A07569 Summary:

SAME ASNo same as
Add S3613, Ed L
Creates the parent empowerment pilot program which permits the parents of pupils attending a persistently lowest-achieving school to choose an education intervention model.
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A07569 Actions:

05/10/2011referred to education
06/16/2011amend and recommit to education
06/16/2011print number 7569a
01/04/2012referred to education
02/01/2012amend and recommit to education
02/01/2012print number 7569b
04/18/2012amend (t) and recommit to education
04/18/2012print number 7569c
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A07569 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2011-2012 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      May 10, 2011
        Introduced  by  M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES, GANTT -- read once and referred
          to the Committee on Education -- committee discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered  reprinted  as  amended  and  recommitted to said committee --
          recommitted to the Committee on Education in accordance with  Assembly
          Rule  3,  sec.  2  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered

          reprinted as amended  and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --  again
          reported  from  said  committee  with amendments, ordered reprinted as
          amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to permitting the parents
          of students attending a persistently lowest-achieving school to choose
          an education intervention model; and providing for the repeal of  such
          provisions upon expiration thereof
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds  that  the
     2  current state of our education system in New York state is not providing
     3  all its students with access to the best possible education, thus inhib-
     4  iting  their  ability  to become fully participating members of society.

     5  New York state was recently ranked 35th in the country in their progress
     6  on the National Assessment of Educational Progress,  otherwise  referred
     7  to  as  the Nation's Report Card, a national test instituted every other
     8  year to students  in  every  state.  The  gaps  in  achievement  between
     9  students  based on race and geographic location are staggering and unac-
    10  ceptable. In 2011, White students in New York state were almost twice as
    11  likely as their African-American and Hispanic counterparts to meet basic
    12  standards in reading and  writing.  According  to  the  state  education
    13  department,  in 2011 only 47% of public high school students in the city
    14  of Buffalo and the city of Rochester graduated, a reduction from  a  53%
    15  graduation rate in 2009.
    16    Although there have been steps taken on the state level to correct and

    17  reverse  these  alarming  trends and gaps in achievement, the speed with
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 7569--C                          2
     1  which they are implemented is insufficient, and  the  varying  needs  of
     2  districts  cannot  be  met  by  one  universal approach. The legislature
     3  believes that to ensure the  successful  rehabilitation  of  our  lowest
     4  performing  schools, we must engage and encourage the involvement of the
     5  parents in the process. Allowing parents  to  assert  control  over  how
     6  persistently  lowest  achieving  schools  are revitalized will instill a
     7  sense of ownership over the approach implemented, and help ensure  their

     8  continued  involvement  in  the  process.  When  considering how to best
     9  address their individual situation, parents will have to  become  organ-
    10  ized  and  informed  about  the  different  challenges the school faces.
    11  Parental involvement is the only aspect of  education  reform  that  the
    12  state  and  the  local educational authorities have little to no control
    13  over, yet it is a requirement for many programs and grants  designed  to
    14  assist in these much needed reforms.
    15    Therefore,  this  legislation will provide a pilot program that allows
    16  parents, in a portion the state identified as having persistently lowest
    17  achieving schools, to collectively come together and  provide  direction
    18  on how to correct and ensure the adequate education of their children.
    19    §  2.  Short  title.  This  act shall be known and may be cited as the
    20  "parent empowerment pilot program".

    21    § 3. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3613 to read
    22  as follows:
    23    § 3613. Parent empowerment pilot program. 1. For the purposes of  this
    24  section, the following terms shall mean:
    25    a.  "Persistently  lowest-achieving school" means a public school that
    26  has failed to make annual year progress for four years in a row or  more
    27  as identified by the commissioner.
    28    b.  "Intervention  model" means federal education intervention models,
    29  which include the turnaround model, restart model, transformation  model
    30  or closure model.
    31    c.  "Turnaround  model" means that a school must replace the principal
    32  and rehire no more than fifty percent of the school's staff, adopt a new

