senate Bill S2759A

Establishes a temporary commission to examine and review the degree of segregation in primary and secondary schools

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Bill Status


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

  • 01 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 07 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 07 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 2759A

Summary

Establishes a temporary commission to examine and review the degree and effect of segregation in primary and secondary schools and any correlation with school funding and the long-term impact of inadequate education on segregated students.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2895A
Versions:
S2759
S2759A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Commissions
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S5045, A3750
2007-2008: S2119, A4150

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2759A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
creating a temporary state commission to examine the degree and effect
of segregation in primary and secondary schools; and providing for the
repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Authorizes the state department of education to investigate the degree
and effect of segregation in New York's primary and secondary
schools, and make subsequent recommendations to the governor and
legislature.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of this bill establishes the commission within the education
department. This section also outlines the powers of the commission
to appoint a director and staff, to conduct investigations, to
conduct hearings, to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and
procure documents as deemed relevant to an investigation, and to
submit their findings to the governor and legislature.

Section 2 sets the rules by which the members of the commission shall
be appointed, and by which vacancies may be fulfilled; and the term
limits of such members.

Section 3 provides for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses by
members of the commission.

Section 4 enables the commission to obtain cooperation from all bodies
within the state government.

JUSTIFICATION:
Segregation within public schools has been a problem that state
governments have been trying to eliminate for decades. More than
fifty years have passed since the Supreme Court decided the landmark
case of Brown v. Board of Education. There still remains a high
degree of racial separation in many of New York's public schools.
According to information based on The 2003 Civil Rights Project
conducted by Harvard University, A MULTIRACIAL SOCIETY WITH
SEGREGATED SCHOOLS: ARE WE LOSING THE DREAM? New York State ranks
number one in the most segregated states for black students' category.

Segregation likely contributes to the resultant inequality in funding
and educational achievement gaps seen in many minority school
districts.

The establishment of a temporary, state-supported, nonpartisan
commission will serve to address this critical issue directly. The
commission's
powers will enable it to bring specific incidents of segregation to
the attention of the governor and state legislature, and recommend
legislative action should a detailed investigation prove such
action to be necessary. By doing such, the state will have taken a
major step in ensuring an equal opportunity for all of its students
to be educated.


PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10: A.3750/S.5045 - Referred to Assembly Education/Senate Finance
2007-08: A.4150/S.2119 - Referred to Education/Senate Finance
2005-06: A.1793A/5987 - Referred to Assembly Education Committee/
Senate Finance
2004: A.8402A/A.6090 - Reported to Ways & Means/Senate Finance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
July 1, 2012, with provisions.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2759--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 1, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance -- recom-
  mitted to the Committee on Finance in accordance with Senate  Rule  6,
  sec.  8  --  committee  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
  amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT creating a temporary state commission to examine the  degree  and
  effect  of segregation in primary and secondary schools; 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:

  Section  1.  There is established within the department of education a
temporary state commission to examine and review the  degree  of  segre-
gation  in  primary and secondary schools; here and after referred to as
the commission. The  commission  shall  have  the  following  functions,
powers and duties:
  a.  To  appoint an executive director who shall act in accordance with
the policies of the commission. The commission may delegate authority to
the executive director to act in the  name  of  the  commission  between
meetings  of  the  commission provided such delegation is in writing and
the specific powers to be delegated are enumerated;
  b. To appoint such other staff as  are  necessary  to  carry  out  its
duties under this section;
  c.  To  conduct investigations in connection with: the level of segre-
gation in New York's primary  and  secondary  schools;  any  correlation
between  segregation  and  inadequate  school funding; and the long-term
economic  impact  of  inadequate  educational  resources  on  segregated
students and society;
  d.  To  make  an annual report to the governor and the legislature not
later than July first of each year which shall include  its  recommenda-
tions.  The  commission  shall  make such further interim reports to the
governor, or to the governor and legislature, as it  shall  deem  advis-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06442-02-2

S. 2759--A                          2

able, or as shall be required to do by the governor, the temporary pres-
ident of the senate or the speaker of the assembly;
  e.  To  conduct  any  investigation  authorized by this section at any
place within the state; and to maintain offices, hold meetings and func-
tion at any place within the state as it may deem necessary;
  f. To conduct private and public hearings and to designate one or more
members of the commission or of its staff to preside over any such hear-
ings; and
  g. To administer oaths or  affirmations,  subpoena  witnesses,  compel
their attendance, examine them under oath or affirmation and require the
production  of  any  books,  records, documents or other evidence it may
deem relevant or material to an investigation.
  S 2. The commission shall consist of  ten  members,  to  be  known  as
commissioners  to be appointed as follows: Two members of the commission
shall be appointed by the governor, two by the  temporary  president  of
the senate, two by the minority leader of the senate, two by the speaker
of  the assembly and two by the minority leader of the assembly, each to
serve a three year term. No more than five members shall belong  to  the
same political party. No member or employee of the commission shall hold
any  other  public  office  or  public employment and no member shall be
employed as a lobbyist. The governor shall designate the chairperson  of
the commission from among the members thereof, who shall serve as chair-
person  at  the  pleasure  of  the  governor. The chairperson or any six
members of the commission may call a meeting. Any vacancy  occurring  on
the  commission  shall be filled within 60 days of its occurrence in the
same manner as the original appointment. A  vacancy  in  the  commission
shall  not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the
powers of the commission. A person appointed to fill a vacancy shall  be
appointed  for  the unexpired term of the member he or she succeeds. Six
members of the commission shall constitute a quorum and  the  commission
shall  have power to act by majority vote of the total number of members
of the commission without vacancy. Members  of  the  commission  may  be
removed  by  the governor for substantial neglect of duty, gross miscon-
duct in office, inability to discharge the powers or duties of office or
violation of this section, after written notice and  opportunity  for  a
reply.
  S  3. The members of the commission shall not receive compensation but
shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the  performance
of their official duties.
  S  4.  The commission may request and shall receive from every depart-
ment, division, board, bureau, commission or other agency of the  state,
or  of  any political subdivision thereof, cooperation and assistance in
the performance of its duties.
  S 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012 and  shall  expire  March
31, 2015, when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed
repealed.

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