senate Bill S1062

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Allows college coursework to be credited as a work activity which may be used toward fulfilling the employment requirements for public assistance benefits

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to social services
Jan 05, 2011 referred to social services

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S1062 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5256
Current Committee:
Senate Social Services
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง336-a, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S2162, A10496

S1062 - Bill Texts

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Allows college coursework to be credited as a work activity which may be used toward fulfilling the employment requirements for public assistance benefits under certain conditions.

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BILL NUMBER:S1062

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services law, in relation to
access to a college education by public assistance
recipients who are subject to work participation
requirements

PURPOSE:
Allows individuals receiving public assistance to be able to pursue a
college education. Allows college course work to be credited as a
work activity, which can be used toward fulfilling the employment
requirements for public assistance benefits. Also changes the amount
of time that a participant in a vocational school can spend in
preparation for a GED from 25% to 50%.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends five different parts of section 336-a of the social
services law, as amended by section 148 of part B of chapter 436 of
the laws of 1997.

Subdivision 1 is amended to add four year colleges to the list of
eligible educational activities.

Subdivision 2 is amended to increase
the amount of time participants in vocational schools devote to
preparation for a high school equivalency diploma from 25% of their
time to 50%.

Subdivision 3 is amended to direct the state
commissioner of education to establish a minimum standard of
educational services for programs in which recipients will
participate. Subparagraph (b) of subdivision 4 is amended by
providing circumstances when educational activities are not required
for 18 and 19 year-olds. This section requires the social services
district to document why 18 and 19 year-olds are not required to
participate in an educational activity. Adds a new subdivision 7,
which allows participants to count post-secondary education in a four
year college, to satisfy work activity requirements. The local
districts shall count each hour of classroom participation as work
activity, as well as counting reasonable study time
and class preparation. No social services district can assign a
participant to any activities that would interfere with their
educational program if the participant is enrolled at least part-time
in a post secondary program and has at least a cumulative C average
or its equivalent. A social services
district may waive the cumulative C average requirement for
circumstances where an undue hardship exists.

EXISTING LAW:
Currently, educational activities do not include four year colleges.

JUSTIFICATION:
Higher education is a path to self-sufficiency. By assisting
individuals to gain greater access to higher education they are given


the opportunity to pursue professional careers, instead of simply
getting a job. It has been shown through numerous reports that simply
obtaining employment does not significantly help an individual to
overcome financial hardship. Individuals with minimum education and
low skilled jobs are the first to be laid off during times of
economic trouble. By allowing individuals to fulfill their TANF work
requirements while pursuing a college degree, those individuals will
be better equipped to compete in the labor market and have more
opportunity for upward mobility.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10: S.2162/A.10496 - Referred to Social Services/
Referred to Higher Education
2007-08: S.2478/A.3036 - Referred to Social Services/Children
and Families/Referred to Social Services
2005-06: S.638/A.10651
2001-02: A.7286A/S.7313

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth
day after it shall become law,
provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition,
amendment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations necessary for the
implementation of the foregoing section of this act on its effective
date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before
such effective date.

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

                                  1062

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. PARKER, PERALTA, PERKINS, SAMPSON -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
  Social Services

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  social services law, in relation to access to a
  college education by public assistance recipients who are  subject  to
  work participation requirements

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

  Section 1. Section 336-a of the social services  law,  as  amended  by
section  148 of part B of chapter 436 of the laws of 1997, is amended to
read as follows:
  S 336-a. Educational activities. 1. Social  services  districts  shall
make  available  vocational  educational training and educational activ-
ities. Such activities may include but need  not  be  limited  to,  high
school  education  or  education designed to prepare a participant for a
high school  equivalency  certificate,  basic  and  remedial  education,
education  in English proficiency and no more than a total of [two] FOUR
years of post-secondary education (or the part-time equivalent if  full-
time  study  would constitute an undue hardship) in any of the following
providers which meet the performance or assessment standards established
in regulations by the commissioner for  such  providers:    a  community
college  OR  A TWO-YEAR COLLEGE, licensed trade school, registered busi-
ness school, or a [two-year] FOUR-YEAR college; provided, however,  that
such post-secondary education must be necessary to the attainment of the
participant's individual employment goal as set forth in the employabil-
ity  plan and such goal must relate directly to obtaining useful employ-
ment in a recognized occupation.
  2. When a district contracts with a proprietary vocational  school  to
provide  vocational  educational training to participants, not more than
[twenty-five] FIFTY percent of the  approved  duration  of  the  program

