S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
January 5, 2011
Introduced by Sen. ROBACH -- 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 directing the commis-
sioner of education to establish an incentive program for school
districts wishing to implement programs of foreign language in the
elementary schools and directing the commissioner of education to
establish an incentive program for college students wishing to become
foreign language teachers; and making an appropriation therefor
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 815 to
read as follows:
S 815. FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM. 1. LEGISLA-
TIVE INTENT. THE STUDENTS OF NEW YORK STATE NEED TO HAVE SKILLS IN AT
LEAST ONE LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH (LOTE) AND UNDERSTANDING OF ANOTH-
ER CULTURE IN ORDER TO SUCCESSFULLY CONFRONT THE CHALLENGES OF THE WORLD
OF TODAY AND TOMORROW. THEY WILL HAVE TO COMPETE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY;
WORK WITH PEOPLE OF DIVERSE CULTURES ABROAD AND AT HOME, AND ENSURE OUR
ONE GOAL OF THIS SECTION IS TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO START FOREIGN
LANGUAGE IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (FLES) PROGRAMS FOR A LIMITED NUMBER
OF SCHOOLS IN HIGH-NEED DISTRICTS. PARTICIPATION IN THIS PROGRAM IS
VOLUNTARY. RELATIVELY FEW SCHOOL DISTRICTS OFFER FLES NATION-WIDE, ONLY
SIX PERCENT OF STUDENTS STUDY FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
THESE DISTRICTS TEND TO BE AMONG THE MORE AFFLUENT. BY CHOOSING FIVE
SCHOOLS IN HIGH-NEED DISTRICTS, WE HOPE TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THOSE
SCHOOLS WHO CANNOT OTHERWISE AFFORD TO HAVE FLES PROGRAMS CAN SUCCEED.
CHILDREN OF LOW-INCOME DISTRICTS DESERVE TO HAVE THE SKILLS TO SUCCEED
IN THE GLOBAL WORLD AS WELL AS THOSE OF MORE AFFLUENT AREAS.
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 721 2
ACCORDING TO RESEARCH AND THE GUIDELINES OF THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON
THE TEACHING OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES (ACTFL), STUDENTS WHO BEGIN STUDY OF
LOTE AT AN EARLY AGE AND WHO CONTINUE THAT STUDY FOR A LONG SEQUENCE OF
YEARS HAVE THE BEST CHANCES OF ATTAINING INTERMEDIATE PROFICIENCY IN
IT IS HOPED THAT THE SUCCESS OF THESE PROGRAMS, WHICH WILL BE CAREFUL-
LY MONITORED BY THE NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE
TEACHERS (NYSAFLT), WILL NOT ONLY ENCOURAGE THE DISTRICTS TO FIND THE
FUNDS TO CONTINUE OFFERING THE FLES PROGRAMS ONCE FUNDING FROM THE BILL
HAS ENDED, BUT ALSO WILL GENERATE INTEREST IN THE NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS
WHICH WILL INSPIRE THEM TO IMPLEMENT FLES PROGRAMS, THUS CREATING A
GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT IN FAVOR OF FLES.
THE SECOND GOAL OF THIS SECTION IS TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO ENCOURAGE
COLLEGE STUDENTS WISHING TO BECOME LOTE TEACHERS. THERE IS A CURRENT
SEVERE SHORTAGE OF LOTE TEACHERS IN NEW YORK STATE. THIS SHORTAGE CAN
PREVENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS FROM OFFERING A VARIETY OF LANGUAGES AS WELL AS
FROM ADDING CLASSES WITH THE PURPOSE OF INCREASING LOTE STUDY. THE FUND-
ING PROVIDED WOULD COVER THE COST OF TUITION FOR EDUCATION COURSES LEAD-
ING TO CERTIFICATION FOR TEACHING LOTE IN NEW YORK STATE.
2. FOREIGN LANGUAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (FLES) PILOT PROGRAM. PARTIC-
IPATION IN THIS PROGRAM IS VOLUNTARY. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF
LAW TO THE CONTRARY, PURSUANT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY
THE COMMISSIONER, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A TWO YEAR FOREIGN
LANGUAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (FLES) PILOT PROGRAM IN FIVE ELEMENTARY
SCHOOLS LOCATED IN HIGH-NEED DISTRICTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH MODELS
PROVIDED BY THE ELEMENTARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF THE
NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHERS.
