|SAME AS||SAME AS S08131|
|COSPNSR||Zebrowski, Brabenec, Seawright|
|Relates to supplementary funding for dedicated programs for public school students in the East Ramapo Central School District; appropriates funds therefor.|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10723 SPONSOR: Rules (Jaffee)
TITLE OF BILL: An act relating to supplementary funding for dedicated programs for public school students in the East Ramapo central school district; providing an appropriation therefor; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would appoint up to 3 state monitors to the East Ramapo Central School District and provide supplementary funding for the public school students.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Legislative intent Section 2: Definitions Section 3: Requires the Commissioner of Education to appoint up to 3 state monitors for the East Ramapo Central School District Section 4: Describes the duties of the monitors Section 5: Appropriates $1 million for the 201647 school year; Describes the long term strategic improvement plan and comprehensive expenditure plan that the East Ramapo Central School District must complete in order to be eligible to receive funds from the State Education Department for the reimbursement of approved expenditures on services to improve and enhance the educational opportunities of students attending the public schools in the school district Section 6: Describes the fiscal and operational oversight duties of the commissioner Section 7: Describes the process of complying with the comprehensive expenditure plan in the event of a reduction in budget appropriations Section 8: Effective date   JUSTIFICATION: "Over the course of many years there have been dramatic changes in the demographics in the Town of Ramapo, Rockland County. The number of resi- dents in the town has dramatically increased, swelling the size of the East Ramapo Central School District to over 30,000 students. Nearly, 2/3 of those students do not, however, attend the public school system. In 2015, the State Education Department, pursuant to its powers and duties, appointed three monitors to the East Ramapo School District. In order to continue moving the dialogue in the right direction, with the ultimate goal of improving the outcomes of all students within the district, the appointment of monitors should continue. This legislation, which has received general support from the school board and the commu- nity as a whole, continues the appointment of monitors in the East Rama- po Central School District."   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Appropriates $1 million for the 2016-17 school year   EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill takes effect July 1, 2016 and shall expire and be repealed June 30, 2017.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 10723 IN ASSEMBLY June 13, 2016 ___________ Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Jaffee, Zebrowski) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means AN ACT relating to supplementary funding for dedicated programs for public school students in the East Ramapo central school district; providing an appropriation therefor; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature finds and determines 2 that over the course of many years there have been dramatic changes in 3 the demographics in the town of Ramapo, Rockland county. The number of 4 residents in the town has dramatically increased, swelling the size of 5 the East Ramapo central school district to over 30,000 students. Nearly 6 2/3 of those students do not, however, attend the public school system. 7 In 2015 the state education department, pursuant to its powers and 8 duties, appointed three monitors to the district, led by the former 9 chancellor of the New York City school district. The legislature 10 further finds and determines that in order to continue moving the 11 dialogue in the right direction, with the ultimate goal of improving the 12 outcomes of all students within the district, the appointment of moni- 13 tors should continue. This legislation continues the appointment of 14 monitors in the East Ramapo central school district. Finally, the legis- 15 lature finds that this legislation has received general support from the 16 school board and the community as a whole. 17 § 2. Definitions. As used in this act: 18 (a) "commissioner" shall mean commissioner of education; 19 (b) "department" shall mean state education department; 20 (c) "board of education" or "board" shall mean the board of education 21 of the East Ramapo central school district; 22 (d) "school district" or "district" shall mean the East Ramapo central 23 school district; and 24 (e) "superintendent" shall mean the superintendent of the East Ramapo 25 central school district. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15839-03-6A. 10723 2 1 (f) "comptroller" shall mean the state comptroller. 2 § 3. (a) Appointment of monitor team. In accordance with the powers 3 and duties of the board of regents and the commissioner pursuant to 4 subdivision 2 of section 305 of the education law, section 308 of the 5 education law, and section 215 of the education law, the commissioner 6 shall appoint up to 3 monitors to carry out the provisions of this act 7 including but not limited to providing oversight, guidance and technical 8 assistance related to the educational and fiscal policies, practices, 9 programs and decisions of the East Ramapo central school district, the 10 board of education and the superintendent. 11 (b) The monitors shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the school 12 board. The monitors shall be individuals who are not residents or 13 employees of the school district and to the extent practical, shall have 14 experience in one of more of the following areas: 15 (i) school district finances; 16 (ii) elementary and secondary education; 17 (iii) the operation of school districts in New York; 18 (iv) educating students with disabilities; and/or 19 (v) educating English language learners. 20 § 4. The monitor or monitors shall be entitled to attend all meetings 21 of the board, including executive sessions; provided however, such moni- 22 tor or monitors shall not be considered for purposes of establishing a 23 quorum of the board, provided further that the monitors may be excused 24 from executive sessions when privileged issues are being discussed. The 25 East Ramapo central school district shall fully cooperate with any moni- 26 tor or monitors appointed by the commissioner, including but not limited 27 to providing such monitor or monitors with access to any necessary docu- 28 ments and records of the district including access to electronic infor- 29 mation systems, databases and planning documents, consistent with all 30 applicable state and federal statutes including but not limited to Fami- 31 ly Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)(20 U.S.C. §1232g) and 32 section 2-d of the education law. 33 § 5. (a) The sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) is hereby appro- 34 priated for the 2016--2017 school year to the state education department 35 out of moneys in the state treasury in the general fund to the credit of 36 the local assistance account, not otherwise appropriated, for reimburse- 37 ment to the