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01717-01-1

S. 1062                             2

shall be devoted to preparation for a high school equivalency diploma or
instruction in English for students with limited proficiency in English.
Participants  needing instruction in basic literacy shall be referred to
basic education programs. Instructors employed by proprietary schools to
prepare  a  participant for a high school equivalency certificate or for
education in English  proficiency  shall  meet  experience  requirements
established by the regulations of the commissioner of education.
  3.  When a participant is assigned to an appropriate vocational educa-
tional or educational activity and such activity is available at no cost
to the social services district through the school district or board  of
cooperative  educational  services  in  which the participant resides or
through another agency or organization  providing  educational  services
WHICH MEET SUCH MINIMUM STANDARDS AS THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION SHALL
ESTABLISH,  the  social services district shall refer the participant to
such district, board, agency or organization.
  4. To the extent provided in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this subdi-
vision and if resources permit,  each  social  services  official  shall
assign to appropriate educational activities any participant who has not
obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent:
  (a)  In  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this chapter, any such
participant who is under age eighteen shall be required to attend educa-
tional activities designed to prepare the individual for a  high  school
degree  or  equivalency certificate. Participants who are not subject to
compulsory school attendance  requirements  may  be  exempted  from  the
requirements of this paragraph under criteria established by the depart-
ment  in consultation with the state education department and consistent
with federal law and regulations.
  (b) Any such participant who is age  eighteen  or  nineteen  shall  be
assigned  to  educational  activities,  except  that  the district shall
assign such participant to employment and/or other activities under this
title if the district has determined that  such  alternative  activities
are  consistent  with the participant's employability plan and, pursuant
to [department] OFFICE regulations, there has been  a  determination  by
the  district  based  on  such  plan that educational activities are not
[appropriate] REQUIRED for such participant TO OBTAIN THE KNOWLEDGE  AND
SKILLS NEEDED TO BE EMPLOYED IN THE OCCUPATION CHOSEN BY THE PARTICIPANT
AS HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT GOAL IN SUCH PLAN BECAUSE HE OR SHE HAS CLEARLY
AND  AFFIRMATIVELY  DEMONSTRATED  THAT  HE OR SHE ALREADY POSSESSES SUCH
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS or that the participant has failed  to  [make  good
progress]  MAINTAIN  A  CUMULATIVE  C  AVERAGE OR ITS EQUIVALENT in such
educational activities, EXCEPT WHERE UNDUE HARDSHIP RESULTING  FROM  THE
DEATH  OF  A  RELATIVE OF THE STUDENT, THE PERSONAL INJURY OR ILLNESS OF
THE STUDENT, OR OTHER EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A CUMULATIVE C AVERAGE OR ITS EQUIVALENT.
  (c) Any such participant who is an adult in a two-parent family and is
under age twenty-five may be  required  to  participate  in  educational
activities  consistent with his or her employment goals set forth in the
employability plan.
  (d) The social  services  official  shall  not  assign  a  participant
described in this subdivision to any activities which interfere with the
educational  activities assigned pursuant to such participant's employa-
bility plan and described in this subdivision.
  5. Any applicant for or recipient of public assistance pursuing  VOCA-
TIONAL  EDUCATION  OR EDUCATIONAL activities described in this [subdivi-
sion] SECTION shall not be assigned  to  any  other  activity  prior  to
conducting  an  assessment  and  developing  an  employability  plan  as

