Meeting of the Board of Regents | June 2007
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Proposed 2008 Regents Priority Legislation
June 15, 2007
Action to Implement Regents P-16 Plan
Issue for Discussion
Development of Regents state and federal legislative proposals for 2008.
Reason(s) for Consideration
Implementation of policy.
Each committee will discuss its respective proposals during the June 25-26 meeting.
Each year the Regents identify policy issues that will require legislation for implementation. Some are carried over from the previous year and some are new. Those requiring a state appropriation are included in SED’s budget proposal. The others are proposed for introduction during the legislative session. The process for developing legislative priorities is synchronized with the process for developing the Regents budget proposal. The Governmental Relations staff, led by Diana Hinchcliff, has pulled together the attached recommendations for Regents consideration.
A proposed list of 2008 Regents priority legislation is included with this cover memo.
Staff recommends a full discussion of the 2008 federal and state legislative priorities in the respective board committees. Based on Regents comments, staff would be directed to finalize further the legislative priorities ensuring alignment with the Regents P-16 plan.
Timetable for Implementation
June Meeting: The board committees discuss proposed legislative priorities.
July Meeting: The full board discusses and if necessary refines the proposed priorities based on review.
September Meeting: The full board acts on its 2008 proposed legislative priorities and its 2008-09 budget proposal.
PROPOSED REGENTS PRIORITY LEGISLATION FOR 2008
ARRANGED BY BOARD COMMITTEE
The following represents state and federal legislative priorities for 2008. Any legislative proposal enacted this year will be withdrawn and bill numbers identified are for current version introduced during 2007-2008 session. The legislature priorities have been organized by Board committee below:
1. Allow Retired Teachers to Teach in Shortage Areas
Description: Amend the Retirement and Social Security Law to permit retired public employees who hold a valid teaching certificate to teach subjects and in areas for which there is a shortage of teachers (math, science, bilingual education, special education) and in high needs schools without a cap on the salary they earn while also receiving a state pension. The Commissioner and New York City Department of Education chancellor would have to certify the need for teachers and the term of the employment would be limited. This would help relieve the statewide shortage of qualified teachers for these subjects, areas and schools.
History: First proposed in 1999. Supported by New York State United Teachers, New York State School Boards Association, New York State Council of School Superintendents and New York City Department of Education. (S.5752-Saland/A.9075-A-Abbate)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 11 (#7): Strengthen instruction. Ensure all students are taught by qualified, certified teachers. Expand the pool of qualified teachers in areas where they are needed most. P. 5 (#2) & P. 6 (#3): Improve academic outcomes for children with disabilities and English language learners by holding schools accountable for dramatic improvements.
2. Additional Funding for Independent Living Centers
Description: New York’s Independent Living Centers serve over 80,000 individuals and thousands of businesses. They provide support to help disabled youth transition into adult life, acquire job readiness skills and access the services they need to live in the community. The ILCs would be able to support a larger population with more funding.
History: Annual appropriation needed. The Regents requested $5 million in additional funding in the 2007-08 state budget. The enacted budget included $500,000 for the existing centers plus $1 million for three new centers.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 6 (#2): Increase the number of students with disabilities transitioning directly from high schools to vocational rehabilitation training programs, employment or college.
3. Strengthen Early Childhood Education
Description: Provide funding for full-day kindergarten. Lower the compulsory school age to 5 (it is now 6). Current law makes kindergarten optional and allows school districts to offer only half-day kindergarten programs. If children are to have the skills necessary to live in a global economy that places a premium on technology and information and is evolving at a very rapid pace, they need to have the solid foundation that kindergarten brings. All students should have an equal opportunity for and access to a good start in their educational career.
History: First proposed in 2006. The Regents requested $3 million in the 2007-08 state budget for full-day kindergarten planning grants for school districts. The enacted budget provided funding for pre-kindergarten but not full-day kindergarten.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 4 (#1): Promote a sustainable early education program for all students.
4. Create an Office of Educational & Academic Technology
Description: $500,000 is needed to create a new Office of Educational and Academic Technology to increase and improve SED’s ability to use computer technology to more efficiently collect and analyze data to monitor and improve student performance.
History: First proposed in 2006.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 11 (#7): Accelerate the integration of technology into teaching and learning practices in P-16 institutions.
5. Reduce the Number of Required School District Reports
Description: Eliminate a substantial portion of the reporting and planning requirements imposed by state statute. Once this legislation is passed, SED would review its regulations and eliminate those that are duplicative or unnecessary. And, SED would establish a streamlined and unified data collection system to eliminate duplicative reporting and limit plans and reports to those necessary to carry out critical state interests, such as: maintaining accountability, closing the gap between expected and actual student achievement and protecting health and safety in schools. Federal statutory requirements would be streamlined where possible and state and federal requirements would be aligned. The net effect would be to require data reporting only once and continuously improve data collection.
History: New in 2004. (A.8687-Nolan/S.1773-A-Saland)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: Would allow school districts more time to focus on implementing P-16 Plan actions.
6. Amend the BOCES District Superintendent Salary Cap
Description: Create a salary structure designed to attract qualified candidates for BOCES district superintendent positions.
History: New proposal.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: Would install experienced, qualified leaders as district superintendents, thus enabling sound implementation of the P-16 plan.
1. Reauthorize the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act
Description: NCLB expires in 2007 and must be reauthorized. The Regents have submitted comprehensive recommendations to Congress to reform NCLB to ensure improvements are made to align it with the Regents P-16 agenda. The Regents have identified five high priority issues:
- Single Accountability Designation: Permit states to use Title I criteria alone, including the assessments of student subgroups, to determine when a school or district is in need of improvement. Additional measurements under Title III and IDEA should be used only to determine additional needs of special populations.
- Growth Models: Give states the option of using a growth model, a status model, or a combination of both to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
- Targeted Interventions and Differentiated Consequences: Permit schools to target remediation or interventions to the subgroups of students who are not achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) rather than requiring that an entire school or district be subject to intervention.
- Assessments for Special Populations (English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities): Permit states to develop valid and reliable assessments for different sub-populations of ELLs and students with disabilities that will lead to more effective interventions.
- Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT): Continue to support states’ efforts to meet reasonable HQT goals and provide incentives for states to pilot approaches to improve teacher effectiveness.
In addition, the Regents have called for full funding of NCLB with emphasis on: Title I, school improvement grants, state assessment grants, state data systems, Title V grants for innovative programs, teacher quality grants, Enhancing Education Through Technology, Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, Reading First & Early Reading First programs, and Even Start program. The House and Senate are currently writing bills. Both houses anticipate having an agreed-on bill by the fall.
History: Enacted into law in 2002.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 10 (#6): Raise the learning standards to exceed global standards so all students graduate ready for citizenship, work, and continued education. Align standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction across P-16, emphasizing transitions between high school and college, and high school and the workforce.
P. 14 (#9): Strengthen the capacity of the State Education Department to support schools as they work to improve student achievement and the Department’s capacity to hold them accountable for doing so.
P. 15 (#10): Create a P-16 data system to drive improvements in graduation rates in high school and higher education.
2. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Description: IDEA ensures that children with disabilities get the services they need. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth. Social studies should be added to the list of qualifying subjects for first year special education teachers to meet Highly Qualified Teacher requirements. IDEA should be fully funded, including state grants.
History: Annual appropriations required. Must be fully funded.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 5 (#2): Improve academic outcomes for children with disabilities by setting performance targets, promoting effective practices and holding schools accountable for dramatic improvements.
3. Reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Description: WIA connects the parts of the education system that address out-of-school youth and adults (vocational rehabilitation, adult education and family literacy, and postsecondary vocational and technical education) with workforce development. Priority issues are:
- Creating new line-item appropriation or renew NY’s authority to oversee one-stop infrastructure funding
- Maintaining program balance between In-school and out-of-school youth & simplify eligibility requirements
- Expanding state boards to include representative for persons with disabilities and maintain their representation on local boards
- Creating new grant program for states with high performing adult education systems
- Increasing percentage of funding for permitted for state leadership activities
- Maintaining maintenance of effort requirements
- Creating health literacy program
- Establishing new funding source to enhance transition services for students with disabilities
- Revising funding formula for vocational rehabilitation state grants
- Funding adult education state grants
History: WIA is overdue for reauthorization. Adequate funding is needed.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 10 (#6): Will enable students to be ready for citizenship, work and continued education. P. 6 (#2): Increase the number of students with disabilities transitioning directly from high schools to vocational rehabilitation training programs, employment and/or college.
4. Maintain Medicaid reimbursement for school-based services to students with disabilities, including for administrative and transportation services
Description: Low income students with disabilities are entitled to Medicaid reimbursement for certain health-related services that enable them to attend school with their non-disabled peers. These services are mandated by federal law. The federal government may discontinue this reimbursement through regulation. Should these services not be eligible for reimbursement, the states or school districts would have to assume the expense. Rep. Dingell (D-MI) has introduced a bill (H.R.1017) in the House of Representatives that would require the federal government to provide this reimbursement. In addition, the Medicaid budget must contain adequate funds for school districts to provide these services
History: Commissioner Mills wrote to US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt in 2006 opposing the elimination of these reimbursements and urging full funding of IDEA, which in connection with adequate Medicaid funding would enable students with disabilities to receive the health-related services they need.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: Will enable low income students with disabilities to attend school and graduate.
5. Secure Continuation of the E-rate Program
Description: The E-rate program provides funding to telecommunications vendors to support discounts to schools and libraries for telecommunications, Internet access and internal connections (cables and network infrastructure). The discount rate depends on schools’ and libraries’ participation in the National School Lunch Program and their urban/rural status. Annual requests for E-rate funding exceed the funds available.
History: Requires an annual appropriation. Must be fully funded so all school districts and libraries that need telecommunications equipment are able to have it.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 11 (#7): Accelerate the integration of technology into teaching and learning practices in P-16 institutions.
6. Head Start
Description: Head Start promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. Head Start funding should be allowed to be used for all state-approved pre-kindergarten programs. Standards, curriculum, assessment and data reporting in pre-kindergarten and early education programs should be coordinated with state and local education agencies.
History: Annual appropriations needed. Must be fully funded so as many children as should be in this program can be served. (The House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee has proposed an additional $75 million in the federal fiscal year 2008 budget for a total of $6.96 billion.)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 4 (#1): Promote a sustainable early education program for all students. Resolve issues of standards, funding and service delivery for young children.
STATE AID SUBCOMMITTEE
Description: Continue the Foundation Formula based on the costs of successful educational programs. Adequately fund state aid. The state aid proposal for fiscal year 2008-2009 is under development.
History: The 2007-08 state budget enacted a modified version of the Regents Foundation Formula into law.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 14 (#8): Advocate for a foundation formula to provide state aid that is adequate, sustainable, fair and commensurate with the cost of educational programs that enable students to meet the standards.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE COMMITTEE
1. Funding for SED to implement Student Lending, Accountability, Transparence and Enforcement Law
Description: Provide $800,000 for the first year and continued funding thereafter for SED to carry out its responsibilities under this law, intended to reform the student loans industry. SED must: write regulations for and oversee the practices of banks and lending institutions that make student loans, oversee reporting requirements for loan officers and financial aid officers, investigate alleged violations, conduct hearings and levy fines for violations, and administer a grant program using the fines to provide information to prospective borrowers. This is not expertise that SED has currently.
History: Attorney general’s initiative. Enacted as Chapter 41 of the Laws of 2007.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 10 (#5): Require colleges and universities to provide prospective students with accurate information on colleges and student financial assistance before they enroll.
2. Authority to Charge a Fee to Enforce the Prosecution of Illegal Practice of the Professions
Description: Chapter 615 of the Laws of 2003 gave SED the authority to prosecute illegal
practice but did not provide funding. SED’s budgetary constraints make designated funding an imperative for implementing the required activities. SED needs statutory authority to impose a $10 surcharge on registrations and re-registrations. The fee is expected to generate roughly $2 million annually. A coalition of associations representing 750,000 professionals supports this fee.
