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Report of Regents Higher Education/Professional Practice Joint Meeting Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Higher Education Committee and Professional Practice Committee held a joint meeting on February 23, 2016.  All members were present with the exception of Regent Cea and Regent Finn who were absent and excused.

Matters not requiring action:

Proposed amendment to Section 59.4 and 80-1.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Citizenship.  Your Committees discussed a proposed amendment relating to citizenship for the professions and teaching and educational leadership service.  Currently, individuals granted deferred action childhood arrivals (DACA) relief under Federal Executive Order and are allowed to continue to be lawfully present in the United States without fear of deportation are not eligible for State licensure in the professions or those seeking their professional teaching certification under the Regulations of the Commissioner.  However, New York enables hundreds of thousands of undocumented students, including DACA students, to receive education through the state’s public school system and graduate with New York high school diplomas. Yet their futures historically have been circumscribed by current federal law restricting the issuance of professional licenses based on immigration status and State laws and/or regulations that imposed citizenship requirements for professional licensing in certain professions and for certification as a teacher or school leader. 

However, the case law on the citizenship requirements for State licensure has been evolving over the past decade and recent case law dictates that it is time for a change.   Based on the rationale in the recent cases, the Department recommends that the Board of Regents use its broad authority over the granting of licenses in the Title VIII professions and the certification of teachers to promulgate regulations expressly authorizing otherwise qualified aliens who are not unlawfully present in the U.S. and who meet all other licensure requirements except citizenship to become licensed or certified. 

It is anticipated that this proposed amendment will be before the Board at the May 2016 Regents Meeting for action.  HE/PPC (D) 1

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 10:15am