senate Bill S1610B

Establishes the commission on education in the twenty-first century

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 1610A
  • 28 / Feb / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 28 / Feb / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 1610B

Summary

Establishes the commission on education in the twenty-first century which shall examine the system of school districts and the delivery of education related services in the state and shall recommend changes to that system.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1373
Versions:
S1610
S1610A
S1610B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Commissions
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1152, A416
2009-2010: S8442, A9510

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1610B

TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to establishing the commission on
education in the twenty-first century; and providing for the repeal of
such provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE:

Creates the 21st century education commission to examine, school
districts and the purchasing and delivery of administrative services.
Directs the commission to develop recommendations for reconfiguring
school districts and administrative functions to align educational
services with regional and local needs.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 creates the Commission on Education in the 21st Century
consisting of 18 statewide members appointed by the Board of Regents,
the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Temporary President of
the Senate and the Minority Leaders in both the Assembly and Senate.

Section 2 provides that appointments shall be made no later than 45
days after this act becomes law.

Section 3 directs the State Education Department to provide support
services to the Commission. The Commission may also employ additional
staff.

Section 4 establishes the factors and information to be considered by
the Commission in their deliberations. These factors include but are
not limited to: the size of each school district and board of
cooperative educational services; the demographics of each school
district and board of cooperative educational services; opportunities
to deliver commodities and services through boards of cooperative
educational services; transportation and the potential for regional
transportation; special education and the potential for regional
special education services; Population density; and other unique
circumstances necessary to maintain the character of schools and
ensure equitable access to rigorous programs for all students.

Section 5 establishes that the deliberations of the Commission shall
be governed by Article 7 of the Public Officers Law.

Section 6 establishes six different regions defined by board of
cooperative educational services districts. It provides for the
appointment of eight regional members for each region who shall be
counted for quorum purposes only when the Commission is acting on
recommendations relating solely the regional members' respective
region.

This section also provides for the creation of regional advisory
commit- tees to conduct public hearings and solicit input from local
stakeholders including but not limited to school district
administrators, district superintendents and superintendents of
schools, teachers, school board members, parents, students,
non-pedagogical school support personnel, representatives from
post-secondary institutions and any other pertinent groups and


individuals. The regional advisory committees shall make
recommendations to the commission relating to school district and
administrative reconfiguration no later than November 15, 2014.

Section 7 directs the Commission to make recommendations, upon the
consideration of demographic, geographic, educational and fiscal
indicators within each board of cooperative educational services
region, for the reconfiguring of school districts and administrative
functions to align educational services with regional and local needs.

This section directs the Commission to collaborate with regional
advisory committees to conduct formal public hearings and solicit
input and recommendations from regional and statewide stakeholder
interests including but not limited to school district administrators,
district superintendents and superintendents of schools, teachers,
school board members, parents, students, non-pedagogical school
support personnel, representatives from post-secondary institutions
and any other pertinent groups and individuals.

On or before December 1, 2014, the Commission shall submit to the
Governor and the Legislature restructuring recommendations, which
shall include but not be limited to: delivery of commodities and
services; pupil transportation; professional development; maintenance;
insurance procurement; payroll administration; employee benefit
coordination; cooperative purchasing; centralized business operations;
school district reconfiguration; transfer of services to the board of
cooperative educational services; disposition of real property and
school debts; personnel contracts and collective bargaining
agreements; disposition of existing school funds and financial
obligations; a transition plan; and estimate and explanation of costs
savings through reconfiguration.

Section 8 directs the Commissioner of Education to implement the
recommendations of the Commission. However, these recommendations
shall not go into effect unless the Governor submits written approval
of the recommendations to both the Commissioner and the Legislature by
December 5, 2011 and if a majority of members from each house of the
Legislature vote to adopt a concurrent resolution rejecting the
recommendations in their entirety by December 31, 2014.

Section 9 authorizes the Commission to receive funding pursuant to
Section 54 of the State Finance Law.

Section 10 establishes a severability clause.

Section 11 sets the effective date.

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT:

This legislation will establish the Commission on Education in the
21st Century charged with developing a detailed statewide action plan
for the consolidation of school districts and administrative services.
The result would assure the goals of modernization, educational
excellence, efficiency and cost reduction while preserving the
community character of our schools and reliving the pressure on
taxpayers.


