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SECTION 4403
Duties of education department
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 6, ARTICLE 89
§ 4403. Duties of education department. The state education department
shall have power and it shall be its duty: 1. To maintain a statistical
summary of the number of handicapped children who reside within the
state and the nature of their handicaps and to use all means and
measures necessary to adequately meet the physical and educational needs
of such children, as provided by law.

2. To stimulate all private and public efforts designed to relieve,
care for or educate children with handicapping conditions and to
coordinate such efforts with the work and function of governmental
agencies.

3. To formulate such rules and regulations pertaining to the physical
and educational needs of such children as the commissioner of education
shall deem to be in their best interests. In the city school district of
the city of New York in complying with any rules or regulations
promulgated under this section relating to maximum group size, other
than regulations prescribing the maximum class size in self-contained
special education classes, the commissioner shall allow school districts
a variance of up to fifty percent rounded up to the nearest whole number
from the maximum number of students as specified in regulation in an
instructional group in a resource room program, a related service group,
and the total number of students assigned to a resource room teacher.

4. To periodically inspect, report on the adequacy of and make
recommendations concerning instructional programs or special services
for all children with handicapping conditions who reside in or attend
any state operated or state financed social service facilities, youth
facilities, health facilities, mental health, mental retardation and
developmental disabilities facilities or state correctional facilities.

5. To require such financial information as may be necessary from and
to audit any public or non-public school receiving any public moneys
pursuant to any provision of the education law as the commissioner deems
appropriate.

* 6. To provide for an advisory panel, appointed by the commissioner
composed of individuals involved in or concerned with the education of
children with disabilities, including individuals with disabilities,
teachers of children with disabilities, parents or persons in parental
relation of children or individuals with disabilities from birth to age
twenty-six, state and local educational officials, including officials
who carry out activities under subtitle B of title seven of the
McKinney-Vento homeless assistance act (section eleven thousand four
hundred thirty-one of title forty-two of the United States code, et
seq.), representatives of state or regional associations concerned with
the education of children with disabilities, representatives of
institutions of higher education that prepare special education teachers
or administrators and/or related services personnel, administrators of
programs for students with disabilities, a representative of the office
of children and family services with responsibility for foster care,
representatives of other state agencies involved in the financing or
delivery of related services to children with disabilities,
representatives of nonpublic schools and, upon establishment of such
schools, representatives of public charter schools, not less than one
representative of a vocational, community or business organization
concerned with the provision of transition services to students with
disabilities, and representatives of state juvenile and adult
corrections agencies, to advise the governor, legislature and
commissioner of unmet needs within the state in the education of
children with disabilities, in developing procedures for evaluation of
the special education system and the reporting of data as required by
federal law, in developing corrective action plans to address findings
identified in federal monitoring reports, in developing and implementing
policies relating to coordination of services, and on the education of
students with disabilities who have been convicted as adults and
incarcerated in adult prisons and to comment publicly on any rules or
regulations proposed for issuance by the commissioner regarding the
education of children with disabilities and the procedures for
distribution of funds under this article. A majority of the members of
the advisory panel shall be individuals with disabilities or parents of
children with disabilities. Such panel members shall serve without
compensation except that such members shall be entitled to reimbursement
for actual and necessary expenses incurred in such service.

* NB Effective until June 30, 2024

* 6. To provide for an advisory panel, appointed by the commissioner
composed of individuals involved in or concerned with the education of
children with disabilities, including individuals with disabilities,
teachers of children with disabilities, parents or persons in parental
relationship of children with disabilities, state and local educational
officials, representatives of state or regional associations concerned
with the education of children with disabilities, representatives of
institutions of higher education that prepare special education teachers
or administrators and/or related services personnel, administrators of
programs for students with disabilities, representatives of other state
agencies involved in the financing or delivery of related services to
children with disabilities, representatives of nonpublic schools and,
upon establishment of such schools, representatives of public charter
schools, at least one representative of a vocational, community or
business organization concerned with the provision of transition
services to students with disabilities, and representatives of state
juvenile and adult corrections agencies, to advise the governor,
legislature and commissioner of unmet needs within the state in the
education of children with disabilities, in developing procedures for
evaluation of the special education system and the reporting of data as
required by federal law, in developing corrective action plans to
address findings identified in federal monitoring reports, in developing
and implementing policies relating to coordination of services, and on
the education of students with disabilities who have been convicted as
adults and incarcerated in adult prisons and to comment publicly on any
rules or regulations proposed for issuance by the commissioner regarding
the education of children with disabilities and the procedures for
distribution of funds under this article. A majority of the members of
the advisory panel shall be individuals with disabilities or parents of
children with disabilities. Such panel members shall serve without
compensation except that such members shall be entitled to reimbursement
for actual and necessary expenses incurred in such service.