History: First proposed in 1999. (A.1928-Canestrari).
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: Not addressed directly. Will protect the public from harm by unlicensed professionals.
3. Update The Public Accountancy Statute
Description: The practice of public accountancy has evolved to include professional services and practices that were not offered when the current statute was enacted in 1947. Expanding the definition of practice to include all types of professional services that reflect contemporary business practices, including tax return preparation, financial planning, management consulting, investment management and the like, would strengthen public protection.
History: First proposed in 1999.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: Not addressed directly. Will protect the public who use the services of public accountants.
4. Update Statutory Requirements for Regulation of Oversight of Proprietary Schools
Description: The current fee and fine structures would be increased and adjusted to support SED’s oversight of non-degree granting proprietary schools. This will protect students from illegal and unethical practices, create a candidacy school program to eliminate unlicensed schools, and create a disbursement schedule for private lenders that are required to reimburse students from the Tuition Reimbursement Account when schools go bankrupt or are in financial difficulty.
History: First proposed in 2006.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 10 (#5): Monitor high risk institutions and take action when standards are not met.
5. Grant Program for Colleges to Provide Services to Students with Disabilities
Description: Students with disabilities are graduating from high school and going to college in higher numbers than ever before. Because the cost of accommodations such as computer systems, interpreters and captioning services is prohibitive for some colleges, students often are forced to choose a college based on the support services available instead of academic excellence. Tuition and student fees do not cover the cost of these accommodations. This proposal is coordinated with VESID.
History: First proposed in 2001. The Regents proposed $15 million in the 2007-08 budget. The enacted budget did not include this funding. (A.7330-Titus/S.3436-Morahan).
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 6 (#2): Increase the number of students with disabilities transitioning directly from high schools to college.
6. TAP For Incarcerated Persons
Description: Would make incarcerated persons enrolled in higher education eligible to receive student aid under the state’s Tuition Assistance Program.
History: New proposal.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 9 (#5): Seek additional state investment to expand financial aid for needy students.
Reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA)
Description: HEA supports states’ efforts to extend educational opportunity and maintain a highly skilled workforce and citizenry. It funds student financial assistance, early outreach and student services, teacher quality development and postsecondary institutions. Particular recommendations are: Expand college access; expand preparation and professional development programs for school personnel; align highly qualified teacher reporting requirements with No Child Left Behind; and establish a TRIO program option for students with disabilities who face socioeconomic and related barriers to higher education. Sufficient funding is needed for: Pell grants (tuition aid), Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG); Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP), Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) and TRIO. LEAP, GEAR UP and TRIO provide funds to help low income and at-risk youth prepare for and succeed in undergraduate and graduate study.
History: Requires an annual appropriation. It must be fully funded.
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 9 (#5): Increase investment in [college] programs that have been shown to remove barriers to graduation. P. 8 (#4): Promote good practices statewide to improve…college graduation rates among low income students.
CULTURAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
1. Funding for the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL)
Description: NOVEL puts a high quality library at everyone’s fingertips, with information resources not freely available on the Internet. Full funding for NOVEL will save libraries a significant amount of money that they can invest in other resources. Even small institutions would have available the powerful information tools usually reserved for only the largest
libraries. NOVEL is currently funded with temporary federal dollars. NOVEL needs permanent state support if it is to become a primary source of information, research and expert assistance for students, business people, faculty, researchers and the general public. NOVEL is part of the New York Knowledge Initiative.
History: First proposed in 1998. (A.7272-Paulin/S-2125-Farley)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 5 (#1): Increase literacy of children & parents by expanding programs in libraries.
2. Funding for the New York Knowledge Initiative
Description: A comprehensive program that would fund: state research library renovation and services (Saturday hours & disabled readers services); NOVEL; library systems; library construction and renovation; Summer Reading Program; services for English language learners; library, museum & public broadcasting station trustee training; early literacy programs for libraries, museums and public TV stations; library and museum services for students with disabilities; learning standards-aligned content using resources of the NYS Archives, Library, Museum and public broadcasting; management, disposition and preservation of state and local government electronic records; and disaster preparedness and recovery for collections and records held by NY’s governments and cultural institutions.
