senate Bill S5253A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the New York state office of religious and independent schools establishment act

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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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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Feb 04, 2014 reported and committed to finance
Jan 08, 2014 referred to education
returned to senate
died in assembly
Jun 17, 2013 referred to education
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Jun 12, 2013 amended on third reading (t) 5253a
Jun 11, 2013 ordered to third reading cal.1290
reported and committed to rules
Jun 04, 2013 reported and committed to finance
May 15, 2013 referred to education

Votes

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Feb 4, 2014 - Education committee Vote

S5253A
14
2
committee
14
Aye
2
Nay
3
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Education committee vote details

Jun 11, 2013 - Rules committee Vote

S5253
18
2
committee
18
Aye
2
Nay
5
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Jun 11, 2013 - Finance committee Vote

S5253
26
3
committee
26
Aye
3
Nay
7
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Jun 4, 2013 - Education committee Vote

S5253
14
0
committee
14
Aye
0
Nay
5
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S5253 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8043
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 12-B §§571 - 573, Ed L

S5253 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the New York state office of religious and independent schools establishment act.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5253

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
New York state center for independent and religious schools
establishment act

PURPOSE:

Establishes a New York State Center for Independent and Religious
Schools and permits the center to disburse school safety funds
allocated in the 2013-2014 State Budget.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Creates Article 12-B which establishes the New York State
Center for Independent and Religious Schools.

Section 2: Sets forth an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Presently, the state provides resources to support students who attend
independent or religious schools. Specifically, resources are
allocated for the purpose of obtaining instructional materials,
academic intervention services, transportation services, and school
health and safety measures. The present mechanism for providing much
of these services requires the local public school district to
administer these funds to the independent or religious school where
pupils residing in the public school district attend.

The administration of aid programs benefiting religious and
independent school students often become the responsibility of the
public school districts or BOCES in which such independent or
religious schools are located or in which such independent and
religious school students reside. Placing a burden on the public
school system for administering programs intended to benefit religious
and independent schools is unfair, inefficient and often ineffective.
In some cases, the administration of programs benefiting religious and
independent schools is handled directly by the State Education
Department which is increasingly challenged to meet rising demands
with fewer resources. This legislation would address these challenges
by creating an entity that would be exclusively responsible for
serving the needs of independent and religious schools.

The health and safety of our students, regardless of where they attend
school is of the utmost importance. As such, in early 2013 resources
were appropriated for school districts to upgrade or install safety
equipment. Additional funds for the purchase of school safety
equipment were appropriated for independent and religious schools in
the 2013-2014 Budget. The Center will provide an efficient,
cost-effective, transparent and accountable means of disbursing this
safety equipment funding, while avoiding the potential for excessive
entanglement of government entities with religious and independent
institutions. To ensure that the administration of the Center is
transparent and that funds are properly disbursed, the Center will
operate under the direction of an oversight board, comprised of
appointees from the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner's


Advisory Council on Nonpublic Schools, and the Comptroller. An
additional three members of the oversight board may be appointed by
the Governor, the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the
Assembly.

Finally, the creation of a New York State Center for Independent and
Religious Schools will provide administrative relief to the State
Education Department and the public school system while providing
religious and independent school administrators with a single and
self-sustaining entity for accessing information and resources
intended for their benefit.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

No new fiscal implications to the state. Funding for the New York
State Center for Independent and Religious Schools is subject to
funding currently appropriated in the 2013-2014 Enacted State Budget.

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5253

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- 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  New  York  state
  center for independent and religious schools establishment act

  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  article  12-B
to read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 12-B
  NEW YORK CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS OVERSIGHT BOARD
SECTION 571. SHORT TITLE.
        572. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.
        573. DEFINITIONS.
        574. NEW   YORK  STATE  CENTER  FOR  INDEPENDENT  AND  RELIGIOUS
               SCHOOLS.
        575. NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS
               OVERSIGHT BOARD ESTABLISHED.
        576. AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
        577. RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  S 571.  SHORT TITLE.  THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED  AS
THE  "NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS ESTAB-
LISHMENT ACT".
  S 572.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT. 1. THE STATE  HAS  RECOGNIZED
THE  NEED  FOR THE CONTINUED SUSTAINABILITY OF INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS
SCHOOLS AS THESE SCHOOLS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN THE EDUCATION OF  CHILDREN
WITHIN THE MANY COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE.
  2.  IN  RECOGNITION  OF  THE  NEED  TO  SUPPORT ALL SCHOOLS, THE STATE
PROVIDES FUNDING TO SUPPORT AN ARRAY OF  SERVICES  INTENDED  TO  BENEFIT
STUDENTS  IN  ALL  SCHOOLS  INCLUDING  BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO FUNDING FOR
INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, SCHOOL HEALTH  AND  SAFETY  MEASURES,  ACADEMIC
INTERVENTION SERVICES AND TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. THE ADMINISTRATION OF

