Bill Text: NY S06589 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Provides that the office of non-public school services shall create and revise a document titled the state standards report which is to be completed by the superintendent of every school district for each non-public school in such district, and which will assist and guide the school district in determining that all resident children attending a school other than a public school receive instruction from competent teachers and is at least substantially equivalent to the instruction given to minors of like age and attainments at the public schools where the minor resides; makes related provisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-17 - REFERRED TO RULES [S06589 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S06589-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          6589

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                      June 17, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sen. JACKSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

        AN ACT to amend the education law, in  relation  to  requiring  a  state
          standards report to be filed by all non-public schools

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Section 3204 of the education law is amended  by  adding  a
     2  new subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
     3    1-a. Office of non-public school services. (a) The office of non-publ-
     4  ic  school services within the department shall verify no later than the
     5  first of August of each year ending in an even number that every  school
     6  district  has  submitted  a  certified  state  standards  report for the
     7  preceding two years. The  state  standards  report  shall  certify  that
     8  instruction given to all minors elsewhere than public schools within the
     9  school  district is at least substantially equivalent to the instruction
    10  given to minors of like age and attainments at the public schools of the
    11  city or district where the minor resides and  shall  be  signed  by  the
    12  superintendent  of schools and approved by majority vote of the board of
    13  education.
    14    (b) The office of non-public school services shall create and revise a
    15  document titled the state standards report. The state standards  report,
    16  which  is to be completed by the superintendent of every school district
    17  for each non-public school in such district, will assist and  guide  the
    18  school  district  in  determining that all resident children attending a
    19  school other than a public school  receive  instruction  from  competent
    20  teachers  and  is  at  least substantially equivalent to the instruction
    21  given to minors of like age and attainments at the public schools  where
    22  the minor resides.
    23    (c)  The  commissioner shall issue a district compliance report, on or
    24  before the first of September of each year ending in an even number,  to
    25  be  posted  on  the department website, which details the following: (i)

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD06308-03-9

        S. 6589                             2

     1  which school districts have failed to submit the state standards report;
     2  (ii) which school districts have substantially equivalent instruction in
     3  all of their non-public schools; (iii) which  school  districts  do  not
     4  have  substantially  equivalent  instruction  in all of their non-public
     5  schools; (iv) which school districts were unable to determine the equiv-
     6  alency of instruction in all of  their  non-public  schools;  (v)  which
     7  non-public  schools  are not providing substantially equivalent instruc-
     8  tion; (vi) which non-public schools have  failed  to  cooperate  in  the
     9  completion  of  their  school  district's  state standards report; (vii)
    10  which non-public schools are providing substantially equivalent instruc-
    11  tion; (viii) the funds allocated to each non-public school; and (ix) any
    12  other information the commissioner deems necessary.
    13    (d) A school district which does not submit the state standards report
    14  within ninety days of the first of August of each year ending in an even
    15  number shall require the commissioner to initiate an  investigation  and
    16  make  a  determination  of the substantial equivalency of instruction at
    17  all non-public schools within the school  district  within  one  hundred
    18  eighty  days  of  such  date. As a result of the commissioner's investi-
    19  gation, non-public schools within such district that are  determined  by
    20  the  commissioner  to provide substantially equivalent instruction shall
    21  have their status updated to reflect such determination by  the  commis-
    22  sioner  and  non-public schools within such district that do not provide
    23  substantially equivalent instruction may be given a reasonable amount of
    24  time to remedy any deficiencies  identified  by  the  commissioner.  The
    25  commissioner may order a schedule for such school to remedy such identi-
    26  fied  deficiencies.  Failure  of such school to remedy such deficiencies
    27  within the ordered schedule will result in  a  determination  that  such
    28  school  does  not provide substantially equivalent instruction.  Princi-
    29  pals and administrators  of  non-public  schools  that  were  closed  or
    30  defunded for not providing substantially equivalent instruction shall be
    31  prohibited  from  creating, opening or operating a subsequent non-public
    32  school.   Upon a determination by the  commissioner  that  a  non-public
    33  school  does not provide substantially equivalent instruction, notice in
    34  writing shall be provided, within thirty days, to the  administrator  of
    35  the  non-public  school and the parents or guardians of pupils attending
    36  that school and the school district.  Children  attending  a  non-public
    37  school  that  does not provide substantially equivalent instruction will
    38  be considered truant.  Parents and guardians of  pupils  shall  transfer
    39  their children to either a public school or a non-public school that has
    40  been  identified as providing substantially equivalent instruction as of
    41  the most recently submitted state standards report, within  thirty  days
    42  of notification of the commissioner's determination. All transportation,
    43  textbooks,  health  services and other services provided by the board of
    44  education to a non-public school, that the commissioner determines  does
    45  not  provide  substantially equivalent instruction, will be withdrawn no
    46  later than forty-five days after notification of such determination  but
    47  not less than thirty days.
    48    (e) The commissioner shall create, maintain and supervise an office of
    49  non-public  school  services  within  the  department and shall allocate
    50  sufficient staffing and resources to achieve the  requirements  of  this
    51  section.
    52    (f)  Non-public  school administrators shall assist and cooperate with
    53  superintendents and boards of education in the completion and submission
    54  of the state standards report.  Non-public school  administrators  shall
    55  ensure  that  each  teacher  in a non-public school possesses sufficient
    56  knowledge in the subject matters that are taught by such teacher.

