senate Bill S2623

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for approval of a resolution for the consolidation or annexation of school districts by a majority of all qualified electors voting

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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 08, 2014 referred to education
Jan 23, 2013 referred to education

S2623 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง1705, 1512, 1801, 1802, 1803-a & 1804, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S4380

S2623 - Bill Texts

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Provides for approval of a resolution for the consolidation or annexation of school districts by a majority of all qualified electors voting.

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BILL NUMBER:S2623

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the education law, in relation to the annexation of school
district territory and the consolidation of two or more school districts

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this bill is to provide for approval of a resolution
for the consolidation or annexation of school districts by a majority
of all qualified electors voting.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 1705 of the education law,
as amended by chapter 251 of the laws of 1993, to permit a majority
vote of voters of all school districts to approve the annexation of a
one or more common, union free or central school districts to one or
more adjoining union free school district.

Section 2 amends paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 1705 of the
education law, as added by chapter 251 of the laws of 1993, to
provide that upon a majority vote as described in subdivision 1 of
section 1705 of the education law, the affected districts would be
annexed to the existing union free school district.

Section 3 amends subdivision 1 of section 1512 of the education law,
as amended by chapter 461 of the laws of 1996, to permit a majority
vote of all qualified electors present and voting in favor of a
resolution for consolidation.

Section 4 amends subdivision 4 of section 1801 of the education law to
specify that a central school district cannot operate until organized
by qualified votes the affect school districts.

Section 5 amends paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 1802 of the
education law, would require a petition requesting the organization
of a central school also request a special meeting of the qualified
votes for the school affected districts.

Section 6 amends subdivision 1 of section 1803-a of the education law,
as added by chapter 801 of the laws of 1950, to permit a majority vote
of all qualified electors present and voting in favor of an order
laying out a central school district.

Section 7 amends paragraph a of subdivision 2 of section 1803-a of the
education law, as added by chapter 801 of the laws of 1950, to
require that elections for the establishment of a central school
district be designated for a vote by all qualified votes in the
affected districts.

Section 8 amends paragraph a of subdivision 6 of section 1804 of the
education law, as amended by chapter 554 of the laws of 1964, to
require that the board of education receive a majority vote of the'
newly approved central school district in order to sell or otherwise


dispose of the property of the school district that existed prior to
the approved central school district.

Section 9 states the enactment date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Current law requires a majority of voters in each district approve a
proposed consolidation, annexation or centralization in order for a
resolution to be adopted. This makes it more difficult to consolidate
or centralize schools. In addition, a failing vote means that the
issue cannot be raised again for another year.

Both the New York State Commission on Needed Local Government
Efficiency and Competitiveness, and the New York State Commission on
Property Tax Relief released reports in 2008 that recommended school
consolidations and mergers as economically beneficial for school
districts and by extension the tax payers. In the spirit of cost
savings and efficiency, this bill would make it easier for school
districts to combine and generate those savings.

Also, both reports and the New York State Department of Education
recognized mergers and consolidations as a means to provide greater
opportunities to students, including advanced classes and specialized
classrooms. This would be especially beneficial to small, frequently
rural, school district who are not able to provide these benefits to
their students due to their low student population and lack of
resources.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011,2012: S.4380 Referred to Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state. Potential to save money for taxpayers and local
government.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  2623

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 23, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  YOUNG  -- 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  annexation  of
  school  district territory and the consolidation of two or more school
  districts

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

  Section  1.  Subdivision  1  of  section 1705 of the education law, as
added by chapter 251 of the laws of 1993, is amended to read as follows:
  1.   Territory may be annexed to  a  union  free  school  district  as
provided in this section.
  a.  The  commissioner is authorized and empowered to make and enter in
the commissioner's office orders dissolving one or  more  common,  union
free  or  central  school  districts  and annexing the territory of such
districts, or portions thereof, to one  or  more  adjoining  union  free
school  districts,  subject  to  approval of A MAJORITY OF the voters of
[each] ALL school [district] DISTRICTS affected thereby.
  b. When an order annexing territory to a union  free  school  district
has  been made and entered as provided in this section, the commissioner
shall, within ten days thereafter, cause certified copies of said  order
to be filed with the clerk or school authorities of each school district
affected  thereby.  Within  thirty  days  of  filing  of such order, the
commissioner shall fix a time and place for a  special  meeting  of  the
qualified  voters  of [each] THE school [district] DISTRICTS affected by
the proposed annexation and shall cause notice thereof to be  posted  at
least ten days before each such meeting in ten conspicuous places in the
school [district] DISTRICTS.  In addition to the posting of such notice,
a  copy thereof shall be duly published, at least three days before each
such meeting, in a daily or weekly newspaper  published  within,  or  in
general  circulation  in,  the school [district] DISTRICTS in which such
meeting is to be held. The expense of posting and publishing such notice

