New York Consolidated Laws, Education Law - EDN § 3602-ee. Statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten program
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1. The purpose of the universal full-day pre-kindergarten program is to incentivize and fund state-of-the-art innovative pre-kindergarten programs and to encourage program creativity through competition.
2. All universal full-day pre-kindergarten programs shall demonstrate quality on the following elements:
(b) learning environment, materials and supplies;
(c) family engagement;
(d) staffing patterns;
(e) teacher education and experience;
(f) facility quality;
(g) physical well-being, health and nutrition; and
(h) partnerships with non-profit, community and educational institutions.
3. (a) The universal full-day pre-kindergarten program shall make awards to (i) consolidated applications submitted by school districts which include pre-kindergarten programs offered by schools, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, charter schools, libraries and/or museums, which shall demonstrate geographic diversity within the area to be served as well as diversity of providers; and (ii) non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, charter schools, libraries and museums, which may apply individually to the extent allowed under paragraph (b) of this subdivision. Any consolidated application must include, but is not limited to, the names of individual locations and providers, applicable licenses, facility lease information, and intended staffing plans and certifications.
(b) Prior to submission of a consolidated application, a school district shall widely solicit non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, charter schools, libraries and museums located within the school district to be included in its application. The school district shall notify any applicant who has been denied for inclusion in the consolidated application no later than two weeks prior to submission of such application. Such eligible providers denied for inclusion may apply individually as provided in paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
(c) The department shall establish two application periods in advance of a school year.
(d) Providers awarded slots under this section that they actually utilized would continue to have such slots renewed in subsequent years provided the program meets quality standards and all applicable requirements.
4. Programs that provide more stimulation, enhance child development and demonstrate creative approaches to improve early childhood education will have a competitive advantage in the application process.
5. The department shall develop a scoring system, which it shall use to evaluate which applications shall be funded on a competitive basis based on merit and factors including but not limited to the criteria listed above and student and community need. Upon review of applications, if the program is oversubscribed in any region or regions of the state, the department shall notify the division of the budget, which shall develop a plan for distribution of available slots within any oversubscribed region. The subscription for the New York city region is three hundred million dollars. The department shall allocate full-day pre-kindergarten conversion slots and new full-day pre-kindergarten slots based on available funding and shall make payments upon documentation of eligible expenditures in the base year, which shall be limited to the actual number of slots operated and paid on a per-pupil basis pursuant to subdivision fourteen of this section.
6. The department shall develop a statewide inspection protocol, which shall provide for annual inspections of all universal full-day pre-kindergarten providers, and shall develop a quality assurance protocol and physical plant review protocol for such reviews.
7. Statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten slots shall only be awarded to support programs that provide instruction for at least five hours per school day for the full school year and that otherwise comply with the rules and requirements pursuant to section thirty-six hundred two-e of this part except as otherwise provided in this section.
8. All teachers in the universal full-day pre-kindergarten program shall meet the same teacher certification standards applicable to public schools. Pre-kindergarten teachers providing instruction through this section shall possess:
(a) a teaching license or certificate valid for service in the early childhood grades; or
(b) a teaching license or certificate for students with disabilities valid for service in early childhood grades; or
(c) (i) for eligible agencies as defined in paragraph b of subdivision one of section thirty-six hundred two-e of this part that are not schools, a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field and a written plan to obtain a certification valid for service in the early childhood grades as follows:
(1) for teachers hired on or after the effective date of this section as the teacher for a universal full-day pre-kindergarten classroom, within three years after commencing employment, at which time such certification shall be required for employment; and
(2) for teachers hired by such provider prior to the effective date of this section for other early childhood care and education programs, no later than June thirtieth, two thousand seventeen, at which time such certification shall be required for employment.
(ii) Provided that, notwithstanding any provisions of this paragraph to the contrary, for the two thousand seventeen--two thousand eighteen school year, an exemption to the certification requirement of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph may be made for a teacher without certification valid for service in the early childhood grades who possesses a written plan to obtain certification and who has registered in the ASPIRE workforce registry as required under regulations of the commissioner of the office of children and family services. Notwithstanding any exemption provided by this subparagraph, certification shall be required for employment no later than June thirtieth, two thousand eighteen.
9. The process by which applicants submit proposals to collaborate with the school district or individually to the department, and the renewal process for such providers, shall take into account any record of violations of health and safety codes and/or licensure or registration requirements. In addition, any agency that is cited for a violation classified as an “imminent danger” by the office of children and family services or as a “public health hazard” by the New York city department of health and mental hygiene which is not immediately corrected and which is not of a life threatening or of a grave and serious nature shall be suspended from the program and, upon final determination of such violation by the regulating agency, suspended or terminated from participating in the program under this section based on the severity of the violation. Provided further, that eligible agencies with a record of other serious or critical and/or repeated violations that pose a risk to health or safety shall, upon final determination of such violations, be suspended or terminated from participating in the program under this section, and the office of children and family services shall establish statewide standards for determining such grounds for such suspension or termination based on violations issued by the applicable regulatory agency.
10. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a universal full-day pre-kindergarten provider shall be inspected by the department, the school district with which it partners, if any, and its respective licensing, permitting, regulatory, oversight, registration or enrolling agency or entity no fewer than two times per school year, at least one inspection of which shall be performed by the eligible agency's respective licensing, permitting, regulatory, oversight, registration or enrolling agency, as applicable.
11. Facilities providing universal full-day pre-kindergarten under this section shall meet all applicable fire safety and building codes and any applicable facility requirements of a state or local licensing or registering agency and at all times shall maintain building and classroom space in a manner that ensures and protects the health and safety of students in all programs statewide, notwithstanding any changes in such applicable codes or requirements.
12. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-four of this chapter and paragraph (c) of subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-four of this chapter, charter schools shall be eligible to participate in universal full-day pre-kindergarten programs under this section, provided that all such monitoring, programmatic review and operational requirements under this section shall be the responsibility of the charter entity and shall be consistent with the requirements under article fifty-six of this chapter. The provisions of paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-four of this chapter shall apply to the admission of pre-kindergarten students, except parents of pre-kindergarten children may submit applications for the two thousand fourteen--two thousand fifteen school year by a date to be determined by the charter school upon selection to participate in the universal full-day pre-kindergarten program. The limitations on the employment of uncertified teachers under paragraph (a-1) of subdivision three of section twenty-eight hundred fifty-four of this chapter shall apply to all teachers from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve.
13. Apportionments under this section shall only be used to supplement and not supplant current local expenditures of federal, state or local funds on pre-kindergarten programs and the number of slots in such programs from such sources. Current local expenditures shall include any local expenditures of federal, state or local funds used to supplement or extend services provided directly or via contract to eligible children enrolled in a universal pre-kindergarten program pursuant to section thirty-six hundred two-e of this part.
14. (a) The award per pupil for an eligible entity pursuant to subdivision three of this section shall equal: (i) for each new full-day pre-kindergarten placement the lesser of the full-day pre-kindergarten per pupil amount or the total approved expenditures per pupil and (ii) for each existing half-day pre-kindergarten placement converted into a full-day pre-kindergarten placement the lesser of (A) the positive difference of the full-day pre-kindergarten per pupil amount minus the district's selected aid per pre-kindergarten pupil pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph b of subdivision ten of section thirty-six hundred two-e of this part or (B) the positive difference of the total approved expenditures per pupil minus the district's selected aid per pre-kindergarten pupil pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph b of subdivision ten of section thirty-six hundred two-e of this part. Each participating eligible entity pursuant to subdivision three of this section shall provide its expenses under this provision in a format prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “full-day pre-kindergarten per pupil amount” shall mean (i) for pupils enrolled in programs where the teacher of record for such pupil holds a teaching certificate issued by the commissioner in an appropriate certificate title, ten thousand dollars, and (ii) for pupils enrolled in programs where the teacher of record for such pupil does not hold a teaching certificate issued by the commissioner in an appropriate certificate title, seven thousand dollars.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “teacher of record” shall mean the teacher who is primarily and directly responsible for a student's learning activities, as reported to the department in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.
15. Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “regions of the state” shall mean:
(i) Capital Region: Includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties.
(ii) Central New York Region: Includes Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties.
(iii) Finger Lakes Region: Includes Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.
(iv) Long Island Region: Includes Nassau and Suffolk counties.
(v) Mid-Hudson Region: Includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
(vi) Mohawk Valley Region: Includes Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties.
(vii) New York City Region: Includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond counties.
(viii) North Country Region: Includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
(ix) Southern Tier Region: Includes Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties.
(x) Western New York Region: Includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.
(b) “community-based organization” shall mean a provider of child care and early education, a day care provider, early childhood program or center, approved preschool special education program, Head Start or other such community-based organization.
16. The authority of the department to administer the universal full-day pre-kindergarten program shall expire June thirtieth, two thousand eighteen; provided that the program shall continue and remain in full effect.
17. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contrary, for the purposes of determining the prekindergarten allocation on the electronic data file prepared by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision twenty-one of section three hundred five of this chapter for the two thousand nineteen--two thousand twenty school year and thereafter, the commissioner is directed to include the grant amounts awarded pursuant to this section in the amount set forth for such school district as “UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN.”
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