(A) THE LANGUAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM SHALL:
(1) CONSIST OF AT LEAST THREE TO FIVE SESSIONS PER WEEK;
(2) BE IN DURATION OF AT LEAST TWENTY MINUTES PER SESSION FOR GRADES
KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SECOND AND THIRTY MINUTES IN DURATION FOR GRADES
THREE THROUGH SIX; AND
(3) ATTEMPT TO UTILIZE FOREIGN LANGUAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CERTIFIED
TEACHERS AND TO REQUIRE ONGOING AND AGE-APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENTS.
(B) THE CURRICULUM SHOULD BE CONTENT COORDINATED WITH OVERALL COORDI-
NATION WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM.
(C) FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE PROVIDED TO:
(1) HIRE FOREIGN LANGUAGE ELEMENTARY CERTIFIED TEACHERS;
(2) PURCHASE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS; AND
(3) INCORPORATE OTHER FORMS OF SUPPORT TO ENSURE THAT THE PROGRAM IS
SUSTAINABLE AND SUCCESSFUL.
3. STUDENT INCENTIVE AWARD FOR CERTIFICATION IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN
ENGLISH (LOTE) TEACHING. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE
CONTRARY, PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER, THE
COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A STUDENT INCENTIVE AWARD FOR ATTRACTING
AND RETAINING COLLEGE STUDENTS WISHING TO BECOME TEACHERS OF LANGUAGES
OTHER THAN ENGLISH.
(A) THESE INCENTIVES SHOULD BE USED TO PAY FOR TUITION IN EDUCATION
COURSES, UNDERGRADUATE OR GRADUATE, LEADING TO CERTIFICATION IN NEW YORK
(B) A PROVISION OF SUCH TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS WOULD BE A COMMITMENT ON
THE PART OF THE PROSPECTIVE TEACHER TO TEACH FOREIGN LANGUAGES IN NEW
YORK STATE FOR A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS AFTER GRADUATION. SUCH PROGRAM
SHALL INCLUDE AN INCENTIVE AWARD OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER STUDENT
UPON THE COMPLETION OF COURSES FULFILLING THE REQUIREMENT FOR CERTIF-
S. 721 3
ICATION IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH (LOTE) TEACHING IN NEW YORK
S 2. The sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or so much thereof
as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the department of educa-
tion out of any moneys in the state treasury in the general fund to the
credit of the state purposes account, not otherwise appropriated, and
made immediately available, for the purpose of carrying out the
provisions of this act. Such moneys shall be payable on the audit and
warrant of the comptroller on vouchers certified or approved by the
commissioner of education in the manner prescribed by law. Such sum
shall be distributed as follows:
1. One million dollars ($1,000,000) for the foreign language elementa-
ry school (FLES) pilot program, or so much thereof as may be necessary,
is hereby appropriated to the department of education from any moneys in
the state treasury in the general fund to the credit of the state
purposes account not otherwise appropriated for services and expenses of
the department of education for the purposes of carrying out the
provisions of this act.
Five elementary schools will receive one hundred thousand dollars
($100,000) per year, for each year of the two year program.
2. One million dollars ($1,000,000) for student incentives, or so much
thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the department of
education from any moneys in the state treasury in the general fund to
the credit of the state purposes account not otherwise appropriated for
services and expenses of the department of education for the purposes of
carrying out the provisions of this act.
One hundred individual student incentive awards will be issued at ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) each. Such sum shall be payable on the audit
and warrant of the state comptroller on vouchers certified or approved
by the commissioner of education, or his or her duly designated repre-
sentative in the manner provided by law.
3. No expenditure shall be made from this appropriation until a
certificate of approval of availability shall have been issued by the
director of the budget and filed with the state comptroller and a copy
filed with the chair of the senate finance committee and the chair of
the assembly ways and means committee.
4. Such certificate may be amended from time to time by the director
of the budget and a copy of each such amendment shall be filed with the
state comptroller, the chair of the senate finance committee and the
chair of the assembly ways and means committee.
S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of September next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.