    33  governance structure,  provide  job-embedded  professional  development,
    34  offer  staff  financial  and  career-advancement incentives, implement a
    35  research-based,  aligned  instructional  program,  extend  learning  and
    36  teacher planning time, create a community-orientation, and provide oper-
    37  ating flexibility.
    38    d.  "Restart  model"  means  that  a school closes and reopens under a
    39  charter school operator, a charter management organization (CMO)  or  an
    40  education  partnership  organization  that  has  been selected through a
    41  rigorous review process. A restart model must enroll, within the  grades
    42  it serves, any former student who wishes to attend.
    43    e. "Transformation model" means that a school must replace the princi-

    44  pal, provide job-embedded professional development, implement a rigorous
    45  teacher-evaluation   and  reward  system,  offer  financial  and  career
    46  advancement incentives, implement  comprehensive  instructional  reform,
    47  extend  learning- and teacher-planning time, create a community-orienta-
    48  tion, and provide operating flexibility and sustained support.
    49    f. "Closure model" means that the school is closed  and  its  students
    50  are enrolled in other, higher-achieving schools.
    51    g.  "School district" means a local education authority with jurisdic-
    52  tion over a subject school.
    53    h. "Final disposition" means a decision  by  a  school  district  with
    54  regard to a petition seeking the implementation of an intervention model

    55  at a subject school under their jurisdiction.

        A. 7569--C                          3
     1    i. "Petition" means a document used by petitioners seeking support for
     2  an intervention model at a subject school consistent with the provisions
     3  of this section.
     4    j. "Petitioner" means a parent or other person working with parents of
     5  a  subject school to collect signatures in support of a petition seeking
     6  to implement an intervention model at a subject school.
     7    k. "Lead petitioner" means up to five parents with  students  enrolled
     8  in  a  subject  school who initiate and lead a petition drive seeking to
     9  implement an intervention model in that subject school.

    10    l. "Contact person" means an individual lead petitioner designated  to
    11  be  the  official  contact person with regard to official communications
    12  required under this section.
    13    m. "Parent" means a parent, legal guardian, or foster parent responsi-
    14  ble for education decisions for a public school student  enrolled  in  a
    15  subject school.
    16    n.  "Subject school" means a persistently lowest-achieving school that
    17  is the subject of a petition seeking to implement an intervention model.
    18    o. "Eligible student" means a student enrolled at a subject school  on
    19  the  date  when a petition seeking the implementation of an intervention
    20  model is commenced.
    21    2. a. Any  school  identified  by  the  commissioner  as  persistently

    22  lowest-achieving  shall  be  eligible  for  participation  in the parent
    23  empowerment pilot program. The program shall allow parents of a  subject
    24  school to circulate petitions in support of an intervention model, which
    25  a  school  district shall act upon pursuant to this section if fifty-one
    26  percent or more of the parents of the students enrolled in  the  subject
    27  school  sign a petition in support of the intervention model. Such peti-
    28  tion shall be prepared and submitted  in  accordance  with  subdivisions
    29  three,  four and five of this section. Such petition shall identify only
    30  one intervention model, and all eligible parents shall be  afforded  the
    31  opportunity to participate.
    32    b.  A  school  district  must  provide  in  writing  to any person who

    33  requests it total subject school  enrollment  data  and  the  number  of
    34  signatures  that  would  be  required to implement an intervention model
    35  pursuant to the standard provided in paragraph a of this subdivision.
    36    c. Upon submission of a petition, the school  district  in  which  the
    37  subject  school  is located shall be required to implement the specified
    38  intervention model or an alternative intervention model pursuant to  the
    39  provisions of subdivision six of this section.
    40    d.    Notwithstanding  any provision of law to the contrary, a subject
    41  school which is designated in accordance with this section to restart as
    42  a charter school shall apply for a charter  and  operate  in  accordance