Our underutilized BOCES system is in a Perfect position to take
advantage of economies of scale to deliver many of the services
children and educators need. The Comptroller recently estimated
savings of close to $400 million, if school districts took better
advantage of the back office services the BOCES already offer.

That savings represents the sharing of services already available.
Payroll administration, employee benefit coordination, cooperative
purchasing, substitute teacher assignments and safety and risk
management are all offered through BOCES. Increasing cooperative
participation and improving regional approaches to more expensive
services like special education and health insurance could yield even
greater savings and offer a better product at the same time.

Shared services are not the only savings the Commission can achieve.
School district lines have not been comprehensively redrawn since the
1950s. Taking into account population shifts and community growth,
boundaries that may have been logical sixty years ago, no longer make
sense today. For example, of the 700 school districts in the State of
New York, 200 are now serving less than 1,000 students each.

A board, modeled after the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the
21st Century, better known as the Berger Commission, would develop a
comprehensive blueprint to remodel the education system. The
legislation provides for significant regional and public input by
requiring the Commission and regional committees to coordinate with
local activists, parents, teachers, administrators and other education
advocates to formulate a plan that will modernize our system, lower
the cost to taxpayers and provide a better education for our children.
Like Berger, the recommendations would automatically go into effect
unless voted down in whole by the Legislature.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.1152/A416 - Referred to Finance
2009-10: S.8442/A.9510 - Referred to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

There are provisions for the commission to be funded through section
54 of the state finance law.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately and expires and is deemed repealed June 30, 2016.

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

                                 1610--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance -- recommitted  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 -- committee discharged, bill amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT in relation to establishing the commission on  education  in  the
  twenty-first  century; 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. Commission established. (a) There is hereby created in the
executive department a commission to be  known  as  the  "commission  on
education  in  the  twenty-first  century", hereafter referred to as the
"commission", which shall be charged with examining the system of school
districts and the delivery of education related  services  in  New  York
state  and  recommending  changes  to  that  system  in light of factors
submitted pursuant to section  four  of  this  act  and  any  additional
factors established by the commission.
  (b)  The  commission  shall consist of eighteen statewide members, and
regional members appointed pursuant to section  six  of  this  act.  The
eighteen  statewide  members  shall  be  appointed  as  follows: (i) two
members shall be appointed by the temporary  president  of  the  senate;
(ii)  two  members  shall  be  appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
(iii) one member shall be  appointed  by  the  minority  leader  of  the
senate; (iv) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the
assembly;  (v)  two members shall be appointed by the governor; and (vi)
ten members shall be appointed by the board of  regents.  The  board  of
regents  shall  designate  the chair from among the statewide members of
the commission.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02752-04-4

S. 1610--B                          2

  (c) The members of the commission shall receive  no  compensation  for
their  services as members, but shall be allowed their actual and neces-
sary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.   Members  of
the  commission  shall  be  considered  public  officers for purposes of
section 17 of the public officers law.
  (d)  The  commission shall begin to act forty-five days after this act
shall have become a law. A quorum shall consist of  a  majority  of  the
members of the commission entitled to vote on the matter under consider-
ation.  Approval  of  any matter shall require the affirmative vote of a
majority of the members voting thereon.
  (e) The statewide members of the commission shall  adopt  by-laws  for
the management and regulation of its affairs.
  S  2.  Appointments  to  commission.  The  legislative leaders and the
governor shall submit their appointments to the board  of  regents,  and
the  board  of regents shall make appointments, no later than forty-five
days after this act becomes a law. If any such appointment is  not  made
by such date, the person or board responsible for making the appointment
pursuant  to  subdivision  (b)  of  section one of this act may make the
appointment after that date, but the vacant appointment shall not  count
for calculation of a quorum until it is filled. Vacancies in the commis-
sion  shall  be filled in the same manner as the member whose vacancy is
being filled was appointed.
  S 3. Commission staff and agency  liaison.  (a)  The  commissioner  of
education  shall designate such employees of the state education depart-
ment as are reasonably necessary to  provide  support  services  to  the
commission.  The  commission, acting by the chair of the commission, may
employ additional staff and consultants, who shall be paid from  amounts
available to the commission for that purpose.
  (b)  The commissioner of education shall appoint one or more represen-
tatives of the department of education to serve as liaison between  such
department  and  the  commission. All state agencies, public authorities
and public benefit corporations shall provide such assistance as may  be
reasonably requested by the chair of the commission.
  S  4.  Factors and information for consideration. (a) The commissioner
of education shall submit to the commission, no later than  ninety  days
after  this act becomes a law, a list of factors to be considered in its
deliberations, which shall include but not be limited to: (i) geography,
including  physical  proximity  and  the  size  of  the  current  school
districts  and boards of cooperative educational services in each region
of the state; (ii) demographics, including student enrollment trends and
the  composition  and  nature  of  communities  in  the  current  school
districts  and boards of cooperative educational services in each region
of the state; (iii) economics, including existing collaborations  to  be
preserved  or  enhanced  and  opportunities  to  deliver commodities and
services through boards of cooperative  educational  services  or  other
entities; (iv) transportation and the potential for regional transporta-
tion  services;  (v)  special  education  and the potential for regional
special education services; (vi) population  density;  and  (vii)  other
unique circumstances including the need to preserve existing or develop-
ing  relationships,  meet  the  needs  of students, maximize educational
opportunities for students, assure local control, maintain the character
of community schools and ensure equitable access  to  rigorous  programs
for all students.
  (b)  The  commissioner  of  education  may  submit additional relevant
factors to be considered in the deliberations  of  the  commission.  The