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07092-01-3

S. 2623                             2

shall be a charge upon the school [district] DISTRICTS  conducting  such
meeting.
  S  2.    Paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 1705 of the education
law, as added by chapter 251 of the laws of 1993, is amended to read  as
follows:
  c.  If the resolution submitted to the voters as provided in paragraph
a of this subdivision shall be adopted by A MAJORITY OF  the  voters  of
[each]  THE  school  [district]  DISTRICTS  affected by the order of the
commissioner, the territory described therein shall thereupon be annexed
to the existing union free school district or districts as  provided  in
such order.
  S  3.   Subdivision 1 of section 1512 of the education law, as amended
by chapter 461 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Such meeting shall be organized  as  provided  in  section  fifteen
hundred  twenty-three  OF THIS ARTICLE.  Such meeting may adopt a resol-
ution to consolidate such districts if two-thirds of the qualified elec-
tors of each district having less than  fifteen  of  such  electors  are
present,  or in case of districts having fifteen or more qualified elec-
tors if ten or more are present. The vote upon such resolution shall  be
by  ballot  or  by  taking  and recording the ayes and noes. If the vote
shall be by taking and recording the ayes and noes, the clerk  and  such
assistants  as may be provided for him by the meeting shall keep a poll-
list upon which shall be recorded the names of  all  qualified  electors
voting upon the resolution, the districts in which such electors reside,
and how each elector voted.  If the vote shall be by ballot, one or more
inspectors  of election shall be appointed in such manner as the meeting
shall determine, who shall receive the votes cast, canvass the same  and
announce the result of the ballot to the chairman.  If the vote shall be
by  ballot  then voting machines may be used in the manner prescribed by
section two thousand thirty-five of this chapter and provision shall  be
made for absentee ballots as provided in section two thousand eighteen-a
or  two  thousand eighteen-b of this chapter.  If it shall appear that a
majority of  the  qualified  electors  present  and  voting  [from  each
district]  are in favor of such resolution, it shall be declared adopted
and where at least one of the districts consolidated  is  a  union  free
school  district  it  shall  be  lawful  for  such meeting thereafter to
proceed to the election of a board of education as provided in  sections
seventeen  hundred two and seventeen hundred four of this chapter.  If a
majority of  the  qualified  electors  present  and  voting  [from  each
district]  are  not in favor of such resolution, all further proceedings
at such meeting, except a motion to  reconsider  or  adjourn,  shall  be
dispensed with and no such meeting shall be again called within one year
thereafter.
  S  4. Subdivision 4 of section 1801 of the education law is amended to
read as follows:
  4. No central school district laid out by order  of  the  commissioner
shall  operate  as a central school district, nor be entitled to receive
the benefits of a central school district until it has been organized by
the qualified voters of the [district] SCHOOL DISTRICTS AFFECTED THEREBY
in accordance with the provisions of this article, provided, however,  a
central  school  district  which  was  organized prior to April seventh,
nineteen hundred forty-four, or  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of  this
section  and  to which territory may be annexed shall not be required to
again organize.
  S 5. Paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 1802 of the education law
is amended to read as follows:

