senate Bill S95

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Establishes the "keep effective and excellent professionals in the classroom act"; relates to procedures for the abolition of teaching positions; repealers

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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 education
Mar 24, 2011 notice of committee consideration - withdrawn
Feb 22, 2011 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 05, 2011 referred to education

S95 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§2588 & 3013, rpld §2588 subs 3, 4 & 7, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S7346

S95 - Bill Texts

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Establishes the "keep effective and excellent professionals in the classroom act"; relates to procedures for the abolition of teaching positions in city school districts of cities having one million or more inhabitants.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S95

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to the retaining quality teachers
and teachers in shortage subject areas when teaching positions are
eliminated in city school
districts of cities having one million or more
inhabitants; and to
repeal certain provisions of the education law relating thereto

PURPOSE:
Establishes procedures regarding the retention of quality teachers
and teachers in shortage subject areas in instances when
teaching positions are eliminated in certain school districts.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Short Title "The Keep Effective and Excellent Professionals
in the Classroom Act".

Section 2: Amends Section 2588 of the Education Law regarding the
abolition of positions to include city school districts of cities
with one million people or more.

Section 3: Repeals section 2588 (3) of the Education Law and adds a
new subdivision 3. Provides that a school principal shall make
decisions concerning which staff and positions are to be abolished
after considering the recommendations of a school-based committee.
Such committee shall be comprised of administrators, teachers and
parents.
Specifies the factors to be considered when determining which
positions and staff shall be abolished. Establishes guidelines for
the continuation and termination of employment for certain positions.

Section 4: Repeals Section 2588 (4) of the Education Law and adds a
new subdivision 4. Establishes procedures regarding the filling of
vacancies.

Section 5: Repeals Section 2588 (7) of the Education Law.

Section 6: Amends section 3013 of the Education Law. Exempts teaching
or supervisory positions in city school districts in cities with one
million inhabitants or more.

Section 7: Effective Date

JUSTIFICATION:
Currently, whenever school districts eliminate
positions, state law requires that the newest teachers in the entire
district be the first fired. Because layoffs must be made without
regard to teacher quality and based solely on seniority, school
districts facing serious budget cuts could lose an entire generation
of new teachers. It is well-documented that teacher quality is
paramount when it comes to student achievement, and the existing
statute means that great educators may be lost while ineffective
teachers are retained.


Moreover, because new teachers have the lowest salaries in the system,
the current requirements mean that more teachers have to be
eliminated to meet the same budget reduction targets than if layoffs
were determined on merit and the salaries of excessed teachers
reflected the general distribution of teacher salaries. Layoffs made
under the existing statute would create unnecessarily high spikes in
class sizes and student-teacher ratios, issues that have been a
longstanding priority for the Legislature.

The "last hired, first fired" requirement for large cities
particularly creates substantial disparities between communities,
with those that have a preponderance of new teachers forced to bear a
disproportionate share of the burden of layoffs. In New York City,
where as many as 8,500 teaching positions may be eliminated,
Community School District 7 in the South Bronx and District 2 in
Manhattan stand to lose 21% and 19%, respectively, of their teaching
personnel, while District 31 in Staten Island would lose just 5%.
Three out of five of the New York City community school districts
facing the highest percentage of layoffs are in the South Bronx.

Additionally, the last hired, first fired requirement, because it
applies to the City as a whole, makes it virtually impossible for
individual schools to eliminate positions due to enrollment
decreases, or for schools to be closed for academic failure, without
engaging in "bumping" throughout the system. This game of musical
chairs would displace teachers in schools across the City.

