End of Year Education Bills Signed by Governor Cuomo into Law

During November and December, the governor signed several bills into law pertaining to education. The new laws focus on special and early education and a few focused on administrative issues. The following is a brief summary of the new laws and links to the source where the language of the new laws may be found.

Relating to Students with Disabilities

  • Boards of Education must establish a policy and adopt procedures that will allow eligible students with a disability to participate in graduation ceremonies. Eligible students are those who were issued a “skills and achievement” or a “career development and occupational” commencement credential, but who have not received a local or Regents diploma. The student must have had an IEP that specified the provision of special education, transition planning or services, and/or related services beyond the four academic years following entry into high school. Parents must receive written notification annually of such policies and procedures. These new requirements can be found in Section 4402 of Education Law, subdivision nine (Article 89 Duties of School Districts): http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO
  • Committees on Special Education(CSE) must invite a representative of the Office of Mental Health, Office of Developmental Disabilities, or State Education Department (with parental permission) to the annual review prior to the eighteenth birthday of a student with disabilities who is placed in a residential program or who is placed in a day program, and the CSE has determined that such student will most likely need adult residential services. This new requirement can be found in Section 4402, subparagraphs 5 and 7 of paragraph b of subdivision 1: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO

Relating to Early Childhood

  • All school districts are considered approved evaluators of preschool students who may have a disability. A school district no longer needs to apply to the New York State Education Department. Staff conducting the evaluations must be appropriately licensed and/or certified. This new requirement can be found in Section 4410 of Education Law paragraph a, and c of subdivision 9-a: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO
  • The Office of Children and Family Services and Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance must establish a task force to examine the cost, accessibility, shortages, and levels of quality and recommendations of the provision of child care services. The first report of this task force must be submitted no later than 12/31/17 and annually thereafter. This bill became law on 12/18/17 and may be found in Social Services Law in a new section numbered 390-k: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO
  • The Council on Children and Family Services is required to provide an online listing and map of publicly funded or registered after school, summer, and school age child care programs. The list must include: recipients of competitive grants for providing after school or summer programs, extended learning time, community schools, and registered school age child care providers. The list must include the name and address of the entity and name and phone number of an individual authorized to answer questions regarding the program. A map must be developed showing the location of each program. The list and map must be updated at least annually. This new requirement may be found in new section 483-h of Social Services Law at: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO

Relating to Continued Graduate Program Participation by Current Practitioners

Currently practicing teachers and school leaders are exempt from taking the GRE (or other substantially equivalent examination) for admission to a graduate degree program, if such persons hold a graduate degree when applying for another graduate program. This new provision amended Section 210 by adding section 1 of subpart B of Education Law: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO

Relating to Miscellaneous Administrative Requirement

This new provision prohibits unauthorized and false alterations of any official student records, files, or data maintained by the school or college. This provision was needed to update the definition of student recorded in light of new technologies. The new law amends Section 225 of Education Law in subdivision 9-a: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO