senate Bill S587A

Signed by Governor

Directs the chancellor of the city school district of city over 1 million to inventory and report on the outdoor schoolyards of such district

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Bill Status


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

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 12 / Apr / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 13 / May / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 13 / May / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 587A
  • 11 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 13 / Jun / 2011
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1147
  • 14 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 14 / Jun / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 14 / Jun / 2011
    • REFERRED TO WAYS AND MEANS
  • 15 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A7230A
  • 15 / Jun / 2011
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.249
  • 15 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 15 / Jun / 2011
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 12 / Sep / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 23 / Sep / 2011
    • SIGNED CHAP.544

Summary

Directs the chancellor of the city school district of a city over 1 million to inventory and report on the outdoor schoolyards of such district.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7230A
Versions:
S587
S587A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง2556 & 2590-h, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S8344

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S587A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to
directing the chancellor of a city school district in a city having a
population of one million or more
to inventory and report upon the outdoor schoolyards
within such
district

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Requires the Chancellor of the New York City School District to
compile an inventory of the outdoor schoolyards in such school
district and to prepare a report on Certain aspects of the condition
and Use of such playgrounds.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Adds a new Education Law section 2556(14) to require the
Chancellor of the New York city School District to prepare an
inventory and report on the following items related to school
district outdoor playgrounds:

- identify each and every outdoor schoolyard located at or associated
with schools, their location, approximate size, and physical condition.

- identify which schoolyards are in fact utilized as outdoor
schoolyards and any limitations on their use as a playground.

- identify areas, while designated or in the past used as schoolyards,
that are now not used for physical education, activity or recreation.
For example, some playgrounds have been used for the placement of
Temporary Classroom Units (TCU) on a more or less permanent basis.
This situation has led to less playground space being left available
to be used for physical activity.

- a description of whether each playground is used during the school
day and after school by students and the general public.

- a description of the capital plans for the construction, placement,
renovation, or reconfiguration of such playgrounds, and any plan to
increase or decrease the availability and utilization of such places.

- any other facts, information, or recommendations which the
Chancellor deems necessary to improve outdoor schoolyards. Such
improvements should help to enhance the physical education, physical
and mental fitness, and well-being of its students.

Provides for a definition of schoolyards to include all outdoor space
used by students for physical education, physical activity, and/or
recreation.

A report of the Chancellor's inventory, findings, and recommendations
is to be completed by December 31, 2011. Such report is to be
submitted to the Governor, the State Legislature, and the state
Education Department.


Section 2: Amend Education Law section 2590-h (Powers and duties of
the Chancellor) to include the duty to prepare the Report outlined in
section 1 of this bill.

JUSTIFICATION:
It is of the utmost importance to the proper development of a child to
engage in unstructured play and to have the opportunity for physical
education. Such activities can help children to better learn and
absorb knowledge throughout the rest of the school day and increase
their physical and mental fitness. When children are able to run,
hop, skip, and jump around with other kids, they learn important
social and emotional skills like empathy, working with others, and
complex behaviors like planning and sequencing.

Unfortunately, many children in New York City have little space to
play in an outdoor setting. Too many neighborhoods lack adequate
playgrounds to serve all children, and many kids live beyond the safe
walking distance to parks. That is why outdoor playgrounds at schools
are so essential.

For many kids, the school day and school facilities are one of the
only opportunities that they have to engage in some fresh air outdoor
physical activity. More than just a chance to run around, outdoor
play at school has been shown to result in higher reading scores and
reduce the high incidence of obesity that exists among many of New
York city's youth.

For these reasons, Senator Klein issued a report in 2003 on outdoor
playground space at schools. This study found that the New York city
Department of Education did not aggressively track the adequacy and
size of outdoor playgrounds. Further, many schools lacked sufficient
play space, in part because Temporary Classroom Units (TCUs) had been
placed on school yard space for years and, in some cases, more than a
decade.

Senator Klein issued a second Report in 2008 on the issue of outdoor
playground space. Further, Senator Klein has tried to encourage the
NYC Department of Education to measure the adequacy of outdoor play
space.
Senator Klein's staff surveyed over 100 elementary school principals
and asked them about their access to fundamental outdoor play space
options-schoolyards, playgrounds, a nearby park, athletic fields or a
track. Many surveyed schools did not have these outdoor playground
options. Many elementary schools lacked multiple options and some did
not have any at all. Schools reported that for the outdoor play space
options they had, nearly half the time they were insufficient to
serve the needs of all the children. There were also complaints about
the condition of outdoor play space.

One of the key factors diminishing outdoor play space is TCUs. These
supposedly temporary classroom units usually sit on schoolyards,
occupying outdoor play space. This report revealed that 24 percent of
randomly surveyed elementary schools have TCUs. Additionally, 94
percent of elementary schools that had TCUs 5 years ago, still have
them today. Clearly, the DOE is not on schedule in its attempt to
phase down the utilization of TCUs. This is troubling, as school


principals were critical of TCUs citing problems with mice, plumbing,
heating, ventilation, and students not feeling part of the school.

The Report required under this bill should help the State and New York
city to do a better jab in assessing New York City's compliance with
state law and monitor efforts to close the existing inequities
between schools with regard to outdoor play space.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2008: S.8600 - Referred to Rules
2010: Similar to S.2485-A (Passed Senate, but vetoed)
Similar to Chapter Amendment S.2485-A (S.8409)

The same as S.8344, which is a combination of S.2485-A and its Chapter
Amendment S.8409. The language of S.8409 was suggested to the
sponsors of this bill by the City of New York.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately, with provisions.

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

                                 587--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  KLEIN,  DIAZ, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HUNTLEY, KRUEGER,
  MONTGOMERY, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when print-
  ed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- reported favorably
  from said committee and committed  to  the  Committee  on  Finance  --
  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
  recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to directing the chancel-
  lor of a city school district in a city having  a  population  of  one
  million  or  more to inventory and report upon the outdoor schoolyards
  within such district

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section  2556 of the education law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 14 to read as follows:
  14. A.  THE CHANCELLOR OF A CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN A  CITY  HAVING  A
POPULATION  OF  ONE  MILLION  OR  MORE SHALL COMPILE AN INVENTORY OF AND
ISSUE A WRITTEN REPORT ABOUT THE OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARDS IN THE CITY  SCHOOL
DISTRICT. SUCH INVENTORY AND REPORT SHALL:
  (I)  IDENTIFY  EACH  OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARD LOCATED AT EDUCATIONAL FACILI-
TIES, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION  NINE  OF  SECTION  TWENTY-FIVE  HUNDRED
NINETY-A  OF  THIS  TITLE,  OF  THE  CITY  SCHOOL DISTRICT. EACH OUTDOOR
SCHOOLYARD SHALL BE IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH
THE OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARD IS LOCATED, ITS  ADDRESS,  APPROXIMATE  SIZE  AND
PHYSICAL CONDITION;
  (II)  IDENTIFY  WHICH OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARDS ARE USED FOR PHYSICAL EDUCA-
TION, ACTIVITY AND/OR RECREATION; FOR EACH SUCH  OUTDOOR  SCHOOLYARD,  A
DESCRIPTION  OF  HOW  OFTEN STUDENTS OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT USE THE
OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARD AND ANY LIMITATIONS ON THE USES OF THE SCHOOLYARD;
  (III) IDENTIFY WHICH OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARDS ARE  NOT  USED  FOR  PHYSICAL
EDUCATION, ACTIVITY OR RECREATION. FOR EACH SUCH SCHOOLYARD, AN EXPLANA-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04766-02-1

S. 587--A                           2

TION OF WHY IT IS NOT BEING USED FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION, PHYSICAL ACTIV-
ITY OR RECREATION BY STUDENTS OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT;
  (IV) WHETHER EACH OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARD IS USED AND THE FREQUENCY OF SUCH
USE  DURING  THE  SCHOOL  DAY  AND  WHETHER  IT  IS AVAILABLE FOR USE BY
STUDENTS OR THE GENERAL PUBLIC DURING AFTER SCHOOL HOURS;
  (V) FOR EACH OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARD, A DESCRIPTION OF  THE  CAPITAL  PLANS
FOR  CONSTRUCTION, PLACEMENT, RENOVATION AND/OR RECONFIGURATION THEREOF,
AND ANY PLAN TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE  AVAILABILITY  AND  UTILIZATION
THEREOF; AND
  (VI)  ANY OTHER FACTS, INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH THE CHAN-
CELLOR DEEMS NECESSARY TO IMPROVE THE OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARDS OF THE  EDUCA-
TIONAL  FACILITIES  OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT. SUCH IMPROVEMENTS SHALL
BE THOSE THAT  ENHANCE  THE  PHYSICAL  EDUCATION,  PHYSICAL  AND  MENTAL
FITNESS, AND WELL-BEING OF THE STUDENTS OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT.
  B.  ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND TWELVE, THE CHAN-
CELLOR SHALL SUBMIT THE INVENTORY AND REPORT, COMPILED PURSUANT TO PARA-
GRAPH A OF THIS SUBDIVISION, TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF
THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE CHAIRS OF  THE  SENATE  AND
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEES ON EDUCATION, AND THE DEPARTMENT.
  C.  FOR  THE  PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, "OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARD" MEANS
OUTDOOR SPACE WHICH IS LOCATED AT EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES, AND IS USED OR
INTENDED TO BE USED BY STUDENTS FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION, PHYSICAL  ACTIV-
ITY AND/OR RECREATION.
  S  2.  Section  2590-h of the education law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 52 to read as follows:
  52. TO COMPILE AN INVENTORY OF AND ISSUE A WRITTEN  REPORT  ABOUT  THE
OUTDOOR SCHOOLYARDS IN THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, AS REQUIRED BY SUBDIVI-
SION FOURTEEN OF SECTION TWENTY-FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY-SIX OF THIS TITLE.
  S  3. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that the amend-
ments to section 2590-h of the education law, made  by  section  two  of
this  act,  shall  not  affect  the expiration of such section and shall
expire therewith.

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