* NB Effective June 30, 2024

7. To define, no later than July first, nineteen hundred
seventy-seven, in a report to the legislature and the governor, specific
criteria for determining whether a particular disorder or condition may
be considered a specific learning disability and to describe in such
report diagnostic procedures which can be used in determining whether a
particular child has such a disorder or condition, and to recommend in
such report, in consultation with the division of the budget, a cost
effective program proposal and finance recommendations.

8. To develop and distribute a handbook for parents of handicapped
children and the members of committees and subcommittees on special
education, which handbook shall explain, in layman terms, the financial
and educational obligations of the state, the county or city, the home
school district, the committee on special education, and the parent or
legal guardian of a handicapped child, the special services or programs
available pursuant to this article, and the legal procedures available
to an aggrieved parent or legal guardian of a handicapped child.

9. To make provision by regulation of the commissioner to assure the
confidentiality of any personally identifiable data, information, and
records collected or maintained by the state department of education or
any school district, including a committee or subcommittee on special
education, and the officers, employees or members thereof, pursuant to
or in furtherance of the purposes of this article, and shall establish
procedures upon which any such personally identifiable data,
information, or records may be disclosed.

10. a. The commissioner shall determine whether a child, whose report
is submitted to the department pursuant to clause (b) or (d) of
subparagraph five of paragraph b of subdivision one of section
forty-four hundred two of this article or subdivision thirteen of
section three hundred ninety-eight of the social services law, will
likely need adult services and, if such need will likely exist, develop
a recommendation of all appropriate adult programs operated or approved
by the department which may be available. If necessary and appropriate,
the commissioner may conduct an evaluation of the child to determine if
adult services will be needed. Such recommendation of all programs shall
be made available to the parent or guardian of such child as soon as
practicable but no later than six months before such child attains the
age of twenty-one.

b. If the commissioner determines, pursuant to paragraph a of this
subdivision, that such child will not require adult services, the
commissioner shall notify the child's parent or guardian in writing of
such determination. Such notice shall be given as soon as practicable
but no later than six months before the child attains the age of
twenty-one.

c. Notwithstanding paragraphs a and b of this subdivision, the
commissioner may determine that the education department is not
responsible for determining and recommending adult services for such
child. When such a determination is made it shall be made as soon as
practicable after receiving the report and the commissioner shall
promptly notify in writing the committee on special education,
multidisciplinary team or social services official who sent the report
that such determination has been made. Such notice shall state the
reasons for the determination and may recommend a state agency which may
be responsible for determining and recommending adult services.

d. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to create an
entitlement to adult services.

e. A designee of the commissioner may carry out the functions of the
commissioner described in this subdivision.

11. To promulgate regulations concerning standards for the protection
of children in residential care from reportable incidents in accordance
with this section and article eleven of the social services law,
including procedures for:

(a) consistent with appropriate collective bargaining agreements and
applicable provisions of the civil service law, the review and
evaluation of the backgrounds of and the information supplied by any
person applying to be an employee, a volunteer or consultant, which
shall include but not be limited to the following requirements: that the
applicant set forth his or her employment history, provide personal and
employment references, and relevant experiential and educational
qualifications and, sign a sworn statement indicating whether the
applicant, to the best of his or her knowledge has ever been convicted
of a crime in this state or any other jurisdiction;

(b) establishing, for employees, relevant minimal experiential and
educational qualifications, consistent with appropriate collective
bargaining agreements and applicable provisions of the civil service
law;

(c) assuring adequate and appropriate supervision of employees,
volunteers and consultants;

(d) demonstrating by a residential facility or program that
appropriate action is taken to assure the safety of the child who is
alleged to have been subjected to a reportable incident in a report to
the vulnerable persons' central register in accordance with section four
hundred ninety-two of the social services law as well as other children
in care, immediately upon notification that such a report of an
allegation of a reportable incident has been made with respect to a
child in such residential facility or program;

(e) removing a child when it is determined that there is risk to such
child if he or she continues to remain within a residential facility or
program; and

(f) appropriate preventive and remedial action to be taken including
legal actions, consistent with appropriate collective bargaining
agreements and applicable provisions of the civil service law.

Such standards shall also establish as a priority requirements that:

(A) subject to amounts appropriated therefor, administrators,
employees, volunteers and consultants receive training in at least the
following: child abuse prevention and identification, safety and
security procedures, the principles of child development, the
characteristics of children in care, and techniques of group and child
management including crisis intervention, the laws, regulations and
procedures governing the protection of children from reportable
incidents, and other appropriate topics, provided however, that the
department may exempt administrators and consultants from such
requirements upon demonstration of substantially equivalent knowledge or
experience; and

(B) subject to the amounts appropriated therefor, children receive
instruction, consistent with their age, needs and circumstances as well
as the needs and circumstances within the program, in techniques and
procedures which will enable such children to advocate for and protect
themselves from reportable incidents.

