senate Bill S1326

Establishes the education equity act which provides language assistance to parents/guardians who have children enrolled in public school and who do not speak English

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 28 / Jan / 2009
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 06 / Jan / 2010
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Summary

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7390
Versions:
S1326
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Current Committee:
Senate Education
Law Section:
Education Law

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER: S1326

TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the education law, in relation to establishing the
education equity act


PURPOSE :
The purpose of the bill is to encourage parental involvement and
participation by providing appropriate translation services to
non-English speaking parents with children enrolled in New York State
schools.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1 titles the act the "Education Equity Act."

Section 2 adds a new article 66 to the education law to require school
districts to create an annual language assistance plan to assess
language needs within the district. Districts are required to
determine the primary language of the parents of enrolled students,
and provide interpretation services for two languages spoken by more
than two percent of the population of the school district, or, for
eight languages in a community district of the City of New York.
Additionally, school districts are required to provide translations of
certain documents sent to parents in regards to a child's education,
including report cards and permission slips and all documents
pertaining to a student's health, safety, placement, or discipline,
and any document prepared for broad distribution, or to provide
translated coversheets detailing where and how to get a free
translation. School districts shall also provide a notice to parents
and guardians of their rights to translation services. Allows an
employee to certify a document affirming that translation services
have been provided, and that the employee believes each person
understood the document. Also requires the Department of Education to
establish web pages detailing the rights of parents to translation
services in each covered language. Requires school districts to report
on the utilization of translation services to local school boards
annually.

Section 3 provides that if one portion of the law is declared
unconstitutional or invalid, the remaining portion shall be
unaffected. Section 4 provides an effective date of 180 days after
having become law.

EXISTING LAW :
Under current law, school districts and the Department of Education
provide basic language assistance to parents and guardians, but is not
required to provide translation services for most documents such as
report cards and school notices.

JUSTIFICATION :
Parental involvement in education is one of the most important factors
of a child's success in school. However, with more than 200 languages
spoken in New York State, many parents are prevented from meaningfully
participating in their children's education by their inability to
speak English. In New York City, for example, more than 43% of
students' families speak a language other than English at home. For
those who speak limited English, the availability of translation and
interpretation services is limited, and usually confined to legal
documents and notices. Therefore, it is necessary to increase access
to free and accessible translation services to parents who do not
speak English in schools. This legislation would require school
districts to provide basic translation services in two languages
spoken by 2% or more of the population of the district.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2005-2006: S.8234 Serrano - Referred to Rules
2007-2008: S.3131 Serrano - Referred to Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
This local law shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day
after it shall have become law.
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The Bill text is not available.

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