To avoid this operational chaos, the City of New York maintains an
"Absent Teacher Reserve," in which teachers whose positions are
eliminated because of excessing in individual schools continue to
receive full salaries and benefits indefinitely, regardless of
whether they find a new, permanent teaching assignment. (This is
distinct from the "rubber room," for teachers removed for
incompetence or malfeasance.) While most of these teachers do find a
new assignment in short order, Some remain in the ATR pool for more
than a year, either unable or Unmotivated to find a new position. As
a result, the City of New York currently spends more than $110
million annually on salaries and benefits for teachers in the ATR
pool. This is unacceptable in the current fiscal climate and
particularly objectionable at a time when active, effective teachers
face layoffs.

The proposed legislation would, in instances of citywide teacher
layoffs in cities with populations over 1,000,000, allow layoffs to
be made at a consistent rate across all communities and schools and
would enable principals, in conjunction with committees of teachers,
parents and administrators, to determine which positions to
eliminate. Such determinations would be based on school needs for
particular license areas and, when more than one person holds a
position within the same license area, on the following criteria:
significant relevant contributions accomplishments, or performance;
relevant supplemental professional experiences as demonstrated on the
job; office o~ school needs including curriculum specialized
education, degrees, licenses or areas of expertise; and length of
satisfactory service.


The legislation would enable schools and communities to share the
burden of layoffs equally, and ensure that the most effective teachers
and those in shortage subject areas would be retained. In such a
scenario, teachers without assignments could be excessed before
teachers in schools, depending on the determination of the chancellor.

The legislation would also put a one-year cap on guaranteed salary and
benefits for teachers who lose their positions due to school-based
excessing or school closures. The proposal mirrors a policy
instituted by Chicago under the leadership of Arne Duncan, the
current U.S.
Secretary of Education. This would still enable teachers to receive a
full year of undiminished compensation, while creating a greater
incentive for teachers to find new assignments and substantially
reducing the fiscal burden on the city school district.

The Center of American Progress, a progressive, Washington-based think
tank, recently wrote: "These stakes are particularly high for
disadvantaged students, who depend far more on educators to teach
them what they need to know. Some researchers have found that if a
low income student has a highly effective teacher for three years in a
row, the student can perform just as well as middle-class peers. This
can potentially erase the achievement gap between these groups." This
legislation would make state law consistent with the objective of
ensuring all that students have access to high-quality teachers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.7346 - Referred to Education/A.10482A - Referred to Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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

                                   95

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DIAZ  --  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 the retaining  quality
  teachers  and  teachers  in shortage subject areas when teaching posi-
  tions are eliminated in city school districts  of  cities  having  one
  million  or  more inhabitants; and to repeal certain provisions of the
  education law relating thereto

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

  Section  1.    This  act  shall be known and may be cited as "the keep
effective and excellent professionals in the classroom act".
  S 2. The section heading of section 2588  of  the  education  law,  as
added by chapter 521 of the laws of 1976, is amended to read as follows:
  Seniority, retention and displacement rights in connection with aboli-
tion  of positions in city school districts of cities having [more than]
one million inhabitants OR MORE.
  S 3. Subdivision 3 of section 2588 of the education  law  is  REPEALED
and a new subdivision 3 is added to read as follows:
  3.  (A)  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY,
WHENEVER THE CITY SCHOOL  DISTRICT  ABOLISHES  TEACHING  OR  SUPERVISORY
POSITIONS CITYWIDE AS A RESULT OF A CITYWIDE BUDGET REDUCTION IN ACCORD-
ANCE  WITH  PARAGRAPH  B  OF  SUBDIVISION  FIVE-A OF SECTION TWENTY-FIVE
HUNDRED SEVENTY-SIX OF  THIS  ARTICLE  AND  THE  MAINTENANCE  OF  EFFORT
REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK.
  (I) DECISIONS CONCERNING WHICH POSITIONS WITHIN INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS ARE
TO  BE  ABOLISHED,  AND WHICH PERSONS OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS ARE TO BE
ABOLISHED, AND WHICH PERSONS OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS  ARE  TO  BE  LAID
OFF, SHALL BE MADE BY THE PRINCIPAL, CONSISTENT WITH GUIDANCE PROMULGAT-
ED  BY THE CHANCELLOR PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. THE PRINCIPAL SHALL MAKE
THE DECISION AFTER CONSIDERING THE  RECOMMENDATIONS  OF  A  SCHOOL-BASED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03326-01-1

S. 95                               2

COMMITTEE COMPRISED OF TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS. THE FOLLOW-
ING  FACTORS SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHICH POSITIONS SHALL BE
ABOLISHED AND WHICH PERSONS OCCUPYING SUCH POSITIONS ARE TO BE LAID OFF:
(A)  SCHOOL  NEEDS  FOR PARTICULAR LICENSE AREAS; AND (B) WHEN MORE THAN
ONE PERSON HOLDS A POSITION WITHIN THE SAME LICENSE AREA:    SIGNIFICANT
RELEVANT  CONTRIBUTIONS,  ACCOMPLISHMENTS,  OR  PERFORMANCE OF EACH SUCH
PERSON; RELEVANT SUPPLEMENTAL  PROFESSIONAL  EXPERIENCES  OF  EACH  SUCH
PERSON  AS  DEMONSTRATED  ON THE JOB; OFFICE OR SCHOOL NEEDS, INCLUDING:
CURRICULUM SPECIALIZED EDUCATION, DEGREES, LICENSES OR AREAS  OF  EXPER-
TISE; AND LENGTH OF SATISFACTORY SERVICE BY EACH SUCH PERSON.
  (II)  IN THE CASE OF TEACHERS OR SUPERVISORS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO POSI-
TIONS THAT ARE NOT WITHIN INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS, OR WHO  HAVE  BEEN  DISCI-
PLINED  PURSUANT  TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF THIS CHAPTER AND
ARE NOT ASSIGNED TO A FULL-TIME POSITION, THE CHANCELLOR SHALL DETERMINE
WHETHER THE PERSON WILL BE LAID OFF PURSUANT TO GUIDANCE PROMULGATED  BY
THE CHANCELLOR.
  (B)  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, WHEN-
EVER THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ABOLISHES TEACHING  OR  SUPERVISORY  POSI-
TIONS  AT  INDIVIDUAL  SCHOOLS  IN ORDER TO MEET SCHOOL BUDGETARY NEEDS,
REORGANIZE FUNCTIONS, OR FOR OTHER  COMPELLING  REASONS,  OUTSIDE  OF  A
CITYWIDE REDUCTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION,
DECISIONS  CONCERNING  WHICH POSITIONS ARE TO BE ABOLISHED SHALL BE MADE
BY THE PRINCIPAL, CONSISTENT WITH GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY THE CHANCELLOR
PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. THE PRINCIPAL SHALL MAKE  THE  DECISION  AFTER
CONSIDERING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF A SCHOOL-BASED COMMITTEE COMPRISED OF
TEACHERS,  ADMINISTRATORS  AND  PARENTS.  THE FOLLOWING FACTORS SHALL BE
CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHICH POSITIONS SHALL BE ABOLISHED  AND  WHICH
PERSONS  OCCUPYING  SUCH  POSITIONS ARE TO BE LAID OFF: (I) SCHOOL NEEDS
FOR PARTICULAR LICENSE AREAS; AND (II) WHEN MORE THAN ONE PERSON HOLDS A
POSITION WITHIN THE SAME LICENSE  AREA:  SIGNIFICANT  RELEVANT  CONTRIB-
UTIONS,  ACCOMPLISHMENTS,  OR  PERFORMANCE OF EACH SUCH PERSON; RELEVANT
SUPPLEMENTAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES OF  EACH  SUCH  PERSON  AS  DEMON-
STRATED  ON  THE  JOB;  OFFICE  OR  SCHOOL  NEEDS, INCLUDING: CURRICULUM
SPECIALIZED EDUCATION, DEGREES, LICENSES  OR  AREAS  OF  EXPERTISE;  AND
LENGTH  OF SATISFACTORY SERVICE BY EACH SUCH PERSON. A TEACHER OR SUPER-
VISOR WHOSE POSITION IS ABOLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE
ELIGIBLE TO REMAIN EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT WITH NO DIMINUTION IN SALARY
OR BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE UPON WHICH THE PERSON'S  POSITION
WAS  ABOLISHED, PROVIDED THAT (A) IF THE PERSON IS A NON-TENURED EMPLOY-
EE, THE PERSON'S PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN SATISFACTORY; (B) IF THE PERSON IS
A TENURED EMPLOYEE, THE PERSON HAS NOT BEEN  SUSPENDED  WITHOUT  PAY  OR
RECEIVED  A  PENALTY  OF  TERMINATION IN PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION
THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF THIS CHAPTER; AND (C) SHOULD CITYWIDE LAYOFFS
IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (A) OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION  BE  CARRIED  OUT
DURING  THIS ONE-YEAR PERIOD, THE CHANCELLOR SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER THE
PERSON WILL BE LAID OFF PURSUANT TO GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY THE CHANCEL-
LOR. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAWS TO THE CONTRARY, INCLUDING  BUT  NOT
LIMITED  TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWENTY AND THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF
THIS CHAPTER, AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF ONE YEAR, A TEACHER OR  SUPERVISOR
WHO REMAINS EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL
BE  TERMINATED  AUTOMATICALLY  UNLESS THE TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR HAS BEEN
REGULARLY APPOINTED TO A NON-SUBSTITUTE POSITION IN THE DISTRICT.
  (C) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY,  WHEN-
EVER  THE  CITY  SCHOOL DISTRICT ABOLISHES TEACHING POSITIONS DUE TO THE
CLOSURE OR PHASE-OUT OF A SCHOOL, A TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR WHOSE POSITION
IS ABOLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH  SHALL  BE  ELIGIBLE  TO  REMAIN

