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Powers and duties of board of education
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 51
§ 2503. Powers and duties of board of education. Subject to the
provisions of this chapter, the board of education:

1. Shall perform any duty imposed upon or exercise any power granted
to boards of education of city school districts or union free school
districts or trustees of common school districts under this chapter or
other statutes, or the rules of the regents and regulations of the
commissioner of education so far as they may be applicable to the school
or other educational affairs of a city school district, and not
inconsistent with the provisions of this article.

2. Shall prescribe such regulations and by-laws as may be necessary to
make effectual the provisions of this chapter and for the conduct of the
proceedings of said board and the transaction of its business affairs,
for the general management, operation, control, maintenance and
discipline of the schools, and of all other educational, social or
recreational activities and other interests under its charge or

3. Shall have in all respects the superintendence, management and
control of the educational affairs of the district, and, therefore,
shall have all the powers reasonably necessary to exercise powers
granted expressly or by implication and to discharge duties imposed
expressly or by implication by this chapter or other statutes.

4. a. Shall establish and maintain such free elementary schools, high
schools, training schools, vocational and industrial schools, technical
schools, night schools, part-time schools, vacation schools, schools for
adults, schools for physically or mentally handicapped or delinquent
children or such other schools or classes as such board shall deem
necessary to meet the needs and demands of the city.

b. May maintain public libraries pursuant to section two hundred
fifty-five of this chapter, or may contract with any public library or
any free association library registered by the regents pursuant to
section two hundred fifty-six thereof; may organize and maintain public
lecture courses; and shall establish and equip such playgrounds,
recreation centers and social centers as the board from time to time
shall deem proper.

c. Shall authorize the general courses of study which shall be given
in the schools and shall approve the content of such courses before they
become operative.

d. Shall authorize and determine the textbooks to be used in the
schools under its jurisdiction; and shall regulate the admission of
pupils and their transfer from one class, or grade to another as their
scholarship shall warrant; and shall determine the school where each
pupil shall attend.

5. Shall create, abolish, maintain and consolidate such positions,
divisions, boards or bureaus as, in its judgment, may be necessary for
the proper and efficient administration of its work; shall appoint
properly qualified persons to fill such positions, including a
superintendent of schools, such associate, assistant and other
superintendents, directors, supervisors, principals, teachers,
lecturers, special instructors, medical inspectors, nurses, claims
auditors, deputy claims auditors, attendance officers, secretaries,
clerks, custodians, janitors and other employees and other persons or
experts in educational, social or recreational work or in the business
management or direction of its affairs as said board shall determine
necessary for the efficient management of the schools and other
educational, social, recreational and business activities; and shall
determine their duties except as otherwise provided herein.

6. Shall have the care, custody, control, safekeeping and maintenance
of all school property or other property used for educational, social or
recreational work of the district, and shall prescribe rules and
regulations for the preservation of such property. This subdivision
shall not apply to property used for social or recreational programs of
municipalities not established or maintained exclusively for educational

7. Shall purchase and furnish such apparatus, maps, globes, books,
furniture and other equipment and supplies as may be necessary for the
proper and efficient management of the schools and other educational,
social and recreational activities and interests under its management
and control; and may, without authorization by the voters, provide
textbooks or other supplies to all the children attending the schools of
such city school district.

7-a. To develop a plan to ensure that all instructional materials to
be used in the schools of the district are available in a usable
alternative format for each student with a disability, as defined in
section forty-four hundred one of this chapter, and for each student who
is a qualified individual with a disability as defined in the
rehabilitation act of nineteen hundred ninety-three (29 U.S.C. 701) as
amended, in accordance with his or her educational needs and course
selection, at the same time as such instructional materials are
available to non-disabled students. As part of such plan, the board of
education shall amend its procurement policies to give a preference in
the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who agree to provide
materials in alternative formats. For purposes of this subdivision,
"alternative format" shall mean any medium or format for the
presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print
textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled student
enrolled in the school district, including but not limited to Braille,
large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file in
an approved format, as defined in the regulations of the commissioner.
When an electronic file is provided, the plan shall specify how the
format will be accessed by students and/or how the district shall
convert to an accessible format. Such plan shall identify the needs of
students residing in the district for alternative format materials. Such
plan shall also specify ordering timelines to ensure that alternative
format materials are available at the same time as regular format
materials. Such plans shall include procedures to address the need to
obtain materials in alternative format without delay for disabled
students who move into the school district during the school year.