    43  with article fifty-six of this chapter, provided however:
    44    (i)  a  charter  school created under this subdivision shall serve the
    45  same population and grades as the previous school;
    46    (ii) notwithstanding any other provision of law, all students enrolled
    47  at the time the petition process commences shall be given  the  opportu-
    48  nity  to  enroll  in  the charter school prior to the admission of other
    49  students; and
    50    (iii) the provisions of paragraph (b) of subdivision three and subpar-
    51  agraph (i) of paragraph (b-1) of subdivision three of  section  2854  of
    52  this  chapter shall not apply to charter schools opened pursuant to this
    53  section.
    54    3. a. A petition shall only contain signatures of parents of  students

    55  attending the subject school.
    56    b. Only one parent per student may sign a petition.

        A. 7569--C                          4
     1    c.  A  petition  may be signed by a parent once for each of his or her
     2  students attending the subject school, provided however a separate peti-
     3  tion box must be completed in its  entirety  for  each  of  his  or  her
     4  students.
     5    d.  A petition may be circulated and presented in sections, so long as
     6  each section complies with requirements set forth  in  this  subdivision
     7  and  subdivision four of this section regarding the content of the peti-
     8  tion.
     9    e. Signature gatherers may  not  offer  gifts,  rewards,  or  tangible

    10  incentives  to parents to sign a petition. Nor shall signature gatherers
    11  make any threats of coercive action, false statements or false  promises
    12  of  benefits  to  parents  in order to persuade them to sign a petition,
    13  except that signature gatherers, school site staff or other  members  of
    14  the  public may discuss education related improvements hoped to be real-
    15  ized by implementing any intervention described  in  these  regulations.
    16  Signature gatherers, students, school site staff, school district staff,
    17  members  of  the  community,  and parents shall be free from harassment,
    18  threats, and intimidation related to circulation of or signing  a  peti-
    19  tion,  and  from being discouraged to sign or being encouraged to revoke

    20  their signature on a petition. Signature  gatherers  shall  disclose  if
    21  they are being paid and shall not be paid per signature.
    22    f.  Subject  school or district resources shall not be used to impede,
    23  assist or in any way influence the petition signature gathering  process
    24  other than as specifically provided in this section.
    25    4.  a. The petition and each section of the petition shall contain the
    26  following elements:
    27    (i) a heading which states that it is a petition of parents to request
    28  that a model intervention be implemented at the specified subject school
    29  and to be submitted to a specified school district;
    30    (ii) a statement that the petition seeks the signatures of the  parent

    31  of the students attending the subject school;
    32    (iii)  the  name  and public contact information of the contact person
    33  who is to be contacted by persons interested in the petition or  by  the
    34  school district;
    35    (iv) identification of the intervention model;
    36    (v)  a  description  of  the intervention model using the language set
    37  forth in paragraphs c, d, e, or f of subdivision  one  of  this  section
    38  without  omission, to ensure full disclosure of the impact of the inter-
    39  vention model;
    40    (vi) the name of the subject school;
    41    (vii) boxes that are consecutively numbered commencing with number  1,
    42  with  sufficient space for the signature of each petition signer as well

    43  as his or her printed name, date, student's name, the student's date  of
    44  birth,  and  the  student's current grade. The boxes may also have space
    45  for the signer's address, city or unincorporated community name, and zip
    46  code, or request other information, and, if so, the petition shall  make
    47  clear  that providing such information is voluntary and cannot be made a
    48  condition of signing;
    49    (viii) an affirmation that the signing parent is requesting the school
    50  district to implement the identified intervention model at  the  subject
    51  school;
    52    (ix)  if requesting that a school district implement the restart model
    53  and that the subject school be reopened under a specific charter  school

    54  operator,  charter  management  organization,  or  education partnership
    55  organization, a clear statement containing that information on the front
    56  of the petition, including contact information  of  the  charter  school

        A. 7569--C                          5
     1  operator,  charter  management  organization  or  education  partnership
     2  organization; and
     3    (x) the names of any agencies or organizations that are supporting the
     4  petition, either through direct financial assistance or in-kind contrib-
     5  utions  of staff and volunteer support, must be prominently displayed on
     6  the front page of the petition.
     7    b. The department shall develop a  sample  petition,  which  shall  be