S. 95                               3

EMPLOYED  BY  THE  DISTRICT WITH NO DIMINUTION IN SALARY OR BENEFITS FOR
ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE UPON WHICH THE TEACHER'S POSITION WAS  ABOLISHED,
PROVIDED  THAT (I) IF THE PERSON IS A NON-TENURED EMPLOYEE, THE PERSON'S
PERFORMANCE  HAS  BEEN  SATISFACTORY;  (II)  IF  THE PERSON IS A TENURED
EMPLOYEE, THE PERSON HAS NOT BEEN SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY  OR  RECEIVED  A
PENALTY OF TERMINATION IN PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND
TWENTY-A  OF  THIS CHAPTER; AND (III) SHOULD CITYWIDE LAYOFFS IN ACCORD-
ANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION BE CARRIED OUT  DURING  THIS
ONE-YEAR  PERIOD, THE CHANCELLOR SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER THE PERSON WILL
BE LAID OFF PURSUANT TO GUIDANCE PROMULGATED BY THE CHANCELLOR. NOTWITH-
STANDING ANY OTHER LAWS TO THE CONTRARY, INCLUDING BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO
SECTION  THREE THOUSAND TWENTY AND THREE THOUSAND TWENTY-A OF THIS CHAP-
TER, AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF ONE  YEAR,  A  TEACHER  OR  SUPERVISOR  WHO
REMAINS  EMPLOYED  BY  THE  DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE
TERMINATED AUTOMATICALLY UNLESS THE TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR HAS BEEN REGU-
LARLY APPOINTED TO A NON-SUBSTITUTE POSITION IN THE DISTRICT.
  S 4. Subdivision 4 of section 2588 of the education  law  is  REPEALED
and a new subdivision 4 is added to read as follows:
  4.  WHENEVER  A TEACHING POSITION IS ABOLISHED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION
THREE OF THIS SECTION, SHOULD A VACANCY OCCUR IN THE  SAME  POSITION  AT
THE  SAME  SCHOOL  OR  ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE DATE
WHEN THE POSITION WAS ABOLISHED, THE PRINCIPAL,  OR  THE  CHANCELLOR  OR
DESIGNEE,  SHALL  OFFER THE POSITION TO THE PERSON WHO HELD THE POSITION
BEFORE IT WAS ABOLISHED. IF THE PERSON REJECTS THE OFFER,  OR  FAILS  TO
RESPOND TO THE OFFER WITHIN THIRTY DAYS, THE PERSON SHALL NO LONGER HAVE
A  RIGHT  TO RETURN TO THE POSITION. IF MORE THAN ONE POSITION WAS ABOL-
ISHED IN THE SAME LICENSE AREA AT  THE  SAME  SCHOOL  OR  ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICE,  AND  THERE  ARE  FEWER  VACANCIES IN THE SAME LICENSE AREA THAN
PERSONS WHOSE POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED, THE PRINCIPAL, THE CHANCELLOR OR
DESIGNEE, SHALL HAVE DISCRETION TO  DETERMINE  WHICH  PERSON  SHOULD  BE
OFFERED THE POSITION FIRST.
  S 5. Subdivision 7 of section 2588 of the education law is REPEALED.
  S 6. Section 3013 of the education law, as added by chapter 737 of the
laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  S 3013. Abolition of office or position. 1. [If] EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF
TEACHING  OR  SUPERVISORY  POSITIONS  IN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN CITIES
WITH ONE MILLION INHABITANTS OR MORE, IF a trustee, board  of  trustees,