The department shall take all reasonable and necessary actions to
assure that employees, volunteers and consultants in residential
facilities and programs are kept apprised on a current basis of all
department policies and procedures relating to the protection of
children from reportable incidents and shall monitor and supervise the
provision of training to such administrators, employees, volunteers,
children and consultants. Regulations and standards developed pursuant
to this subdivision shall, to the extent possible, be consistent with
those promulgated by other state agencies for such purposes.

(g) consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements,
assuring that an individual who has committed a category one offense, as
defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision four of section four hundred
ninety-three of the social services law, that is included on the
vulnerable persons' central register is not hired or otherwise used in
any position in which such individual would have regular and substantial
contact with a service recipient in any program described in paragraph
(e) of subdivision four of section four hundred eighty-eight of the
social services law.

12. To provide for the development and implementation of a plan of
prevention and remediation with respect to a substantiated report of
abuse or neglect. Such action shall include: (a) within ten days of
receipt of such a substantiated report, development and implementation
of a plan of prevention and remediation to be taken with respect to a
custodian or the residential facility in order to assure the continued
health and safety of children and to provide for the prevention of
future acts constituting reportable incidents; and (b) development and
implementation of a plan of prevention and remediation, in the event an
investigation of an allegation of abuse or neglect determines that a
preponderance of the evidence of such allegation exists and such
substantiated allegation may be attributed in whole or in part to
noncompliance by the residential facility or program with provisions of
this chapter or regulations of the department applicable to the
operation of such residential facility or program. Any plan of
prevention and remediation required to be developed pursuant to this
subdivision by a facility supervised by the department shall be
submitted to and approved by the department in accordance with time
limits established by regulations of the department. Implementation of
the plan shall be monitored by the department. In reviewing the
continued qualifications of a residential facility or program for an
operating certificate, the department shall evaluate such facility's
compliance with plans of prevention and remediation developed and
implemented pursuant to this subdivision.

13. To provide technical assistance to school districts for
appropriate evaluation and assessment.

14. To provide technical assistance to school districts to assist in
the adaptation of curriculum for the instruction of children with
handicapping conditions.

15. To provide technical assistance to school districts to assist in
developing criteria for placement in special education and criteria for
reviewing the ability of a pupil to participate in regular education.

16. Commencing with the nineteen hundred eighty-seven--eighty-eight
school year, to provide for instruction during the months of July and
August of students with handicapping conditions who have received state
appointments pursuant to article eighty-five, eighty-seven or
eighty-eight of this chapter and whose handicapping conditions, in the
judgment of the commissioner, are severe enough to exhibit the need for
a structured learning environment of twelve months duration to maintain
developmental levels, by making such appointments for twelve months;
provided that the initial term of appointment of a student with a
handicapping condition who is the minimum age eligible for such a state
appointment shall not commence during the months of July or August.

18. To establish guidelines for determining when a child is at risk of
a future placement in a residential school, and for the provision by
committees on special education of information to parents and other
persons in parental relationship concerning the availability of
community support services to meet the needs of the family. The
guidelines shall be developed by the department after consultation with
the office of mental health, the office for people with developmental
disabilities, the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services, the
department of health, the department of social services and the division
for youth.

* 19. To adopt regulations prescribing the state complaint procedures
pursuant to sections 300.151 through 300.153 of title thirty-four of the
code of federal regulations, where an individual or organization files a
written complaint alleging that a public agency has violated part B of
the individuals with disabilities education act. Such regulations shall
include, but not be limited to, remedies for denial of appropriate
services, including, as appropriate, the awarding of monetary
reimbursement, compensatory services or other corrective action
appropriate to the needs of the child.

* NB Effective until June 30, 2024

* 20. To adopt regulations prescribing the state complaint procedures
pursuant to sections 300.660 through 300.662 of title thirty-four of the
code of federal regulations, where an individual or organization files a
written complaint alleging that a public agency has violated part B of
the individuals with disabilities education act. Such regulations shall
include, but not be limited to, remedies for denial of appropriate
services, including, as appropriate, the awarding of monetary
reimbursement or other corrective action appropriate to the needs of the
child.

* NB Effective June 30, 2024

21. (a) To require special act school districts listed in chapter five
hundred sixty-six of the laws of nineteen hundred sixty-seven, as
amended, to provide, on an annual basis or more frequently, as needed,
enrollment reports, including current and projected enrollments,
proposed budgets and any financial information the commissioner deems
appropriate, which shall include, but not be limited to, outstanding
revenue anticipation notes as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision
one of section fifty-five of the state finance law, balance owed to
employee benefit systems, outstanding bonds, lease costs, and any other
debts to monitor the fiscal stability of special act school districts.

(b) Upon receiving the information identified in paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, the department shall determine if any special act district
is in need of financial guidance and assistance upon a comprehensive
review of such information provided. Upon a determination that a special
act district is in need of financial guidance and assistance, the
department shall, as soon as practicable, provide the district with
specific recommendations to improve the special act district's financial
standing in the short and long-term.