East Ramapo central school district to support students 38 attending public schools in such district, provided that the district is 39 in compliance with the requirements set forth in this act. Provided 40 further that funding appropriated in this paragraph shall only be made 41 available after the director of the budget has certified that the sum of 42 two million dollars ($2,000,000) has been made available to the East 43 Ramapo central school district from available appropriations within 44 chapter 53 of the laws of 2016, provided that such funds are only made 45 available for purposes set forth in this act. 46 (a-1) The East Ramapo central school district shall be eligible to 47 receive reimbursement from such funds made available pursuant to para- 48 graph (a) of this section for its approved expenditures on services to 49 improve and enhance the educational opportunities of students attending 50 the public schools in such district. Such services shall include, but 51 not be limited to, reducing class sizes, expanding academic and enrich- 52 ment opportunities, establishing and expanding kindergarten programs, 53 expanding extracurricular opportunities and providing student support 54 services, provided, however, transportation services and expenses shall 55 not be eligible for reimbursement from such funds.A. 10723 3 1 (b) In order to receive such funds, the school district in consulta- 2 tion with the monitor or monitors shall develop a long term strategic 3 academic and fiscal improvement plan within 6 months from the enactment 4 of this act. Such plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for 5 approval and shall include a set of goals with appropriate benchmarks 6 and measurable objectives and identify strategies to address areas where 7 improvements are needed in the district, including but not limited to 8 its financial stability, academic opportunities and outcomes, education 9 of students with disabilities, education of English language learners, 10 and shall ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws 11 and regulations. This improvement plan shall also include a comprehen- 12 sive expenditure plan that will describe how the funds made available to 13 the district pursuant to this section will be spent. The comprehensive 14 expenditure plan shall ensure that funds supplement, not supplant, 15 expenditures from local, state and federal funds for services provided 16 to public school students. Such expenditure plan shall be developed in 17 consultation with the monitor or monitors appointed by the commissioner. 18 The board of education of the East Ramapo central school district must 19 conduct a public hearing on the expenditure plan and shall consider the 20 input of the community before adopting such plan. Such expenditure plan 21 shall also be made publicly available and shall be submitted along with 22 comments made by the community to the commissioner for approval once the 23 plan is finalized. Upon review of the improvement plan and the expendi- 24 ture plan, required to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision or 25 section seven of this act, the commissioner shall approve or deny such 26 plan in writing and, if denied, shall include the reasons therefor. The 27 district in consultation with the monitors may resubmit such plan or 28 plans with any needed modifications thereto. 29 (c) The commissioner shall disburse the funds appropriated pursuant to 30 this section after receiving satisfactory evidence from the East Ramapo 31 central school district that the district has complied with the approved 32 comprehensive expenditure plan and spent such funds pursuant to the 33 approved expenditure plan. 34 (d) The commissioner of education shall have 30 days from the receipt 35 of such evidence to confirm whether the school district has complied 36 with the requirements of this act and shall determine whether such funds 37 were spent in conformance with the provisions of this act. Upon finding 38 compliance and determining that the funds were properly expended, the 39 commissioner shall certify the amount of the approved expenditures to 40 the state comptroller for payment no later than 60 days after such 41 determinations. The East Ramapo central school district shall not 42 receive reimbursement for funds authorized pursuant to this act that are 43 not spent for the direct benefit of students attending public schools in 44 such district in a manner consistent with its approved comprehensive 45 expenditure plan or prior written approval from the commissioner. 46 § 6. Fiscal and operational oversight by the commissioner. During the 47 effective period of this act the commissioner shall undertake an 48 enhanced review of the district budget. 49 (a) The board of education in consultation with the monitor or moni- 50 tors shall annually submit the school district's proposed budget for the 51 next succeeding school year to the commissioner no later than 45 days 52 before the date scheduled for the school district's budget vote. The 53 commissioner shall review the budget to ensure that it, to the greatest 54 extent possible, expands educational programming for students including 55 but not limited to extracurricular activities, course offerings, non- 56 mandated support services, non-mandated art and music classes, programsA. 10723 4 1 and services for English language learners and students with disabili- 2 ties, and maintaining class size. The commissioner shall also review the 3 proposed budget to ensure that it is balanced within the context of 4 revenue and expenditure estimates and mandated programs. The commission- 5 er shall present his or her findings to the board of education no later 6 than 30 days prior to the date scheduled for the school district's budg- 7 et vote. The board of education shall make adjustments to the proposed 8 budget consistent with any recommendations made by the commissioner. The 9 school district shall make available on the district's website: the 10 initial proposed budget, the commissioner's findings, and the final 11 proposed budget prior to the date of the school district's budget vote. 12 (b) The monitor or monitors appointed by the commissioner shall quar- 13 terly, and the district shall annually provide to the commissioner 14 reports on the fiscal and operational status of the school district to 15 ensure compliance with subdivision (a) of this section. In addition, 16 monitors shall provide an annual report to the commissioner and comp- 17 troller on contracts that the district entered into throughout the year. 18 All reports shall be subject to review by the comptroller at the request 19 of the commissioner. 20 § 7. To ensure compliance with the comprehensive expenditure plan, in 21 the event the district plans to reduce budget appropriations for 22 programs restored or created under the comprehensive expenditure plan or 23 the strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan as well as the sale 24 of school buildings or other real property and capital improvement 25 contracts in excess of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the 26 district shall submit a plan to the commissioner for approval. 27 § 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016 and shall expire and be 28 deemed repealed June 30, 2017.