf, 4201 schools, have also received modest increases in funding over the last three years. However, the chronic underfunding of these programs has negatively impacted education and enrichment for these students. Public 4410 programs have seen significant shortfalls, and providers will likely need to continue to rely on short-term borrow- ing until proper reimbursement is made. Funding for these programs should be increased to support the actual needs of the students. These specialized schools are funded through a rate-setting process rather than school aid formulas. They do not receive the same percentage increase from the state that is afforded to public school districts. In addition, these institutions have no taxing authority, so they are entirely reliant on the state tuition rate-making system to generate revenue to support their operations. The state needs these schools and should ensure that they receive adequate funding increases so they can both educate our children and better plan and prepare for the future without the worry of financial insolvency. In providing a "free appropriate public education" to all students, New York invests in a diverse array of programs to serve the unique educational needs of the state's most vulnerable, traumatized, disabled and marginalized youth. These schools provide education and related services to school-age students who, for many reasons, are unable to be served by either the local public schools or BOCES. These schools are specifically designed to meet the intense needs of students placed by the juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, develop- mental disabilities and special education systems. This vital continuum provides students with disabilities or with severe behavioral, emotional, educational or physical challenges, both day and residential options to meet their individual educational and therapeutic needs.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
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A09911 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          9911
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 22, 2018
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. NOLAN -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Education
 
        AN ACT to amend the education law, the  social  services  law,  and  the
          executive law, in relation to funding for special act school districts
          and children with special needs
 
          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  4007
     2  to read as follows:
     3    § 4007. Annual performance evaluations.  Special act school districts,
     4  as  authorized  in this article, shall not be required to participate in
     5  annual performance evaluations, as authorized pursuant to section  three
     6  thousand twelve-d of this chapter.
     7    §  2.  Section  4004  of  the education law is amended by adding a new
     8  subdivision 5 to read as follows:
     9    5. The board of education of a special act school  district  shall  be
    10  authorized  to  establish a fiscal stabilization reserve fund. There may
    11  be paid into such fund an amount as may  be  provided  pursuant  to  the
    12  requirements  of  paragraph  k of subdivision four of section forty-four
    13  hundred five of this title.
    14    § 3. Subdivision 4 of section 4405 of the education law is amended  by
    15  adding a new paragraph k to read as follows:
    16    k.  (i)  The tuition methodology established pursuant to this subdivi-
    17  sion for the two thousand seventeen--two thousand eighteen  school  year
    18  and  annually thereafter shall authorize approved private residential or
    19  non-residential schools for the education of students with  disabilities
    20  that  are located within the state, and special act school districts, to
    21  retain funds  in  excess  of  their  allowable  and  reimbursable  costs
    22  incurred for services and programs provided to school-age students.  The
    23  amount  of  funds  that  may  be  annually retained shall not exceed one
    24  percent of the school's or school district's total allowable  and  reim-
    25  bursable costs for services and programs provided to school-age students
    26  for  the  school  year from which the funds are to be retained; provided
    27  that the total accumulated balance that may be retained shall not exceed
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14719-01-8