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10879-01-3

S. 5253                             2

PROGRAMS  AND  SERVICES  INTENDED TO BENEFIT THE STUDENTS IN INDEPENDENT
AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS FALLS MOST OFTEN TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN
WHICH SUCH INDEPENDENT OR RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS ARE LOCATED  OR  THE  SCHOOL
DISTRICTS  IN  WHICH  SUCH  INDEPENDENT  AND  RELIGIOUS  SCHOOL STUDENTS
RESIDE. THE  STATE  RECOGNIZES  THE  SUBSTANTIAL  ADMINISTRATIVE  BURDEN
PLACED  ON  PUBLIC  SCHOOL DISTRICTS CHARGED WITH ADMINISTERING SERVICES
FOR STUDENTS OVER WHOM SUCH DISTRICTS HAVE LITTLE DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY.
THE STATE FURTHER RECOGNIZES THE INEFFICIENCIES THAT EXIST AND THE CHAL-
LENGES FACED BY INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS WHO MUST
WORK WITH MULTIPLE SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ORDER  TO  ARRANGE  SERVICES  AND
PROGRAMS INTENDED TO BENEFIT THEIR STUDENTS.
  3.  THE  STATE RECOGNIZES THE NEED TO CREATE THE NEW YORK STATE CENTER
FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS SO THAT THE  STATE  MAY  ALLEVIATE
THE  ADMINISTRATIVE  BURDEN PLACED ON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS; PROVIDE A
MORE EFFICIENT AND COST-EFFECTIVE MEANS OF  ADMINISTERING  PROGRAMS  AND
SERVICES TO THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS; AND AVOID EXCESSIVE ENTANGLEMENT OF
GOVERNMENT ENTITIES WITH RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT INSTITUTIONS.
  S 573. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE:
  1.  "CENTER"  SHALL MEAN THE NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND
RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS, ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS  ARTI-
CLE;
  2.  "BOARD"  SHALL  MEAN THE NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND
RELIGIOUS  SCHOOLS  OVERSIGHT  BOARD,  ESTABLISHED   PURSUANT   TO   THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE;
  3. "COMMISSIONER" SHALL MEAN THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION;
  4.  "DIRECTOR" SHALL MEAN THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK STATE
CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS; AND
  5. "INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOL" SHALL MEAN ANY NONPUBLIC ELEMEN-
TARY OR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN THE STATE WHICH (A) PROVIDES INSTRUCTION  IN
ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE SEVENTEEN AND SECTION THIRTY-TWO HUNDRED FOUR OF
THIS  CHAPTER,  (B) HAS NOT BEEN FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF TITLE VI OF
THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-FOUR, 78  STAT.  252,  42
U.S.C.  S  2000(D),  AND  (C) WHICH IS ENTITLED TO A TAX EXEMPTION UNDER
SECTION FIVE HUNDRED ONE (A) AND FIVE HUNDRED ONE (C)(3) OF THE  FEDERAL
INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF NINETEEN HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR, AS AMENDED.
  S  574.  NEW  YORK STATE CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS.
THE NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS IS HERE-
BY ESTABLISHED TO DISBURSE SAFETY EQUIPMENT  FUNDS  MADE  AVAILABLE  FOR
SUCH  PURPOSE;  TO  PROVIDE  AND  COORDINATE  SERVICES  AND  PROGRAMS AS
PROVIDED FOR BY THIS CHAPTER, REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER, AND  THAT
MAY  BE  IDENTIFIED BY THE BOARD TO THE BENEFIT OF INDEPENDENT AND RELI-
GIOUS SCHOOL STUDENTS AND PERSONNEL; AND TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION  AND
CARRY  OUT OTHER ACTIVITIES FOR THE BENEFIT OF INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS
SCHOOL STUDENTS AND PERSONNEL. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL, WITHIN THE FACIL-
ITIES OF THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, PROVIDE OFFICE SPACE AS WELL AS
TECHNICAL AND RELATED ADMINISTRATIVE RESOURCES TO SUCH CENTER.
  S 575. NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR  INDEPENDENT  AND  RELIGIOUS  SCHOOLS
OVERSIGHT  BOARD  ESTABLISHED.  1.  THE  BOARD  SHALL PROVIDE ADVICE AND
DIRECTION FOR THE WORK OF THE CENTER PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND  SHALL
ENSURE  THAT  THE  WORK  OF  THE  CENTER IS TRANSPARENT TO THE PUBLIC AT
LARGE. THE BOARD SHALL: (A) ELECT A CHAIRPERSON AND  DESIGNATE  OFFICERS
AND  COMMITTEES  AS  MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE WORK OF THE BOARD
AND CENTER; (B) APPOINT AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BASED ON CRITERIA  TO  BE
DETERMINED  BY  THE  BOARD,  TO OVERSEE THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF THE
CENTER; (C) HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT AND RECEIVE ANY GRANTS, AWARDS,
APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER FUNDS AS MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE  TO  THE  CENTER;