S. 2623                             3

  b. Said petition shall  be  filed  with  the  commissioner  and  shall
request  that  a meeting of the qualified voters [within said territory]
OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
be called for the purpose of determining whether or not  such  territory
shall  be organized as a central school district and a central school be
established therein for instruction in elementary or elementary and high
school subjects. If the commissioner is satisfied that the petition  has
been  duly  signed  as provided in this section, he shall fix a time and
place for a special meeting of the qualified voters within the [central]
school [district] DISTRICTS AFFECTED BY  THE  CENTRAL  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,
which  meeting  shall be held not more than thirty days after the filing
of the petition aforesaid.  The commissioner shall cause notice of  such
meeting  to  be  posted  at  least  ten days before the meeting in three
conspicuous places in each school district wholly or partly  within  the
central  school  district.  In addition to the posting of such notice, a
copy thereof shall be published at least three days before  the  meeting
in  a  daily  or weekly newspaper published within the territory or in a
newspaper circulating therein. The expense of posting and publishing  of
the notice shall be borne equally by the several school districts within
the  territory,  unless a central school district is organized, in which
event such expense shall  become  a  charge  upon  said  central  school
district.
  S 6. Subdivision 1 of section 1803-a of the education law, as added by
chapter 801 of the laws of 1950, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  When  an  order laying out a central school district has been made
and entered as provided in section eighteen hundred one of this chapter,
and the petitions referred to in  paragraph  a  of  subdivision  one  of
section  eighteen hundred two thereof have been, or are being, presented
and filed with the commissioner, a second petition may be  presented  by
persons  qualified  to  vote  in  any  school  district, all of which is
included in the area of the central school district as laid out by  such
order,  and  which  school district at the time of such order maintained
its own schoolhouse. Such second petition may  request  the  alternative
voting  procedure  authorized by this section, and shall be signed by at
least one hundred qualified voters of such district or by  a  number  of
such  qualified voters equal to at least ten per centum of the pupils of
such district as determined by the last school census,  whichever  shall
be  less;  provided,  however,  that  such  second petition must, in any
event, contain not less than ten signatures. Such second petition  shall
be filed with the commissioner at the same time as the first petition is
filed.  If  the  commissioner is satisfied that both petitions have been
duly signed as provided by law, he shall fix a time  and  place  for  an
election  of  the  qualified  voters  [within the central] OF THE school
[district] DISTRICTS AFFECTED BY SUCH  CENTRAL  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  which
said  election  shall be held not more than thirty days after the filing
of the petitions aforesaid.  The commissioner shall cause notice of such
election to be posted at least ten days prior thereto in three conspicu-
ous places in each school district wholly or partly within  the  central
school district. In addition to the posting of such notice, a copy ther-
eof  shall  be  published  at  least three days before the election in a
daily or weekly newspaper published within the territory or in a newspa-
per circulating therein. The expense of posting and  publishing  of  the
notice shall be borne equally by the several school districts within the
territory, unless a central school district is organized, in which event
such expense shall become a charge upon said central school district.

S. 2623                             4

  S  7.  Paragraph a of subdivision 2 of section 1803-a of the education
law, as added by chapter 801 of the laws of 1950, is amended to read  as
follows:
  a.  They  shall  take  place on a day and at a place designated by the
commissioner for a vote by all the  qualified  voters  [within]  OF  the
[central]  school  [district]  DISTRICTS  AFFECTED BY THE CENTRAL SCHOOL
DISTRICT, except as otherwise provided in paragraph b of  this  subdivi-
sion.
  S  8.  Paragraph  a  of subdivision 6 of section 1804 of the education
law, as amended by chapter 554 of the laws of 1964, is amended  to  read
as follows:
  a.  The  board of education shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the
property of any such existing district except with  the  approval  of  a
majority  of  the qualified voters of [such existing] THE CENTRAL SCHOOL
district present and voting upon the  question  at  a  meeting  of  such
voters  duly  called by such board of education; provided, however, that
upon the expiration of five years from the date of discontinuance  of  a
school,  pursuant  to  section  one  thousand eight hundred five of this
chapter, the board of education may, in its discretion, without  a  vote
by  such qualified voters upon such question, sell or otherwise dispose,
in the manner provided by law, of such a school or other building previ-
ously used for school purposes and the real  property  on  which  it  is
situated.  For  that  purpose  the  proceeds of such sale or disposal of
property belonging to such existing district, after deducting  the  cost
of  repairs  or  improvements made after the organization of the central
school district, shall be used for the payment of the portion payable by
such existing district of any outstanding indebtedness of such  existing
district  which  shall be due and payable or which may thereafter become
due and payable. Any balance remaining after the payment of such indebt-
edness shall  be  apportioned  among  the  taxpayers  of  such  existing
district  as they appear upon the last completed town or city assessment
roll preceding the date of sale, providing such  apportioned  sum  shall
equal  or  exceed  five dollars and unless the voters of [such existing]
THE CENTRAL SCHOOL district by a majority  vote  of  those  present  and
voting  at  a  [special]  district meeting called for that purpose shall
vote to turn over the proceeds of such sale or disposal of such property
to the central district to be  used  for  the  benefit  of  the  central
district.  Any balance of funds remaining in the treasury of the several
districts included within the central school district on July first next
following the date of the establishment of such central school district,
after paying all outstanding obligations then due and payable, shall  be
turned over to the treasurer of the central school district within thir-
ty  days  thereafter  and shall become available for use by the board of
education of the central school district; provided, however, that if any
such existing district shall have any obligations which shall become due
and payable after such July first, so much of any such balance of  funds
as  may be necessary shall be held in a special account by the treasurer
of the central school district for the purpose of paying  the  principal
of,  and interest on, such obligations, as the same shall become due and
payable from time to time. The title to all property erected  or  other-
wise  acquired  after  the  organization of such central school district
shall be vested in the central district, irrespective of the location of
such property.
  S 9. This act shall take effect immediately.

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