        S. 6589                             3

     1    (g) School districts shall submit an updated state standards report to
     2  the office of non-public schools services every two  years.  The  super-
     3  intendent  of  every  school  district shall have the duty to submit the
     4  state standards report pursuant to this subdivision, provided,  however,
     5  each  superintendent may coordinate and obtain the assistance of others,
     6  including but not limited to BOCES in the completion of the state stand-
     7  ards report.
     8    (h) The state standards report shall, for each  non-public  school  in
     9  the  district,  include,  but not be limited to, the following: (i) that
    10  each non-public school building in the district  is  a  safe  place  for
    11  children,  with  the  latest  fire inspection report for each non-public
    12  school in the district or, in New York city, a certificate of  occupancy
    13  issued  by the New York city department of buildings for each non-public
    14  school in the district; (ii) a list of names of pupils from the district
    15  who are attending non-public schools within the district  for  the  past
    16  two  years and which non-public schools they are attending; (iii) copies
    17  of school calendars for the past two years and  the  upcoming  year  for
    18  each  non-public school in the district; (iv) a list of grade levels and
    19  the total enrollment at each grade level  for  each  of  the  non-public
    20  schools  in  the district over the past two years; (v) a list of courses
    21  and subjects which were taught at each grade level  at  each  non-public
    22  school  over  the past two years; (vi) how each non-public school within
    23  the district, over the past two years, was able to instruct their pupils
    24  in the required subjects  of:  arithmetic,  English  language,  reading,
    25  spelling,  writing,  music, geography, health education, physical educa-
    26  tion, science, United States history, New York State history and  visual
    27  arts for grades one through six; English, social studies, science, math-
    28  ematics,  physical  education, health education, New York State history,
    29  visual arts, music,  practical  arts,  technology  education,  home  and
    30  career  skills  and  library  and  information  skills  for grades seven
    31  through eight; English, social studies  including  a  year  of  American
    32  history, mathematics, science, health, physical education, art and music
    33  for  grades nine through twelve; (vii) how many times the superintendent
    34  visited each of the non-public schools in the district; (viii) how  many
    35  hours  of  the  day  are  spent  on  instruction of each of the required
    36  subjects for each grade listed in subparagraph (vi)  of  this  paragraph
    37  and  which  textbooks  were  utilized in such instruction at each of the
    38  non-public schools; and (ix) a list of all  non-public  schools  in  the
    39  school district.
    40    (i)  At least twice per year, the commissioner shall initiate an unan-
    41  nounced investigation into the substantial equivalency of instruction at
    42  every non-public school in the state and make a determination of whether
    43  instruction is substantially equivalent based on the  findings  of  such
    44  investigation.
    45    (j) The commissioner shall initiate an investigation into the substan-
    46  tial equivalency of instruction at any non-public school that is identi-
    47  fied  in  the state standards report as: (i) not providing substantially
    48  equivalent instruction; and (ii) not cooperating with the completion  of
    49  their  school  district's  state standards report, within ninety days of
    50  submission of the state standards report. The commissioner shall make  a
    51  determination  of  whether instruction is substantially equivalent based
    52  on the findings of such investigation.
    53    § 2. This act shall take effect on the first of July  next  succeeding
    54  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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