S. 5253                             3

AND  (D) PROVIDE FINAL APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF THE AWARDING OF GRANTS
AND THE DISBURSEMENT OF ANY AND ALL FUNDS ADMINISTERED  BY  THE  CENTER.
THE  BOARD  SHALL  COMMENCE ITS WORK AND SHALL BE CONSIDERED FUNCTIONING
WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE.
  2.  THE OVERSIGHT BOARD SHALL COMPRISE: (A) THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMIS-
SIONER'S ADVISORY COUNCIL OF NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS AS MAY  BE  APPOINTED  TO
SUCH COUNCIL BY THE COMMISSIONER; (B) AT LEAST ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE
COMMISSIONER;  AND  (C) AT LEAST ONE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE OFFICE OF THE
STATE COMPTROLLER. IN ADDITION, THE BOARD MAY INCLUDE UP TO THREE  ADDI-
TIONAL  MEMBERS  OF  WHOM  ONE  WOULD  BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, ONE
APPOINTED BY THE MAJORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, AND ONE APPOINTED BY THE
SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY.
  3. MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL RECEIVE NO COMPENSATION BUT MAY BE REIM-
BURSED FOR THEIR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE  PERFORM-
ANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES.
  4. THE BOARD SHALL PROVIDE FOR AN ANNUAL AUDIT THAT SHALL BE COMPLETED
BY  THE  FIRST  DAY OF SEPTEMBER OF THE YEAR FOLLOWING THE YEAR IN WHICH
THIS ARTICLE SHALL HAVE TAKEN EFFECT  AND  ANNUALLY  THEREAFTER,  OR  ON
ANOTHER  DATE SET BY THE BOARD. THE AUDIT SHALL INCLUDE, AT THE MINIMUM,
AN ACCOUNTING FOR BOTH THE RECEIPT AND EXPENDITURE OF ALL FUNDS ADMINIS-
TERED BY THE CENTER DURING THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR. THE  AUDIT  SHALL
ALSO INCLUDE A REPORT OF ALL THE CENTER'S ANNUAL ACCOUNTS AND THE STATUS
OF  ANY  AND  ALL GRANTS THAT THE BOARD HAS APPROVED DURING THE PREVIOUS
CALENDAR YEAR. THE AUDIT SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE  PUBLIC  AND  BE
FILED  WITH THE OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER. THE OFFICE OF THE STATE
COMPTROLLER MAY REQUIRE ADDITIONAL FILING REQUIREMENTS TO  BE  COMPLETED
BY THE CENTER.
  S  576.  AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. 1. THE EXECU-
TIVE DIRECTOR SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD AND SHALL  HAVE  AUTHORITY
AND  DUTY TO OVERSEE THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF THE CENTER. THE DIREC-
TOR SHALL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN DISTINCT ACCOUNTS, TO  BE  APPROVED  BY
THE  BOARD, TO ADMINISTER FUNDS APPORTIONED TO THE CENTER. SUCH ACCOUNTS
MUST, AT MINIMUM, SEPARATE  PUBLIC  FUNDS  FROM  FUNDS  THE  CENTER  MAY
ACQUIRE  THROUGH PRIVATE DONATIONS AND OTHER SOURCES. THE DIRECTOR, WITH
THE APPROVAL OF THE BOARD, IS EMPOWERED TO ENTER INTO ANY  AGREEMENT  OR
CONTRACT  WITH ANY PRIVATE OR PUBLIC AGENCIES, CORPORATIONS, OR INDIVID-
UALS NECESSARY OR CONVENIENT TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF  THIS  ARTI-
CLE, INCLUDING THE HIRING OF ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT
THE  FUNCTIONS  OF THE CENTER. THE DIRECTOR SHALL DRAFT FOR THE BOARD AN
ANNUAL AUDIT AND SHALL FULFILL ALL NECESSARY FILING REQUIREMENTS  NECES-
SARY  TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE. THE DIRECTOR SHALL BE
RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSMITTING TO THE BOARD ANY INFORMATION NECESSARY  FOR
THE BOARD TO CARRY OUT ITS DUTIES AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION AS THE BOARD
MAY REQUEST.
  2.  THE  DIRECTOR  SHALL  AWARD  GRANTS  AND/OR MAKE PAYMENTS BASED ON
CRITERIA PREPARED BY THE DIRECTOR AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD, TO ELIGIBLE
INDEPENDENT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS OR  SERVICE  PROVIDERS.  THE  DIRECTOR
SHALL  DETERMINE  IN  WHAT  MANNER  AND  AT WHAT TIME SUCH GRANTS AND/OR
PAYMENTS SHALL BE DISBURSED.
  3. COMPENSATION OF THE DIRECTOR ANY PAYMENT  OF  OTHER  ADMINISTRATIVE
AND  NECESSARY  EXPENSES  SHALL  BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD AND SHALL BE
ALLOCATED OUT OF FUNDS ADMINISTERED BY THE CENTER.
  S 577. RULES AND REGULATIONS.  THE  COMMISSIONER  MAY  PROMULGATE  ANY
RULES OR REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTI-
CLE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