History: First proposed in 1998. The Regents requested $27 million in the 2007-08 state budget, which included funding for NOVEL, library systems and library construction. The enacted budget included $5 million additional aid for library systems and $14 million additional funding for library construction but no funding for NOVEL. (S.2125-Farley)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 5 (#1): Increase literacy of children & parents by expanding programs in libraries. Increase participation in summer reading program. P. 7 (#3): Expand library services to additional English language learners. P. 11 (#6): Create standards-aligned content with extensive online library resources.
3. Museum Education Act
Description: $30 million to empower New York’s cultural and science institutions to create K-12 educational programs aligned with the state learning standards, support innovative teaching strategies for learning 21st century skills, and provide access for all New York students to the state’s cultural heritage. The emphasis on experiential learning. Cultural institutions, natural history organizations and museums would be eligible for grants for programs aligned with the state learning standards. In addition, $5 million in grants for performing arts institutions would be administered by the NYS Council on the Arts.
History: New proposal in 2007. Interest by Regents to increase funding level and broaden title and scope. (A.8685-Nolan/S.5781-Saland)
Alignment with the Regents P-16 Plan: P. 5 (#1): Increase literacy of children & parents by expanding programs in museums. P. 10 (#6): Raise the learning standards to exceed global standards so all students graduate ready for citizenship, work and continued education.
4. Criminal History Checks for Office of Cultural Education Employees & Volunteers
Description: Would require OCE employees and volunteers to be fingerprinted as a condition of employment or acceptance as a volunteer. This would protect children and students who tour the State Museum, State Archives and State Library and reduce the possibility of theft of valuable and irreplaceable items and artifacts.
History: First proposed in 2006. (A.8683-Nolan/S.4331/Saland)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: Not addressed directly. Needed to protect students’ and others while visiting the State Museum, State Archives and State Library.
1. Reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act
Description: New York’s libraries use MLSA grant funds to sustain services for their communities. Grant amounts to states are based on population. New York’s population is not increasing at the same rate as other states’. Full funding is needed so libraries can improve services to underserved areas and provide information resources such as computers and Internet access, coordinated programs for digitization and digital archiving, shared electronic catalogs, high speed broadband telecommunications and 24/7 online reference and resource sharing services.
History: An annual appropriation is required. Funding level should be adequate for the need. (The House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee proposed $254 million for federal fiscal year 2008.)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 5 (#1): Increase literacy of children & parents by expanding programs in museums.
2. Fund Public Education Programs
Description: Funding must continue for these programs: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Public Telecommunications Facilities Program; rural digital telecommunications; National Historical Publications & Records Commission; Partnership for the American Historical Record; Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program; Improving Literacy Through School Libraries; Star Schools.
History: Annual appropriations needed. Funding level should be adequate for the need. (The House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee proposed forward funding of $420 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for federal fiscal year 2010, a $20 million increase; and level funding of $29.7 million for rural digital telecommunications for federal fiscal year 2008.)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 10 (#6): Will contribute to aligning standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction across P-16, emphasizing transitions between high school and college, and high school and the workforce so all students graduate ready for citizenship, work and continued education.
3. Support Public Television’s “Ready to Compete” Agenda
Description: Funding is needed to sustain Ready to Learn and Ready to Teach, and to create Ready to Achieve (Math, Science, Technology and Innovation), Ready to Earn (Workforce Training and Adult Education) and Ready to Thrive (Public Health).
History: Annual and new appropriations needed. Funding level should be adequate for the need. (The House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee proposed level funding of $24.3 million for Ready to Learn and $10.9 million for Ready to Teach for federal fiscal year 2008.)
Alignment with Regents P-16 Plan: P. 10 (#6): Raise the learning standards to exceed global standards so all students graduate ready for citizenship, work and continued education.