        A. 9911                             2
 
     1  four percent of such total costs for such  school  year.  Funds  may  be
     2  expended only pursuant to an authorization of the governing board of the
     3  school or school district, for a purpose expressly authorized as part of
     4  the  approved tuition methodology for the year in which the funds are to
     5  be expended. The director  of  the  budget,  in  consultation  with  the
     6  commissioner,  shall  establish the authorized uses for the expenditures
     7  of such funds as part of the approved tuition methodology. Any school or
     8  school district that retains funds pursuant to this paragraph  shall  be
     9  required to annually report a statement of the total balance of any such
    10  retained  funds,  the amount, if any, retained in the prior school year,
    11  an amount, if any, dispersed in the prior school  year,  and  any  addi-
    12  tional  information requested by the department as part of the financial
    13  reports that are required to be annually submitted to the department.
    14    (ii) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary,  a  special  act  school
    15  district,  as  authorized  under article eighty-one of this title, or an
    16  educational or residential facility,  as  authorized  by  chapter  eight
    17  hundred  fifty-three  of  the  laws  of nineteen hundred seventy-six, an
    18  educational institution as authorized under article eight-five  of  this
    19  title,  or a program authorized by this article, for aid payable for the
    20  two thousand eighteen--two thousand nineteen school year and thereafter,
    21  shall receive at minimum, the same percentage increase as that of gener-
    22  al support for public schools  as  enacted  in  the  state  budget  when
    23  compared to the enacted state budget in the base year.
    24    §  4.  Section  4405  of  the education law is amended by adding a new
    25  subdivision 7 to read as follows:
    26    7. a. Within funds appropriated for such purpose there shall be  addi-
    27  tional  aid payable for the two thousand eighteen--two thousand nineteen
    28  school year and thereafter to  schools  providing  special  services  or
    29  programs as defined in subdivision one and paragraphs e, g, l, of subdi-
    30  vision  two  of  section  forty-four  hundred  one  of  this article and
    31  approved preschool programs that provide full and  half-day  educational
    32  programs in accordance with section forty-four hundred ten of this arti-
    33  cle  to help prevent excessive staff turnover through a targeted adjust-
    34  ment of compensation for related services providers as defined in  para-
    35  graph  k  of  subdivision  two of section forty-four hundred one of this
    36  article, providing direct services to  students  at  such  schools.  The
    37  commissioner  shall  develop an allocation plan, subject to the approval
    38  of the director of the budget, that distributes funds appropriated here-
    39  in among eligible schools.
    40    b. Within funds appropriated for such purpose  there  shall  be  addi-
    41  tional  aid payable for the two thousand eighteen--two thousand nineteen
    42  school year and thereafter to schools for the blind  and  deaf  to  help
    43  prevent excessive instructional staff and direct services staff turnover
    44  through  a  targeted  adjustment  of compensation for teachers providing
    45  direct instructional services and related services providers as  defined
    46  in  paragraph  k of subdivision two of section forty-four hundred one of
    47  this article, providing direct services to students at such schools. The
    48  commissioner shall develop an allocation plan, subject to  the  approval
    49  of the director of the budget, that distributes funds appropriated here-
    50  in among eligible schools.
    51    § 5. The education law is amended by adding a new section 4008 to read
    52  as follows:
    53    §  4008.  Expunction  of  a  record.  Any  person  employed, including
    54  licensed or  credentialed  person  employed  by  a  special  act  school
    55  district,  as  authorized under this article, an educational or residen-
    56  tial facility, as authorized by chapter eight hundred fifty-three of the

        A. 9911                             3
 
     1  laws of nineteen hundred  seventy-six,  an  educational  institution  as
     2  authorized under article eighty-five of this title, or a program author-
     3  ized by article eighty-nine of this title, shall upon notification of an
     4  unsubstantiated  allegation  of  abuse  or neglect as defined in section
     5  four hundred ninety-four of the social services law, have the record  of
     6  unsubstantiated  allegation  of  abuse  or  neglect  expunged from their
     7  license, credential, and/or personnel record.
     8    § 6. Subdivision 1 of section 494 of the social services law, as added
     9  by section 1 of part B of chapter 501 of the laws of 2012, is amended to
    10  read as follows:
    11    1. (a) The subject of an investigation of an allegation  of  abuse  or
    12  neglect  shall be notified of their status as the subject of an investi-
    13  gation of an allegation of abuse or neglect within five calendar days of
    14  the receipt of an allegation against such subject. The justice center or
    15  cooperating oversight agency shall have  an  additional  sixty  calendar
    16  days  to complete its investigation, conduct any hearings, and to inform
    17  the subject of the allegation of abuse or neglect of the outcome of  the
    18  investigation. The subject of an investigation of an allegation of abuse
    19  or  neglect  may  be  suspended pending a hearing on the charges and the
    20  final determination thereof. The suspension shall be  with  pay,  except
    21  the  employee may be suspended without pay if the employee has entered a
    22  guilty plea to or has been convicted of a felony  crime  concerning  the
    23  criminal  sale or possession of a controlled substance, a precursor of a
    24  controlled substance, or drug paraphernalia as defined  in  article  two
    25  hundred  twenty  or two hundred twenty-one of the penal law; or a felony
    26  crime involving the physical abuse of a minor or student. The  impartial
    27  hearing  office,  as  defined  by section five hundred sixty-four of the
    28  executive law, shall render  a  decision  within  fifteen  days  of  the
    29  completion  of  the  investigatory  period if substantiated charges were
    30  made. At any time subsequent to the completion of an investigation of an
    31  allegation of abuse or neglect, but in no event later than  thirty  days
    32  after  the subject of the report is notified that the report is substan-
    33  tiated, the subject may request that  the  vulnerable  persons'  central
    34  register  amend  the  findings  of  the report. If the register does not
    35  amend the findings of the report in accordance with  such  request,  the
    36  subject  shall  have  the right to be heard before an administrative law
    37  judge, to determine whether the findings of the report should be amended
    38  on the grounds  that  they  are  inaccurate  or  inconsistent  with  the
    39  provisions in this article. The office shall establish [an appeals proc-
    40  ess]  a process of notification of appeals, within five business days of
    41  notification of a decision, by which the subject of the report is  noti-
    42  fied  of  the  right  to appeal and the procedure by which he or she may
    43  challenge the determination that a report is substantiated,  with  a  de
    44  novo standard of review.
    45    (b) If the administrative law judge determines that the justice center
    46  failed  to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the finding that the
    47  subject committed the act or acts  of  abuse  or  neglect,  the  justice
    48  center  shall  amend the record to reflect that such a finding was made,
    49  and shall [promptly] within five calendar days, notify  the  subject  of
    50  the  report and any other persons or entities previously notified of the
    51  existence of the report of the amended finding.  Such  report  shall  be
    52  sealed  in  accordance  with  the  standards  set  forth in section four
    53  hundred ninety-six of this article.
    54    § 7. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 563 to  read
    55  as follows:

