STATE OF NEW YORK
April 5, 2016
Introduced by Sen. DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Education
AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to instruction on the
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 801 of the education law,
2 as amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended to read as
4 1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and
5 obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intel-
6 lectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obli-
7 gations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University
8 of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in
9 patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular atten-
10 tion to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the
11 freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, the history of
12 the Garifuna people, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to
13 1850, to be maintained and followed in all the schools of the state. The
14 boards of education and trustees of the several cities and school
15 districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such
16 courses, by the teachers employed in the schools therein. All pupils
17 attending such schools, over the age of eight years, shall attend upon
18 such instruction.
19 Similar courses of instruction shall be prescribed and maintained in
20 private schools in the state, and all pupils in such schools over eight
21 years of age shall attend upon such courses. If such courses are not so
22 established and maintained in a private school, attendance upon instruc-
23 tion in such school shall not be deemed substantially equivalent to
24 instruction given to pupils of like age in the public schools of the
25 city or district in which such pupils reside.
26 3. The regents shall determine the subjects to be included in such
27 courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights
28 issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 7175 2
1 genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground rail-
2 road), the Holocaust, the history of the Garifuna people, and the mass
3 starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, and in the history, meaning,
4 significance and effect of the provisions of the constitution of the
5 United States, the amendments thereto, the declaration of independence,
6 the constitution of the state of New York and the amendments thereto,
7 and the period of instruction in each of the grades in such subjects.
8 They shall adopt rules providing for attendance upon such instruction
9 and for such other matters as are required for carrying into effect the
10 objects and purposes of this section. The commissioner shall be respon-
11 sible for the enforcement of such section and shall cause to be
12 inspected and supervise the instruction to be given in such subjects.
13 The commissioner may, in his discretion, cause all or a portion of the
14 public school money to be apportioned to a district or city to be with-
15 held for failure of the school authorities of such district or city to
16 provide instruction in such courses and to compel attendance upon such
17 instruction, as herein prescribed, and for a non-compliance with the
18 rules of the regents adopted as herein provided.
19 § 2. This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding
20 the date on which it shall have become a law.