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To assess the adequacy of New York State and New York City's policies relating to school facilities and the effect of these policies on the health and academic performance of students.


To receive public comment on environmental hazards present in school facilities, the health and academic impact they may have on students, and legislative action needed to correct any of these problems.


Friday, March 12, 2004,
9:00 am
Assembly Hearing Room 1923, 19th Floor
250 Broadway, New York, NY*

* Building policies require visitors to present photo identification for admission into building

New York State has approximately 4,200 school buildings that enroll over 3 million children. Of the 3 million, 1.1 million students attend New York City's 1,290 schools and programs. Most of the buildings in New York City are over fifty years old. A 2000 National Education Association study concluded that more than a third of New York State's schools, as it was for schools in other states, needed major repairs or, in some instances, needed to be replaced.

Special attention must be given to the environment of schools because of the age of school buildings, increasing enrollment, and other factors which if left unchecked may produce hazardous conditions. Schools that fail to maintain a healthy environment can seriously jeopardize the health and academic careers of students. Children are the most vulnerable group because of their age and their reliance on school officials and parents to protect them from health risks in the school setting. Schools must ensure that potential health risks are minimized and that parents are kept informed so that children can be properly protected. Action on this front has already begun: the State, through the Rebuilding Schools to Uphold Education (RESCUE) program, the Assembly's Learning, Achieving and Developing by Directing Educational Resources (LADDER) program, appropriation of funds for the removal of coal burning furnaces, and other programs and legislative initiatives, has allocated substantial resources for schools to be properly maintained and upgraded. Additionally, within the last few years, the State has banned public school districts and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) from constructing new public playgrounds using chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treated lumber and required that schools provide adequate notification of pesticide applications. As successful as these programs have been, further action is needed to ensure that a healthy school environment is provided to all students.

The Assembly has previously passed legislation that would inform students, parents, school staff and others of potential health hazards present in their schools, improve the materials used in school construction and provide school officials with adequate information for construction of schools in environmentally safe locations. These and other proposals are now before their respective Committees for consideration. To bring further attention to this very important issue, the Committees will use this public forum to hear testimony on the hazards present in schools, on different strategies at the State and local level that can protect schools from hazardous environmental threats, and on the performance of the current health and safety standards for school facilities.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committees at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committees' staff as early as possible.

Twenty copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees' interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who many have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Assemblyman Steven Sanders, Chairman
Assembly Standing Committee on Education

Assembly Standing Committee On Environmental Conservation

Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried
Assembly Standing Committee on Health


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on the Adequacy of New York State and New York City's Policies Relating to School Facilities and the Effect of these Policies on the Health and Academic Performance of Students are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail or fax it to:

Courtney Hayden
Committee Assistant
Assembly Committee on Education
Room 513 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: haydenc@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4881
Fax: (518) 455-4128

I plan to attend the following public hearing on the Adequacy of New York State and New York City's Policies Relating to School Facilities and the Effect of these Policies on the Health and Academic Performance of Students to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Education, Environmental Conservation and Health on Friday, March 12, 2004.

I plan to make a public statement at the hearing on the Adequacy of New York State and New York City's Policies Relating to School Facilities and the Effect of these Policies on the Health and Academic Performance of Students. My statement will be limited to 10 of minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.

I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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