senate Bill S7525

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to special apportionments and grants-in-aid to school districts

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
May 15, 2014 referred to education

S7525 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9524
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง3641, Ed L

S7525 - Bill Texts

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Relates to special apportionments and grants-in-aid to school districts; adds the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors to the definition of school safety and security technology project and requires the costs of the project be included in the smart schools investment plan submitted by a school district.

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BILL NUMBER:S7525

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to
special apportionments and grants-in-aid to school districts

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This legislation amends the Smart Schools Bond Act and will allow
school districts applying for funding to include the purchase and
installation of life-saving carbon monoxide detectors.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends Chapter 56 of the laws of 2014 to allow for the
purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors in schools
applying for Smart Schools grants under the School Safety and Security
Technology Project.

Section 2: Sets effective date for legislation.

JUSTIFICATION:

On June 18, 2013, the same day both houses of the New York State
Legislature passed legislation asking for a study on the cost of
installing carbon monoxide detectors in schools, an elementary school
in Yonkers had to be evacuated because of a gas leak. The
investigation of the gas leak by the local fire department uncovered a
carbon monoxide leak.

By pure luck, the lives of several hundred children at the Khalil
Gibran Elementary School were spared from harm. In October 2013,
again, children had to be removed from a school building in Long
Island due to a furnace problem and were the local fire department had
reported elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Every school day some 3.3 million of our children fill the more than
6,700 school buildings throughout our State. Parents are led to
believe their children are in a safe environment. Yet the reality is
that most school buildings in our state lack carbon monoxide
detectors. The odds that a horrible accident will happen in one of our
schools increase every day no such incidence occurs.

This legislation is one way of addressing the need to retrofit all our
schools with monoxide detectors because the $2 billion Smart Schools
Bond Act will create the revenue stream for schools to cover the cost
of purchase and installation of these lifesaving alarms to protect
students and staff.

Excuses as to costs and unfunded mandates for reasons not to provide
this protections are absurd. Every year, school districts across our
State approve bonding initiatives for capital improvements such as
state of the art gym facilities, upgrading technology, and repairs to
infrastructure. It is bad management that the funding for carbon
monoxide detectors are not included in such bonding plans. The Smart
Schools Bond Act and its School Safety and Security Technology Project
provide schools with the opportunity and funding to meet this safety
demand.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas which can cause
nausea, headaches and dizziness. If it is allowed to build up in
enclosed spaces, it can be deadly. Carbon monoxide detectors represent
an inexpensive and effective way to protect against carbon monoxide
poisoning, especially in all children, who unlike adults, have higher
respiratory rates until they reach adulthood.

Currently, school buildings first occupied on or after January 31,
2007 have to be so equipped with CO detectors when they opened.
However, New York State has over 4,200 public school building
constructed prior to 2007. These schools house over 3 million
school-age children daily during every academic school year. All these
schools operate on fossil fuels which produce CO as a byproduct of
combustion.

Every year, some 500 American die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
and over 15,000 have to be treated for CO poisoning. More needs to be
done to protect children from such exposure while in school.

As with smoke detectors/fire alarms many years ago, carbon monoxide
detectors have earned the respect of the fire service as a valuable
tool in the saving of lives. Everyone recognizes that carbon monoxide
kills if not responded to immediately. The most serious quality of CO2
is that, unlike smoke, it is virtually undetectable, even when someone
is awake and alert.

The Legislature recently recognized the value of these devices by
requiring their installation in one and two-family homes and
apartments in multiple dwellings. However, carbon monoxide detectors
are not currently required in school buildings.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None. In other states, school districts have incurred costs of $800
per school building to install hardwired carbon monoxide detectors.
The $2 billion authorized through the Smart Schools Bond Act will
cover the cost of having every school wired for this life-saving
detector. At a cost of less than $7 million out of the $2 billion bond
act, this is a practical approach to helping to improve student and
school staff safety.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as
Section 2 of part C of Chapter 56 of the laws of 2014 takes effect.

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

                                  7525

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 15, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. VALESKY -- 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 special apportionments
  and grants-in-aid to school districts

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

  Section 1. Subparagraph 8 of paragraph (a) and subparagraph 2 of para-
graph  (b)  of  subdivision  16 of section 3641 of the education law, as
added by section 2 of part C of chapter 56 of  the  laws  of  2014,  are
amended to read as follows:
  (8) "School safety and security technology project" shall mean a capi-
tal  project  to  PURCHASE  AND  install  high-tech security features in
school buildings and on school campuses, including but  not  limited  to
video  surveillance,  emergency  notification  systems,  CARBON MONOXIDE
DETECTORS and physical access controls, for enhanced educational  oppor-
tunity in the state.
  (2)  No  school  district  shall  be entitled to a smart schools grant
until such district shall have submitted a smart schools investment plan
to the smart schools review board and received such board's approval  of
such  investment  plan.  In  developing  such  investment  plan,  school
districts shall consult  with  parents,  teachers,  students,  community
members  and other stakeholders.  ALL PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION COSTS OF
A SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY TECHNOLOGY PROJECT SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE
SMART SCHOOLS INVESTMENT PLAN SUBMITTED BY A SCHOOL DISTRICT.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the  same  date  and  in  the  same
manner  as  section 2 of part C of chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, takes
effect.



 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15010-01-4

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