Co-Sponsors

S5253A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8043
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 12-B §§571 - 573, Ed L

S5253A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the New York state office of religious and independent schools establishment act.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5253A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
state office of religious and independent schools establishment act

PURPOSE: Establishes a New York State Office for Religious and
Independent Schools and permits the center to disburse school safety
funds allocated in the 2013-2014 State Budget.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 2: Creates Article 12-B which establishes the New York State
Office for Religious and Independent Schools

Section 3: Sets forth an immediate effective date, provided that any
rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act
shall be promulgated and take effect 180 days after such effective
date.

JUSTIFICATION: Presently, the state provides resources to support
students who attend independent or religious schools. Specifically,
resources are allocated for the purpose of obtaining instructional
materials, academic intervention services, transportation services,
and school health and safety measures. The present mechanism for
providing much of these services requires the local public school
district to administer these funds to the independent or religious
school where pupils residing in the public school district attend. The
administration of aid programs benefiting religious and independent
school students often become the responsibility of the public school
districts or BOCES in which such independent or religious schools are
located or in which such independent and religious school students
reside. Placing a burden on the public school system for administering
programs intended to benefit students who attend religious and
independent schools is unfair, inefficient and often ineffective.

The administration of programs benefiting religious and independent
schools can be handled directly by the State Education Department with
increased efficiency and effectiveness with the creation of an office
dedicated for such purpose. Therefore, this legislation would address
these challenges by creating an Office for Religious and Independent
Schools within the State Education Department that would be
exclusively responsible for serving the needs of students who attend
independent and religious schools. The Office for Religious and
Independent Schools will provide an efficient and cost-effective means
of administering the safety equipment and academic intervention funds,
and potentially other programs, while providing religious and
independent school administrators with a single and self-sustaining
office for accessing information and resources intended for their
benefit. Moreover, creating the Office within the State Education
Department will help ensure that the state's religious and independent
schools remain integrally connected to the Regents' efforts to prepare
all students for college and careers.