     8  available  on  the  department's  website. The department shall make the
     9  sample petition available in the languages predominantly spoken  in  the
    10  affected  community  upon request. A petitioner shall not be required to
    11  use the sample petition; however, alternate petitions must  contain  all
    12  required  components  pursuant  to  this section and regulatory require-
    13  ments.
    14    5. a. Completed petitions shall be submitted to the school district by
    15  the lead petitioners. Lead petitioners may not submit a petition to  the
    16  school  district  until  they have collected the signatures of fifty-one
    17  percent or more of the subject school parents. The date of submission of
    18  the petition shall be the start date for implementation of all statutory

    19  and regulatory requirements established pursuant to this section.
    20    b. Consistent with paragraph a of subdivision  six  of  this  section,
    21  lead  petitioners  shall  be  allowed to resubmit their petition once to
    22  correct errors identified by  the  school  district,  verify  signatures
    23  after a good faith effort is made by the school district to do so first,
    24  or  submit additional signatures. The start date for a resubmitted peti-
    25  tion shall be the date it is resubmitted. No rolling petitions shall  be
    26  accepted by the school district.
    27    c.  At  the time of petition submission the petitioners shall submit a
    28  separate document that identifies the lead petitioners and  the  contact
    29  person  with their contact information. The school district shall subse-

    30  quently process all official communications  pursuant  to  this  section
    31  through the contact person.
    32    6.  a.  Upon  receipt  of  the  petition, the school district may make
    33  reasonable efforts to verify that the signatures on the petition can  be
    34  counted  consistent  with these regulations. A school district shall not
    35  invalidate the signature of a parent of an eligible student on  a  minor
    36  technicality,  and  shall assume that the parent is entitled to sign the
    37  petition unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the  contrary.
    38  The  school  district  shall make a good faith effort to contact parents
    39  when a signature is not clearly identifiable including  phone  calls  to
    40  the parent.

    41    b.  If,  on  the  date  the petition is submitted, a subject school is
    42  identified pursuant to paragraph a of subdivision one of  this  section,
    43  it shall remain a subject school until final disposition of the petition
    44  unless  that  school has ceased to be identified as being in improvement
    45  status.
    46    c. In connection with the  petition,  the  school  district  may  only
    47  contact  parents to verify eligible signatures on the petition. The lead
    48  petitioners for the petition shall be consulted to assist in  contacting
    49  parents when the school district fails to reach a parent.
    50    d.  Upon receipt, the school district may, within forty calendar days,
    51  return the petition to the contact person if the school district  deter-

    52  mines any of the following:
    53    (i) less than fifty-one percent of the parents of students meeting the
    54  requirements  of  paragraph  a of subdivision three of this section have
    55  signed the petition;
    56    (ii) the school named in the petition is not a subject school; or

        A. 7569--C                          6
     1    (iii) the petition does not substantially meet the requirements speci-
     2  fied in subdivisions three and four of this section. In such a case, the
     3  school district shall immediately provide  the  contact  person  written
     4  notice  of  its  reasons  for  returning the petition and its supporting
     5  findings.
     6    e.  If  the school district finds that sufficient signatures cannot be

     7  verified, it shall immediately notify the contact person and provide the
     8  contact person with the names of those parents  it  cannot  verify.  The
     9  lead  petitioners  shall  be  provided sixty calendar days to assist the
    10  school district in verifying the signatures. A number of methods may  be
    11  used, including, but not limited to, an official notarization process or
    12  having the parent appear at the school or district office.
    13    f.  If  the  school district finds errors or problems with a submitted
    14  petition other than the number of valid petition  signatures,  it  shall
    15  notify  the  contact  person  in  writing of such errors or problems and
    16  request that they be corrected or clarified prior to the final  disposi-
    17  tion of the petition.

