NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9533A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to
requiring a licensed or certified social worker in each elementary,
intermediate, middle, junior high and senior high school
To insure that all elementary, intermediate, middle, junior and senior
high schools throughout New York State have an effective social work
program in place to meet the needs of their students.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The education law is amended by adding a new section 803-B, to require
the board of trustees of every school district to employ at least one
licensed or certified social worker in each elementary, intermediate,
middle, junior high and senior high school under their jurisdiction.
This employment shall be exclusive of any social workers funded or
mandated through any special education funding, aid, regulation or stat-
The role and function of a licensed or certified school social worker
and the role and function of other pupil personnel services are
distinctly separate. In addition to possessing certification through the
Office of Teaching Initiatives, school social workers are licensed by
the New York State Board of Regents with a scope of practice legally
protected under Article 154 of the New York State Education Law.
Licensed and certified school social workers are at the forefront of
school social, behavioral, and community issues. The skills and compe-
tencies of these licensed and certified school social workers enable
schools to carry out their primary functions of educating all pupils
Reducing or eliminating the presence of social workers in our schools
would have a devastating effect on our students. Given the current
economic crisis and the resulting impact on families and children,
stress and worry has risen sharply due to loss of income, rising debt,
unemployment, underemployment, loss of insurance, housing instability,
hunger, and many other factors. These factors are known to contribute to
increased incidence of mental illness, substance abuse, suicide,
violence, crime, and in an academic environment, may be attributed to
increased absence and risk of school failure.
Licensed and certified school social workers are qualified to address
these factors. By applying appropriate intervention strategies, school
social workers are able to alleviate some of these issues and support
academic success. Every student in New York deserves equal access to
services and every school in New York should provide the important
services social workers can provide.
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
January 19, 2018
Introduced by M. of A. ORTIZ, QUART -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Education -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring a licensed
or certified social worker in each elementary, intermediate, middle,
junior high and senior high school
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 803-b
2 to read as follows:
3 § 803-b. Social workers licensed under article one hundred fifty-four
4 of this chapter or certified pursuant to rules and regulations estab-
5 lished by the department, required in elementary, intermediate, middle,
6 junior high and senior high schools. The board of education or trustees
7 of every public school district in the state shall on and after July
8 first, two thousand eighteen employ and provide access to at least one
9 licensed or certified school social worker in each of the schools under
10 their jurisdiction exclusive of any school social workers funded or
11 mandated through any special education funding, aid, regulation or stat-
12 ute. Such licensed or certified school social worker shall perform such
13 duties within their lawful scope of practice.
14 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.