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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Distinguished educators
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 1, ARTICLE 5, PART 1
§ 211-c. Distinguished educators. The regents shall establish a
distinguished educator program that recognizes educational leaders who
have agreed to assist in improving the performance of low performing
school districts.

1. Building principals, superintendents of schools and teachers
including retirees and current employees of school districts, under
whose leadership schools have demonstrated consistent growth in academic
performance and other individuals who have demonstrated educational
expertise, including superior performance in the classroom, shall be
eligible for designation by the regents as distinguished educators.
Provided, however, individuals employed by for-profit entities shall not
be eligible for such recognition.

2. From the pool of distinguished educators designated by the regents
pursuant to subdivision one of this section, the commissioner shall
appoint distinguished educators who have expressed their willingness to
assist low performing districts in improving their academic performance.
To the extent practicable, the commissioner shall appoint distinguished
educators to assist districts with comparable demographics to the
schools or districts that are or were under such educator's leadership.

3. The commissioner may appoint a distinguished educator to a school

a. when such district or a school within such district has failed to
achieve adequate yearly progress for four or more years;

b. as a member of a joint school intervention team pursuant to
paragraph b of subdivision two of section two hundred eleven-b of this

4. The school district to which a distinguished educator is appointed
shall cooperate fully with an appointed distinguished educator.

5. An appointed distinguished educator shall assess the learning
environment of schools in the district, review or provide assistance in
the development and implementation of any district improvement plan
and/or any corrective action, restructuring, or comprehensive plan of
any school within the district to which the distinguished educator is
assigned. Such distinguished educator shall either endorse without
change or make recommendations for modifications to any such plan to the
board of education, trustees, or chancellor, in a school district in a
city of one million or more inhabitants, and the commissioner. Upon
receipt of any recommendations for modification, the board of education,
trustees, or chancellor shall either modify the plans accordingly or
provide a written explanation to the commissioner of its reasons for not
adopting such recommendations. The commissioner shall direct the
district to modify the plans as recommended by the distinguished
educator unless the commissioner finds that the written explanation
provided by the district has compelling merit.

6. Appointed distinguished educators shall be deemed ex-officio,
non-voting members of the board of education or trustees. In a school
district in a city of one million or more inhabitants, any such
distinguished educator shall be deemed an ex-officio, non-voting member
of the community district education council or the city board, as

7. The reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the appointed
distinguished educators while performing their official duties shall be
paid by the school district.

8. If an appointed distinguished educator is employed by a school
district or charter school, it shall be the duty of the board of
education or trustees of such school district, the chancellor of a city
school district in a city of one million or more inhabitants, or the
board of trustees of such charter school to facilitate the efforts of
any such appointed distinguished educators in their employ by granting
reasonable leave requests and otherwise accommodating their efforts, to
the extent such efforts do not substantially interfere with the
educator's performance of his or her regular duties.