S. 1610--B                          3

commission  may  also  adopt  additional factors to be considered in its
deliberations.
  S  5.  Deliberations  of  commission.  The deliberations, meetings and
other proceedings of the commission and any committee thereof  shall  be
governed  by  article  7  of  the  public  officers law. Any one or more
members of a committee may participate in a meeting of such committee by
means of a conference telephone, conference video  or  similar  communi-
cations  equipment  allowing all persons participating in the meeting to
hear each other at the same time.   Participation by  such  means  shall
constitute  presence  in  person  at  a  meeting. At any meetings of the
commission conducted by means  of  a  conference  telephone,  conference
video   or   similar  communications  equipment,  other  than  executive
sessions, the public shall be given an opportunity to listen. If a meet-
ing other than an executive session is to be conducted  by  means  of  a
conference  telephone, conference video or similar communications equip-
ment, the public notice for the meeting shall  inform  the  public  that
such  equipment will be used, and identify the means by which the public
may listen to such meeting.
  S 6. Regional input. (a) There shall be eight regional members of  the
commission  for  each  region  established pursuant to this section. For
each region, two regional members shall be appointed  by  the  governor,
two  regional  members  shall be appointed by the temporary president of
the senate, two regional members shall be appointed by  the  speaker  of
the  assembly,  and two regional members shall be appointed by the board
of regents. Regional members shall be considered to be  members  of  the
commission for purposes of this act, provided that:
  (i)  Regional  members  shall  vote and be counted for quorum purposes
only when the commission is acting on recommendations relating solely to
the regional members' respective region; and
  (ii) Regional members shall not be considered to  be  members  of  the
commission  for purposes of participation in commission meetings, except
where items relating specifically to that member's  region  are  on  the
agenda of a commission meeting.
  (b) For purposes of this act, there shall be six regions:
  (i) Long Island, consisting of the Eastern Suffolk, Nassau and Western
Suffolk boards of cooperative educational services;
 (ii) New York City;
  (iii)  Hudson  Valley,  consisting  of  the  Dutchess,  Orange-Ulster,
Putnam-Northern Westchester, Rockland,  Southern  Westchester,  Sullivan
and Ulster boards of cooperative educational services;
  (iv)  Eastern, consisting of the Capital Region, Clinton-Essex-Warren-
Washington,  Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego,  Franklin-Essex-Hamilton,
Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery,   Otsego-Delaware-Schoharie-Greene,  Questar
III, St.  Lawrence-Lewis  and  Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex
boards of cooperative educational services;
  (v)  Central, consisting of the Broome-Tioga, Cayuga-Onondaga, Jeffer-
son-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida,     Herkimer-Hamilton-Fulton-Oswego,
Madison-Oneida,    Oneida-Herkimer-Madison,   Onondaga-Cortland-Madison,
Oswego, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga  and  Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga  boards  of
cooperative educational services;
  (vi)  Western,  consisting  of  the Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming,
Erie 1, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus, Genesee Valley, Monroe 1,  Monroe
2-Orleans, Ontario-Seneca-Yates-Cayuga-Wayne, Orleans-Niagara and Great-
er Southern Tier boards of cooperative educational services.
  (c)  The  commission shall establish a regional advisory committee for
each region. The maximum number of members  of  each  regional  advisory