Additionally, the health and safety of our students, regardless of
where they attend school is of the utmost importance. As such, in
early 2013 resources were appropriated for school districts to upgrade
or install safety equipment. Additional funds for the purchase of


school safety equipment were appropriated for independent and
religious schools in the 2013-2014 Budget. The Office for Religious
and Independent Schools will provide an efficient, cost-effective,
transparent and accountable means of disbursing this safety equipment
funding.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No new fiscal implications to the state. Funding
for the New York State Office for Religious and Independent Schools is
subject to funding currently appropriated in the 2013-2014 Enacted
State Budget.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately, provided that
any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act
shall be promulgated and take effect 180 days after its enactment.

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

                                 5253--A
    Cal. No. 1290

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. FLANAGAN, DeFRANCISCO, LANZA, MARTINS, RANZENHOFER
  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
  the Committee on Education -- reported favorably from  said  committee
  and  committed  to the Committee on Finance -- reported favorably from
  said committee and committed to the Committee on Rules -- ordered to a
  third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its  place  in
  the order of third reading

AN  ACT  to  amend the education law, in relation to the state office of
  religious and independent schools establishment act

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

  Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature recognizes
that  religious  and independent schools play a vital role in the educa-
tion of children within the many communities throughout  the  state  and
that  is  is  incumbent  on  the  state  to continue to support New York
students who attend these schools. The  legislature  further  recognizes
that  while religious and independent school students are included in an
array of state and federal programs intended to benefit students in  all
schools  including,  but not limited to, instructional materials, school
health and safety measures, academic intervention, professional develop-
ment and transportation services, the administration of  those  programs
falls  most often to the public school districts in which such religious
or independent schools are located or the school districts in which such
religious and independent school students reside. The  legislature  also
recognizes the substantial administrative burden placed on public school
districts  charged  with  administering  services for students over whom
such  districts  have  little  direct  responsibility.  The  legislature
further  recognizes  the  inefficiencies  that  exist  in  administering
programs  to  benefit  students  attending  religious  and   independent
schools.  Therefore,  the  legislature recognizes the need to create the
state office for religious and independent schools for  the  purpose  of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10879-02-3

S. 5253--A                          2

providing   an  efficient  and  cost-effective  means  of  administering
programs and services to benefit  students  enrolled  in  religious  and
independent schools.
  S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new article 12-B to read
as follows:
                              ARTICLE 12-B
            STATE OFFICE OF RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS
SECTION 571. SHORT TITLE.
        572. STATE OFFICE FOR RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS.
        573. RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  S  571.  SHORT  TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS
THE "STATE OFFICE OF RELIGIOUS  AND  INDEPENDENT  SCHOOLS  ESTABLISHMENT
ACT".
  S  572.  STATE  OFFICE  FOR  RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS. 1. THE
STATE OFFICE FOR RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED
WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE AND COORDINATE SERVICES AND  ADMINISTER
STATE  AND  FEDERAL  PROGRAMS AND APPROPRIATIONS AS MAY BE IDENTIFIED BY
THE COMMISSIONER INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF STUDENTS AND  PERSONNEL  IN
RELIGIOUS  AND  INDEPENDENT  SCHOOLS  AND TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION AND
CARRY OUT OTHER ACTIVITIES INTENDED FOR  THE  BENEFIT  OF  STUDENTS  AND
PERSONNEL IN RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS.
  2.  THE  DEPARTMENT, ON BEHALF OF THE OFFICE, SHALL HAVE THE AUTHORITY
TO ACCEPT AND RECEIVE ANY GRANTS, AWARDS, APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER  FUNDS
AS  MAY  BE MADE AVAILABLE TO CARRY OUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE. ALL
SUCH FUNDS RECEIVED BY OR OTHERWISE MADE  AVAILABLE  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT
SHALL  BE  HELD  IN  A  DISTINCT ACCOUNT OR ACCOUNTS ADMINISTERED BY THE
DEPARTMENT TO CARRY OUT THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE.
  3. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL UTILIZE A PORTION OF  STATE  AND/OR  FEDERAL
FUNDS  APPROPRIATED  SOLELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF RELIGIOUS AND INDEPENDENT
SCHOOLS FOR PERSONNEL SERVICES NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE  FUNCTIONS  OF
THE OFFICE.
  S  573.  RULES  AND  REGULATIONS.  THE COMMISSIONER MAY PROMULGATE ANY
RULES OR REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTI-
CLE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that  any  rules
or  regulations  necessary  for  the implementation of this act shall be
promulgated and take effect 180 days after such effective date.

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