        A. 9911                             4
 
     1    §  563.  Joint  training.  The justice center shall biannually conduct
     2  regional joint trainings on oversight  and  standards  with  educational
     3  institutions  and  facilities  that  the  justice center and cooperating
     4  oversight agencies exercise jurisdiction over to ensure equal  standards
     5  and  enforcement  among  the  different  regions of the state. The joint
     6  trainings participants shall include, but not  be  limited  to:  justice
     7  center  headquarter staff, justice center regional office staff, justice
     8  center and  cooperating  oversight  agencies  investigative  staff,  the
     9  bargaining  unit, if any, of any employee of an education institution or
    10  facility under the oversight of the justice center  or  any  cooperating
    11  oversight  agencies,  and  employees  from each job classification at an
    12  educational institution or facility under the oversight of  the  justice
    13  center or any cooperating oversight agencies.
    14    §  8. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 564 to read
    15  as follows:
    16    § 564. Hearing officers. 1. All  hearings  pursuant  to  this  section
    17  shall  be  conducted  before and by a single hearing officer selected as
    18  provided for in this section. A hearing officer shall not be eligible to
    19  serve in such position if  he  or  she  is  a  resident  of  the  school
    20  district, other than the city of New York, under the jurisdiction of the
    21  employing  board  or agency, an employee, agent or representative of the
    22  employing board or of any labor organization representing  employees  of
    23  such  employing  board  or agency, has served as such agent or represen-
    24  tative within two years of the date of the scheduled hearing, or  if  he
    25  or  she  is then serving as a mediator or fact finder in the same school
    26  district. The process for selection  of  an  impartial  hearing  officer
    27  shall  be  as  similar  as  possible to the regulatory framework for the
    28  appointment of an impartial hearing officer for due process complaints.
    29    2. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for the purposes  of  this
    30  act,  for any allegations or charges, other than criminal allegations or
    31  charges,  any  persons,  including  licensed  or  credentialed   persons
    32  employed  by  a special act school district, as authorized under article
    33  eighty-one of the education law, or an educational or residential facil-
    34  ity, as authorized by chapter eight hundred fifty-three of the  laws  of
    35  nineteen  hundred  seventy-six, an educational institution as authorized
    36  under article eighty-five of the education law, or a program  authorized
    37  by article eighty-nine of the education law, shall be entitled to repre-
    38  sentation  by  a representative of the bargaining unit or representation
    39  secured by the person employed, to be present in  any  investigation  by
    40  the justice center or any cooperating oversight agencies.
    41    3.  Notwithstanding  any law to the contrary, for the purposes of this
    42  act, for any criminal allegations or  charges,  any  persons,  including
    43  licensed  or  credentialed  persons  employed  by  a  special act school
    44  district, as authorized under article eighty-one of the  education  law,
    45  or  an  educational  or  residential  facility, as authorized by chapter
    46  eight hundred fifty-three of the laws of nineteen  hundred  seventy-six,
    47  an  educational  institution  as authorized under article eighty-five of
    48  the education law, or a program authorized by article eighty-nine of the
    49  education law, shall be entitled to representation by  a  representative
    50  of the bargaining unit or representation secured by the person employed,
    51  to  be present in any investigation by the justice center or any cooper-
    52  ating oversight agencies.
    53    § 9. This act shall take effect immediately.
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