board  of  education  or board of cooperative educational services abol-
ishes an office or position and creates another office or  position  for
the  performance  of  duties similar to those performed in the office or
position abolished, the person filling such office or  position  at  the
time  of  its  abolishment  shall be appointed to the office or position
thus created without reduction in  salary  or  increment,  provided  the
record of such person has been one of faithful, competent service in the
office or position he or she has filled.
  2.  [Whenever] EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF TEACHING OR SUPERVISORY POSITIONS
IN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN CITIES WITH ONE MILLION INHABITANTS OR MORE,
WHENEVER a trustee, board of [trustee] TRUSTEES, board of  education  or
board  of  cooperative  educational  services abolishes a position under
this chapter, the services of the teacher having the least seniority  in
the  system within the tenure of the position abolished shall be discon-
tinued.
  3. (a) [If] EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF TEACHING OR SUPERVISORY POSITIONS IN
CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN CITIES WITH ONE MILLION INHABITANTS OR MORE, IF
an office or position is abolished or if it is consolidated with another
position without creating a new position, the person filling such  posi-

S. 95                               4

tion  at  the  time  of its abolishment or consolidation shall be placed
upon a preferred eligible list of candidates for appointment to a vacan-
cy that then exists or that may thereafter occur in an office  or  posi-
tion  similar  to  the one which such person filled without reduction in
salary or increment, provided the record of such person has been one  of
faithful,  competent  service  in  the  office or position he or she has
filled. The persons on  such  preferred  list  shall  be  reinstated  or
appointed  to  such vacancies in such corresponding or similar positions
in the order of their length of service in the system at any time within
seven years from the date of abolition or consolidation of  such  office
or position.
  (b) The persons on such preferred list shall be reinstated, in accord-
ance  with  the  terms  of  paragraph  (a)  of this subdivision, to such
substitute positions of five months or more in  duration,  as  may  from
time  to  time occur without losing their preferred status on such list.
Declination  of  such  reinstatement  shall  not  adversely  affect  the
persons' preferred eligibility status.
  4.  IN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS OF CITIES WITH ONE MILLION INHABITANTS OR
MORE, ABOLITION OF TEACHING OR SUPERVISORY OFFICES OR POSITIONS SHALL BE
CONDUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION TWENTY-FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY-EIGHT OF
THIS CHAPTER.
  S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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