S. 1610--B                          4

committee  shall  be  determined  by  the  commission.  Members  of each
regional advisory committee shall be appointed in equal numbers  by  the
governor,  the  temporary  president  of  the senate, the speaker of the
assembly and the board of regents. The governor, the temporary president
of  the  senate,  the  speaker of the assembly, and the board of regents
shall submit to the commission their appointments to the regional  advi-
sory  committees  no  later  than  ninety days after this act shall have
become a law. If any such appointment is not  made  by  such  date,  the
person  or  board  responsible  for making such appointment may make the
appointment after that date, but the vacant appointment shall not  count
for calculation of a quorum until such position is filled.  Vacancies in
regional  advisory  committees shall be filled in the same manner as the
member whose vacancy is being filled was appointed. The  regional  advi-
sory committees shall begin to act ninety days after this act shall have
become a law.
  (d)  Each regional advisory committee upon consideration of demograph-
ic, geographic, educational and fiscal indicators within each  board  of
cooperative  educational  services region, shall develop recommendations
for reconfiguring such  region's  school  districts  and  administrative
functions  to  align educational services with regional and local needs.
In carrying out its  functions,  a  regional  advisory  committee  shall
foster discussions among, and conduct formal public hearings with requi-
site public notice to solicit input from, local stakeholders' interests,
including  but  not limited to, school district administrators, district
superintendents and superintendents of schools, teachers,  school  board
members,  parents,  students,  non-pedagogical school support personnel,
representatives from post-secondary  institutions  and  other  pertinent
groups and individuals. In developing its recommendations, each regional
advisory committee shall as far as practicable estimate the efficiencies
that  may  be derived from such school district or administrative recon-
figuration. On November 15, 2014, each regional advisory committee shall
transmit to the commission  a  report  containing  its  recommendations,
which  shall  include  specific  recommendations for school district and
administrative reconfigurations. Such recommendations shall include  but
not be limited to: delivery of commodities and services; pupil transpor-
tation;  specialized  professional  development;  maintenance; insurance
procurement; payroll administration; human resources and employee  bene-
fit coordination; cooperative purchasing coordination; centralization of
business  operations;  printing  services;  state aid planning; textbook
purchasing and substitute teacher coordination; safety and risk  manage-
ment; the units of school administration to be included in the reconfig-
ured  school  district;  the units of school administration that will be
transferred to the board  of  cooperative  educational  services;  size,
composition  and  apportionment  of the governing body; the composition,
powers and duties of any local school  committees  to  be  created;  the
disposition  of  real  and  personal school property; the disposition of
existing school  indebtedness  and  lease-purchase;  the  assignment  of
school  personnel contracts, school collective bargaining agreements and
other school contractual obligations; the disposition of existing school
funds and existing financial obligations,  including  undesignated  fund
balances,  trust  funds,  reserve funds and other funds appropriated for
school purposes; a transition plan that addresses the development  of  a
budget  for  the  first  school  year and interim personnel policies; an
estimate of the cost savings to be achieved through reconfiguration  and
how  costs  will  be  reduced;  recommended  dates by which such actions
should occur; necessary investments, if any, that should be made in each