8. Shall lease, for such term as may be necessary, and equip property
when necessary for the purpose of furnishing school accommodations for
the schools of the district and may enter into leases or lease-purchase
agreements under the same terms and conditions as may boards of
education of union free school districts. To be eligible for aid
pursuant to subdivision six of section thirty-six hundred two of this
chapter, any such lease or lease-purchase agreement shall be approved by
the commissioner prior to execution; the leased space shall meet
requirements for access by individuals with disabilities to both
facilities and programs, as defined in regulations of the commissioner;
the requirements set forth in paragraphs a, b, c, d and f of subdivision
one of section four hundred three-b of this chapter shall be met; in the
case of a lease-purchase agreement the requirements of section one
hundred three-b of the general municipal law shall be met; and the
leased space shall be used to house programs for pupils in grades
prekindergarten through twelve, other than programs funded pursuant to
section forty-four hundred ten of this chapter, with minimal associated
administrative and support services space as approved by the

9. a. Shall promote the best interests of the schools and other
activities committed to its care, and shall authorize, or in its
discretion conduct, and maintain such extra classroom activities,
including the operation of cafeterias or restaurant service for use by
pupils and teachers, as the board, from time to time, shall deem proper.
Such cafeterias or restaurant service may be used by the community for
school related functions and activities and to furnish meals to the
elderly residents, sixty years of age or older, of the district. Such
utilization shall be subject to the approval of the board of education,
and shall be subject to voter approval unless the cafeteria or
restaurant service was operated during the preceding school year and
requires no tax levy. Charges shall be sufficient to meet the direct
cost of preparing and serving such meals, reducible by available

b. For the purposes of this section, a general organization of
students of a school conducted under the rules and regulations of the
board of education or with its approval, and engaged in extra classroom
activities other than the operation of a cafeteria or restaurant service
shall be known as a student organization. Moneys received or derived
from carrying on such extra classroom activity shall be subject to the
use and disposition of such student organization under rules and
regulations prescribed by the board of education, which rules and
regulations may require the deposit of such moneys with an official
designated therein.

10. May compensate, in its discretion, teachers and other employees
for loss of personal property but shall provide workmen's compensation
coverage as provided in the workmen's compensation law for all teachers
and other employees for injuries incurred in actual performance of duty.

10-a. In its discretion, to provide under a group insurance policy or
policies issued by any insurance company or insurance companies
authorized to do business in this state or under a group contract issued
by one or more corporations subject to article forty-three of the
insurance law, life insurance or accident and health insurance benefits
or medical and surgical benefits or hospital service benefits or any two
or more of such kinds of benefits to teachers and other employees of the
school district who participate in a plan or plans, as hereinafter
provided. The disbursing officer of the school district is authorized to
deduct from the salary of such participant with his prior consent, in
writing, the sums representing the participant's share of the premium or
premiums which are payable by such officer to such insurance company or
corporation. Such board of education is authorized to pay from such
moneys as are available for the purpose, a share of the cost of such
benefit or benefits in such amount as is required to be paid under such
group insurance policy or policies or group contract or contracts by the
board of education, as employer. The sum to be paid by the board of
education under such policy or policies or contract or contracts, in the
discretion of such board may be any percentage of the total cost of the
benefit or benefits including the whole thereof.

10-b. In its discretion, to purchase insurance against personal
injuries incurred by an authorized participant in a school volunteer
program, including but not limited to, those authorized participants who
assist on school buses, school sponsored transportation to and from
school, or on school sponsored field trips or any other school sponsored
activity; provided, however, that the injuries were incurred while the
authorized participant was functioning either within the scope of his or
her authorized volunteer duties or under the direction of the board of
education, trustee, or board of cooperative educational services, or

11. Shall provide transportation, home teaching or special classes, as
defined under sections forty-four hundred one and forty-four hundred two
of this chapter for physically or mentally handicapped and delinquent
children. Such transportation, home teaching or special classes, when
provided pursuant to this subdivision, shall be granted to all such
children irrespective of the school they legally attend.