    18    g. If the petition is returned pursuant to paragraph d, e or f of this
    19  subdivision,  the  same  petition  may be resubmitted once to the school
    20  district  with  verified  signatures  or  other  necessary  corrections,
    21  provided  that  no  substantive changes may be made to the petition. The
    22  resubmission must be completed no later than sixty calendar  days  after
    23  the  return of the petition pursuant to this subdivision. Upon resubmis-
    24  sion of the petition, the school district shall have twenty-five  calen-
    25  dar  days to verify the resubmitted signatures, additional signatures or
    26  corrections to the petition.
    27    h. If substantive changes are made to the petition, it must be  recir-

    28  culated for signatures before it may be submitted to the school district
    29  and it shall be deemed a new petition.
    30    i.  If  the  school  district does not return the petition, the school
    31  district shall have forty-five calendar days from the date the  petition
    32  is received to reach a final disposition. The date may be extended by an
    33  additional twenty-five calendar days if the school district and the lead
    34  petitioners agree to the extension in writing.
    35    j. The school district shall notify the commissioner in writing within
    36  fifteen  calendar  days  of  its  receipt of a petition, and within five
    37  calendar days of the final disposition of the petition.  The  notice  of
    38  final disposition shall state:

    39    (i)  that the school district will implement the model intervention in
    40  the petition; or
    41    (ii) the reason it cannot implement  the  intervention  model  in  the
    42  petition,  designate which intervention model it will implement instead,
    43  and how the intervention model selected  by  the  school  district  will
    44  ensure that the school will make adequate yearly progress.
    45    k. The commissioner shall review the final disposition as submitted by
    46  a  school  district.  If  the  commissioner  concludes  that  the school
    47  district has not presented sufficient grounds for rejecting  the  recom-
    48  mended  intervention  model  in the petition, or has not provided suffi-
    49  cient grounds  for  choosing  an  alternative  intervention  model,  the

    50  commissioner shall reject the school district's decision. Such rejection
    51  shall  be  provided  to  the  school district and the lead petitioner in
    52  writing within thirty days of receipt of the final disposition from  the
    53  school  district,  including issues that the school district may address
    54  in reconsidering their decision.  Upon  receipt  of  the  commissioner's
    55  decision to reject their final disposition, a school district shall have
    56  thirty  days  to  resubmit  an  amended final disposition. If the school

        A. 7569--C                          7
     1  district does not submit an amended final disposition within the  thirty
     2  day  period, the intervention model in the petition shall be implemented

     3  by the school district. If the commissioner concludes that a  re-submit-
     4  ted  final  decision  by  the school district is still insufficient, the
     5  commissioner shall, within thirty days, issue a final disposition  after
     6  consulting  with  the  school district and the lead petitioners, and the
     7  school district shall implement that intervention model on  a  timetable
     8  specified by the commissioner.
     9    7. The provisions of this section shall be applicable to cities having
    10  a population of more than two hundred twenty-five thousand and less than
    11  three hundred thousand.
    12    8.  The  commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary
    13  to implement the provisions of this section,  including  to  ensure  the

    14  transition in school governance and other changes related to implementa-
    15  tion  of  the  turnaround  model  in  a  manner  that results in minimal
    16  disruption to the instructional environment.
    17    9. By January first of the year in which this act expires, the depart-
    18  ment shall submit to the office of the governor, the  president  of  the
    19  senate,  the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate,
    20  the minority leader of the assembly, the senate  standing  committee  on
    21  education  and  the assembly standing committee on education a report of
    22  the usage, implementation, cost and  all  relevant  student  performance
    23  data for schools which participated in the parent empowerment program.

    24    §  4.  This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding
    25  the date on which it shall have become a law,  provided,  however,  that
    26  this act shall expire and be deemed repealed ten years after the date of
    27  enactment, and provided further that the commissioner of education shall
    28  be  immediately  authorized  and  directed to promulgate rules and regu-
    29  lations and take any and all other actions necessary  to  implement  the
    30  provisions of this act on such date.
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