senate Bill S8847

2019-2020 Legislative Session

Relates to admission to the specialized high schools in the city of New York

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Senate Committee Rules Committee

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

Your Voice

do you support this bill?

Please enter your contact information

Home address is used to determine the senate district in which you reside. Your support or opposition to this bill is then shared immediately with the senator who represents you.

Optional services from the NY State Senate:

Create an account. An account allows you to officially support or oppose key legislation, sign petitions with a single click, and follow issues, committees, and bills that matter to you. When you create an account, you agree to this platform's terms of participation.

Include a custom message for your Senator? (Optional)

Enter a message to your senator. Many New Yorkers use this to share the reasoning behind their support or opposition to the bill. Others might share a personal anecdote about how the bill would affect them or people they care about.


view actions (1)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jul 29, 2020 referred to rules


S8847 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §2590-h, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2021-2022 Legislative Session:

S8847 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Relates to admission to the specialized high schools in the city of New York; removes the discovery program admission process.

S8847 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S8847 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                             I N  S E N A T E
                               July 29, 2020
 Introduced  by Sens. SALAZAR, JACKSON -- read twice and ordered printed,
   and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
 AN ACT to amend the education law,  in  relation  to  admission  to  the
   specialized high schools in the city of New York

   Section 1. Legislative findings. Since the enactment of the  Hecht-Ca-
 landra  Act in 1971, the New York city school district has not been able
 to make decisions about admissions  to  its  specialized  high  schools.
 Instead, as a result of the Hecht-Calandra Act, the city school district
 has  been  required  to base admission decisions to its specialized high
 schools on only one criterion for admission - a student's performance on
 a single standardized exam. As a result of the use  of  this  criterion,
 known  as  the  specialized  high  school  admissions  test (SHSAT), the
 student population of the specialized high schools does not reflect  the
 diversity  of  the  City's population. Whereas the overall percentage of
 Black and Latino students in the city's public schools is  approximately
 sixty-seven  percent,  Black  and  Latino  students  only represent nine
 percent of the population of the  specialized  schools.  This  disparity
 hurts  Black  and  Latino  students  and  it also harms the students who
 attend the specialized high schools, who do not reap  the  intellectual,
 emotional  and  social benefits from learning in a more diverse environ-
 ment.  Furthermore, the city school district is alone in its reliance on
 a single metric to make admission  decisions.  Universities  across  the
 country  consider multiple factors when selecting their incoming student
 body; selective institutions do not rely on  the  results  of  a  single
 exam.  It  is  time  for the city school district to follow suit and for
 admissions to no longer be based on the  procedures  prescribed  in  the
 Hecht-Calandra Act. This legislation will allow the city school district
 to  develop its own admissions criteria for specialized high schools, as
 it develops admissions criteria for other schools within  the  district,
 and  ensure  that  high-performing and talented students across all five
 boroughs have the opportunity to attend its specialized high schools.
  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                       [ ] is old law to be omitted.


Open Legislation is a forum for New York State legislation. All comments are subject to review and community moderation is encouraged.

Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity, hate or toxic speech; or that link to sites outside of the domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Attempts to intimidate and silence contributors or deliberately deceive the public, including excessive or extraneous posting/posts, or coordinated activity, are prohibited and may result in the temporary or permanent banning of the user. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday. By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.