12. Shall provide by contract or otherwise for the transportation of
children to and from any school or institution of learning whenever in
its judgment such transportation is required because of the remoteness
of the school to the pupil or for the promotion of the best interests of
such children; and, in the case of an enlarged city school district,
shall provide such transportation to children residing outside the city
limits and may, in its discretion, provide transportation for children
residing within the city limits. Any such contract may be made for a
period of not exceeding five years, notwithstanding any provision of any
charter or other provision of law inconsistent herewith. Provided that
the cost of such transportation:

a. to and from schools within the school district for distances
greater than two or three miles, as applicable, and to and from schools
outside the district within the mileage limitations prescribed in
paragraph a of subdivision one of section thirty-six hundred thirty-five
of this chapter shall always be an ordinary contingent expense, and

b. for distances less than two or three miles, as applicable, or for
greater than fifteen miles to and from schools outside the district
shall be an ordinary contingent expense if: (i) such transportation was
provided during the preceding school year and the qualified voters have
not passed a special proposition constricting the mileage limitations
for the current school year from those in effect in the prior year, or
(ii) the qualified voters have passed a special proposition expanding
the mileage limitations in effect in the prior year.

12-a. May lease a motor vehicle or vehicles for the transportation of
children of the district under the same terms and conditions as the
board of education of a union free school district.

13. Shall provide, outside the territorial limits of the city school
district but within the state, for the education of children resident
within the city school district whenever in the judgment of the board of
education, approved by the commissioner of education, the health or
welfare of such children makes such provision necessary or desirable.
The average daily attendance of such pupils shall be included in the
average daily attendance of such district as certified to the
commissioner in the report of the board of education

14. Shall call special district meetings of the qualified voters of
the district, whenever it shall deem it necessary and proper, except as
otherwise provided in section twenty-six hundred one-a of this chapter;
shall give notice of special or annual elections; and shall submit
propositions to the voters at such special or annual meetings.

15. Shall appoint and compensate a school district clerk, who shall
also be the clerk of the board of education, and a school district
treasurer, who shall hold their respective offices during the pleasure
of the board. It shall be the duty of the school district treasurer to
maintain detailed accounting records showing the status of each
appropriation, provided however that the board of education may delegate
such duty to an employee designated for such purpose. No city officer
shall be appointed to any such office, unless the common council or
other legislative body of the city shall give its consent thereto in

16. Shall have power to contract with the city, subject to the
approval of the commissioner of education in all cases where such use,
according to a rule established by such commissioner, might affect the
educational program, for the use of agencies, employees and facilities
of the city, paying to the city its agreed proportion of the
compensation or costs but no agreement therefor shall be made for a
period longer than five years.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, a city school district which
employs the facilities and services of the civil service commission of
the city in which it is located in whole or in part shall pay a
fractional part of the actual annual expenditures for such civil service
commission on or before the first day of November in each year. The
numerator of such fraction shall be the number of classified civil
service employees of the city school district multiplied by the amount
of expenditures for such commission during the city's previous fiscal
year, and the denominator shall be the total of the number of classified
civil service employees of the city and the city school district. For
the purpose of making such computation the numbers of classified civil
service employees as shall appear on the payrolls of the city and the
city school district for the final payroll period in December of the
preceding year shall be used.

17. In its discretion, and with the written consent of any employee,
to deduct from the salary of such employee such amount as may be agreed
to by such employee for payment to any credit union doing business in
the state of New York as such employee may designate. Any such written
authorization may be withdrawn by such employee at any time.