S. 1610--B                          5

case to carry out the regional advisory committee's recommendations; and
the regional advisory committee's justification for its recommendations,
including the use of any factors developed pursuant to section  four  of
this act.
  (e)  The  failure  of  any  regional advisory committee to perform the
duties imposed by this section shall not affect the  obligation  of  the
commission to perform the duties imposed by section seven of this act.
  S  7.  Commission  recommendations. (a) The commission, upon consider-
ation of demographic,  geographic,  educational  and  fiscal  indicators
within  each  board  of  cooperative  educational services region, shall
develop recommendations for reconfiguring school districts and  adminis-
trative  functions to align educational services with regional and local
needs.  In carrying out its functions, the commission shall  collaborate
with  the  regional advisory committees insofar as practicable to foster
discussions among, and conduct formal  public  hearings  with  requisite
public  notice  to  solicit input and recommendations from statewide and
regional stakeholder interests  including  but  not  limited  to  school
district administrators, district superintendents and superintendents of
schools, teachers, school board members, parents, students, non-pedagog-
ical  school  support  personnel,  representatives  from  post-secondary
institutions and other pertinent groups and individuals.  The commission
shall formally solicit recommendations from school district  administra-
tors, district superintendents and superintendents of schools, teachers,
school  board members, parents, students, non-pedagogical school support
personnel, representatives from post-secondary  institutions  and  other
interested  parties  in each region of the state, and it shall take into
account such recommendations and the  recommendations  of  the  regional
advisory  committees  during its deliberations. In developing its recom-
mendations, the commission shall as  far  as  practicable  estimate  the
efficiencies  that may be derived from such school district and adminis-
trative reconfiguration, and shall consider the recommendations  of  the
regional advisory committees.
  (b)  The  commission  shall  make  recommendations  relating to school
district and administrative reconfiguration,  within  each  region.  The
regional commission members shall vote as members of the commission only
when  the commission is acting on recommendations relating solely to the
regional commission members' region.
  (c) Such recommendations shall include but not be limited to: delivery
of commodities and services; pupil transportation;  specialized  profes-
sional development; maintenance; insurance procurement; payroll adminis-
tration;  human resources and employee benefit coordination; cooperative
purchasing coordination; centralization of business operations; printing
services; state aid planning; textbook purchasing and substitute teacher
coordination; safety and risk management; the units of  school  adminis-
tration to be included in the reconfigured school district; the units of
school  administration  that will be transferred to the board of cooper-
ative educational services; size, composition and apportionment  of  the
governing  body;  the composition, powers and duties of any local school
committees to be created; the disposition of real  and  personal  school
property; the disposition of existing school indebtedness and lease-pur-
chase;  the  assignment of school personnel contracts, school collective
bargaining agreements and  other  school  contractual  obligations;  the
disposition of existing school funds and existing financial obligations,
including  undesignated  fund  balances,  trust funds, reserve funds and
other funds appropriated for school purposes;  a  transition  plan  that
addresses  the  development  of  a  budget for the first school year and

S. 1610--B                          6

interim personnel policies; an  estimate  of  the  cost  savings  to  be
achieved  through  reconfiguration and how costs will be reduced; recom-
mended dates by which such actions should occur; necessary  investments,
if  any,  that should be made in each case to carry out the commission's
recommendations; the commission's response to the recommendations of the
regional advisory committees; and the commissioner's  justification  for
its  recommendations,  including  the  use  of  the  factors pursuant to
section four of this act.
  (d) On or before December 1, 2014, the commission  shall  transmit  to
the  governor  and  the  legislature a report containing its recommenda-
tions, which shall include specific recommendations for school districts
to be  reconfigured  and  specific  recommendations  for  administrative
services   to  be  transferred  to  boards  of  cooperative  educational
services. Upon the transmission of the report to the  governor  and  the
legislature the commission shall be dissolved.
  S  8.  Implementation  of  recommendations.  (a)  Notwithstanding  any
contrary provision of law, rule or regulation related to the reconfigur-
ing of school districts and administrative services the commissioner  of
education  shall  take  all actions necessary to implement, in a reason-
able, cost-efficient  manner,  the  recommendations  of  the  commission
pursuant  to subdivisions (b) and (c) of section seven of this act. Such
school districts and boards of cooperative  educational  services  shall
submit  to  the  commissioner  of  education, at a time and in a form as
determined by the commissioner  of  education,  an  acceptable  plan  of
reconfiguration in accordance with applicable regulations.
  (b) The provisions of subdivision (a) of this section shall not apply:
(i)  unless  the  governor has transmitted the commission's report under
section seven of this act with his or her written approval of the recom-
mendations of the commission pursuant to subdivisions  (b)  and  (c)  of
section seven of this act to the commissioner of education and transmit-
ted  a  message  to  the  legislature stating his or her approval of the
report on or before December 5, 2014; and (ii)  if  a  majority  of  the
members  of  each  house  of  the legislature vote to adopt a concurrent
resolution rejecting the recommendations of the commission  pursuant  to
subdivisions  (b) and (c) of section seven of this act in their entirety
by December 31, 2014, after receiving a message from the governor  under
this  subdivision. In no event shall the commissioner of education begin
to implement the recommendations of the commission pursuant to  subdivi-
sions  (b)  and  (c)  of section seven of this act prior to December 31,
2014.
  S 9. The commission shall be authorized and entitled  to  receive  any
grants offered pursuant to section 54 of the state finance law.
  S  10. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdi-
vision, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by  any  court  of
competent  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
its  operation  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
the legislature that this act would  have  been  enacted  even  if  such
invalid provisions had not been included herein.
  S  11.  This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
deemed repealed June 30, 2016.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.