S. 1062                             3

prescribed in section three hundred thirty-five or three  hundred  thir-
ty-five-a  of this title AND MAY BE ASSIGNED TO SUCH OTHER ACTIVITY ONLY
IF SUCH INDIVIDUAL'S ASSESSMENT AND SUCH INDIVIDUAL'S EMPLOYABILITY PLAN
WARRANT  THE  ASSIGNMENT  TO  SUCH OTHER ACTIVITY. Local social services
districts may periodically reevaluate a  participant's  employment  plan
and  make assignments to other work activities [in order to meet partic-
ipation rates] NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF  THIS  SECTION,
giving  due  consideration to the participant's progress in the current,
and if applicable, prior program.
  6. Nothing required in this section shall be  construed  to  supersede
the  eligibility requirements of teen parents as set forth in this chap-
ter.
  7. (A) IN ANY SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT IN WHICH THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL
OR STATE WORK ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION RATES WERE  MET  FOR  THE  PREVIOUS
YEAR  OR  ARE  PROJECTED  WILL BE MET FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, PARTICIPANTS
SHALL BE PERMITTED TO PURSUE POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION, INCLUDING PARTIC-
IPATION IN A FOUR YEAR PROGRAM, IN SATISFACTION  OF  THE  WORK  ACTIVITY
REQUIREMENTS OF THIS TITLE.
  (B)  WHEN  A  PARTICIPANT  ENGAGES IN EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY PURSUANT TO
THIS SECTION IN FULL OR PARTIAL SATISFACTION OF HIS OR HER WORK REQUIRE-
MENT, THE LOCAL DISTRICT SHALL COUNT  EACH  HOUR  OF  CLASSROOM  PARTIC-
IPATION AS WORK ACTIVITY AND SHALL ALSO COUNT THE TIME REASONABLY NECES-
SARY  FOR STUDY AND CLASS PREPARATION AS WORK ACTIVITY. FOR EACH HOUR OF
CLASSROOM PARTICIPATION, THE TIME REASONABLY  NECESSARY  FOR  STUDY  AND
CLASS  PREPARATION  SHALL  BE  DEEMED  TO BE THE NUMBER OF SUPPLEMENTARY
ASSIGNMENT HOURS REQUIRED BY STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS  FOR
EACH  CREDIT  HOUR  IN  A  COURSE  OF  PROFESSIONAL OR HIGHER EDUCATION;
PROVIDED THAT A DISTRICT MAY COUNT A LARGER NUMBER OF HOURS IF A PARTIC-
IPANT DEMONSTRATES THAT HIS OR HER EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY REQUIRES A LARG-
ER NUMBER OF HOURS FOR STUDY, PREPARATION OR OTHER  SUPPLEMENTAL  ACTIV-
ITY.
  (C) A DISTRICT SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL SHALL NOT ASSIGN A PARTICIPANT
DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBDIVISION TO ANY ACTIVITIES WHICH INTERFERE WITH THE
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBDIVISION. THE DISTRICT SHALL
NOT  ASSIGN ANY ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES TO A PARTICIPANT DESCRIBED IN THIS
SUBDIVISION WHO IS ENROLLED  AT  LEAST  HALF-TIME  IN  A  POST-SECONDARY
PROGRAM  AND  HAS AT LEAST A CUMULATIVE C AVERAGE OR ITS EQUIVALENT. THE
DISTRICT MAY WAIVE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE  STUDENT  HAVE  AT  LEAST  A
CUMULATIVE  C  AVERAGE OR ITS EQUIVALENT FOR UNDUE HARDSHIP BASED ON (I)
THE DEATH OF A RELATIVE OF THE STUDENT; (II)  THE  PERSONAL  ILLNESS  OR
INJURY OF THE STUDENT; OR (III) OTHER EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly,  the  addition,  amendment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations
necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this  act  on  its
effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or
before such effective date.

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