18. a. Shall require, for purposes of a criminal history record check,
the fingerprinting of all prospective employees pursuant to section
three thousand thirty-five of this chapter, who do not hold valid
clearance pursuant to such section or pursuant to section three thousand
four-b of this chapter or section five hundred nine-cc or twelve hundred
twenty-nine-d of the vehicle and traffic law. Prior to initiating the
fingerprinting process, the prospective employer shall furnish the
applicant with the form described in paragraph (c) of subdivision thirty
of section three hundred five of this chapter and shall obtain the
applicant's consent to the criminal history records search. Every set of
fingerprints taken pursuant to this subdivision shall be promptly
submitted to the commissioner for purposes of clearance for employment.

b. Upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the board may
conditionally appoint a prospective employee. A request for conditional
clearance shall be forwarded to the commissioner along with the
prospective employee's fingerprints, as required by paragraph a of this
subdivision. Such appointment shall not commence until notification by
the commissioner that the prospective employee has been conditionally
cleared for employment and shall terminate forty-five days after such
notification of conditional clearance or when the prospective employer
is notified of a determination by the commissioner to grant or deny
clearance, whichever occurs earlier, and may not be extended or renewed
unless the commissioner issues a new conditional clearance after finding
that there was good cause for failing to obtain clearance within such
period, provided that if clearance is granted, the appointment shall
continue and the conditional status shall be removed. Prior to
commencement of such conditional appointment, the prospective employer
shall obtain a signed statement for conditional appointment from the
prospective employee, indicating whether, to the best of his or her
knowledge, he or she has a pending criminal charge or criminal
conviction in any jurisdiction outside the state.

c. Upon the recommendation of the superintendent, the board may make
an emergency conditional appointment when an unforeseen emergency
vacancy has occurred. When such appointment is made, the process for
conditional appointment pursuant to paragraph b of this subdivision must
also be initiated. Emergency conditional appointment may commence prior
to notification from the commissioner on conditional clearance but shall
terminate twenty business days from the date such appointment commences
or when the prospective employer is notified by the commissioner
regarding conditional clearance, whichever occurs earlier, provided that
if conditional clearance is granted, the appointment shall continue as a
conditional appointment. Prior to the commencement of such appointment,
the prospective employer must obtain a signed statement for emergency
conditional appointment from the prospective employee, indicating
whether, to the best of his or her knowledge, he or she has a pending
criminal charge or criminal conviction in any jurisdiction. An
unforeseen emergency vacancy shall be defined as: (i) a vacancy that
occurred less than ten business days before the start of any school
session, including summer school, or during any school session,
including summer school, without sufficient notice to allow for
clearance or conditional clearance; (ii) when no other qualified person
is available to fill the vacancy temporarily; and (iii) when emergency
conditional appointment is necessary to maintain services which the
district is legally required to provide or services necessary to protect
the health, education or safety of students or staff. The provisions of
subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall not apply if the board finds
that the district has been unable to fill the vacancy despite good faith
efforts to fill such vacancy in a manner which would have allowed
sufficient time for clearance or conditional clearance.

d. Shall develop a policy for the safety of the children who have
contact with an employee holding conditional appointment or emergency
conditional appointment.

19. Shall upon commencement and termination of employment of an
employee by the school district, provide the commissioner with the name
of and position held by such employee.

20. Where the district has provided transportation to students
enrolled in such district to a school sponsored field trip,
extracurricular activity or any other similar event, it shall provide
transportation back to either the point of departure or to the
appropriate school in the district, unless the parent or legal guardian
of a student participating in such event has provided the school
district with written notice, consistent with district policy,
authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for such
student or unless intervening circumstances make such transportation
impractical. In cases where intervening circumstances make
transportation of a student back to the point of departure or to the
appropriate school in the district impractical, a representative of the
school district shall remain with the student until such student's
parent or legal guardian has been (a) contacted and informed of the
intervening circumstances which make such transportation impractical and
(b) such student had been delivered to his or her parent or legal

* 21. To pass a resolution, in the discretion of the board of such
district, authorizing the entering of an agreement with the city within
such district, for the installation and use of school bus photo
violation monitoring systems pursuant to section eleven hundred
seventy-four-a of the vehicle and traffic law, provided that the
purchase, lease, installation, operation and maintenance, or any other
costs associated with such cameras shall not be considered an aidable
expense pursuant to section thirty-six hundred twenty-three-a of this

* NB Repealed December 1, 2024