N.Y. EDN. LAW § 2854 : NY Code - Section 2854: General requirements

Search N.Y. EDN. LAW § 2854 : NY Code - Section 2854: General requirements

1.  Applicability of other laws. (a)
  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, to the extent that
  any provision of this article is inconsistent with any  other  state  or
  local  law,  rule  or  regulation,  the provisions of this article shall
  govern and be controlling.
    (b) A charter school shall meet the  same  health  and  safety,  civil
  rights,  and  student assessment requirements applicable to other public
  schools, except as otherwise specifically provided in  this  article.  A
  charter  school  shall  be  exempt  from all other state and local laws,
  rules, regulations or policies  governing  public  or  private  schools,
  boards  of  education  and school districts, including those relating to
  school personnel and students, except as specifically  provided  in  the
  school's  charter  or in this article. Nothing in this subdivision shall
  affect the requirements of compulsory education of minors established by
  part one of article sixty-five of this chapter.
    (c) A charter school shall be subject to  the  financial  audits,  the
  audit  procedures,  and  the audit requirements set forth in the charter
  and shall be subject to audits  of  the  comptroller  as  set  forth  in
  section  thirty-three  of the general municipal law. Such procedures and
  standards shall be consistent with  generally  accepted  accounting  and
  audit  standards.  Independent  fiscal audits shall be required at least
  once annually.
    (d) A charter school shall design its educational programs to meet  or
  exceed the student performance standards adopted by the board of regents
  and the student performance standards contained in the charter. Students
  attending  charter school shall be required to take regents examinations
  to the same extent such examinations are required of other public school
  students. A charter school  offering  instruction  in  the  high  school
  grades  may grant regents diplomas and local diplomas to the same extent
  as other public schools, and such other certificates and honors  as  are
  specifically  authorized by their charter, and in testimony thereof give
  suitable certificates, honors and diplomas under  its  seal;  and  every
  certificate  and  diploma  so  granted shall entitle the conferee to all
  privileges and immunities which by usage  or  statute  are  allowed  for
  similar  diplomas  of  corresponding  grade  granted by any other public
  school.
    (e) A charter school shall be subject to the  provisions  of  articles
  six and seven of the public officers law.
    2.  Admissions;  enrollment;  students.  (a) A charter school shall be
  nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment  practices,
  and  all other operations and shall not charge tuition or fees; provided
  that a charter school may require the payment of fees on the same  basis
  and  to  the same extent as other public schools. A charter school shall
  not discriminate against any student, employee or any  other  person  on
  the  basis  of  ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability or any
  other ground that would be unlawful if done by a  school.  Admission  of
  students  shall  not  be  limited  on the basis of intellectual ability,
  measures of achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race,
  creed,  gender,  national  origin,  religion,  or  ancestry;   provided,
  however,  that nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the
  establishment of  a  single-sex  charter  school  or  a  charter  school
  designed to provide expanded learning opportunities for students at-risk
  of  academic  failure;  and  provided,  further, that the charter school
  shall demonstrate good faith efforts to attract and retain a  comparable
  or  greater enrollment of students with disabilities and limited English
  proficient students when compared to the  enrollment  figures  for  such
  students  in the school district in which the charter school is located.
  A charter shall not be issued to any school that would be wholly  or  in

  part under the control or direction of any religious denomination, or in
  which any denominational tenet or doctrine would be taught.
    (b)  Any  child  who  is  qualified  under  the laws of this state for
  admission to a public school is qualified for  admission  to  a  charter
  school.  The  school  shall  enroll  each eligible student who submits a
  timely application by the first day  of  April  each  year,  unless  the
  number  of  applications  exceeds  the  capacity  of  the grade level or
  building.  In  such  cases,  students  shall  be  accepted  from   among
  applicants  by  a  random  selection process, provided, however, that an
  enrollment preference shall be  provided  to  pupils  returning  to  the
  charter  school  in  the  second or any subsequent year of operation and
  pupils residing in the school district in which the  charter  school  is
  located,  and siblings of pupils already enrolled in the charter school.
  For  the  purposes  of  this  paragraph  and  paragraph  (a)   of   this
  subdivision,  the school district in which the charter school is located
  shall mean, for the city school district of the city of  New  York,  the
  community district in which the charter school is located.
    (c) A charter school shall serve one or more of the grades one through
  twelve,  and  shall  limit  admission  to pupils within the grade levels
  served. Nothing herein shall prohibit a charter school from establishing
  a kindergarten program.
    (d) A student may withdraw from a  charter  school  at  any  time  and
  enroll  in a public school. A charter school may refuse admission to any
  student who has been expelled or suspended from a  public  school  until
  the  period  of  suspension  or  expulsion  from  the  public school has
  expired, consistent with the requirements of due process.
    3. School personnel. (a) An employee of a charter school shall  be  an
  employee  of  the  education  corporation  formed to operate the charter
  school and not an employee of the local school  district  in  which  the
  charter  school  is  located.  An  employee of a charter school shall be
  deemed to be a public employee solely for purposes of  article  fourteen
  of  the civil service law, except for section two hundred twelve of such
  law, and for no  other  purposes  unless  otherwise  specified  in  this
  article,  the board of trustees of the charter school shall constitute a
  board of education solely for purposes of article fourteen of the  civil
  service  law, except for section two hundred twelve of such law, and for
  no other purposes unless otherwise specified in this article, a  charter
  school  shall  be  deemed to be a public employer solely for purposes of
  article fourteen of the  civil  service  law,  except  for  section  two
  hundred  twelve  of such law, and for no other purposes unless otherwise
  specified in this article,  and  the  chief  executive  officer  of  the
  charter  school  shall  be the person designated as such by the board of
  trustees of the charter school.
    (a-1) The board of trustees of  a  charter  school  shall  employ  and
  contract  with  necessary  teachers,  administrators  and  other  school
  personnel. Such teachers shall  be  certified  in  accordance  with  the
  requirements applicable to other public schools; provided, however, that
  a charter school may employ as teachers (i) uncertified teachers with at
  least  three years of elementary, middle or secondary classroom teaching
  experience;  (ii)  tenured  or  tenure  track  college  faculty;   (iii)
  individuals  with two years of satisfactory experience through the Teach
  for America  program;  and  (iv)  individuals  who  possess  exceptional
  business,  professional,  artistic,  athletic,  or  military experience,
  provided, however, that such teachers described in  clauses  (i),  (ii),
  (iii),  and (iv) of this paragraph shall not in total comprise more than
  thirty per centum of the teaching staff of a  charter  school,  or  five
  teachers,  whichever  is less. A teacher certified or otherwise approved

  by the commissioner shall  not  be  included  in  the  numerical  limits
  established by the preceding sentence.
    * (a-2)  (i)  The board of trustees of a charter school shall require,
  for purposes of a criminal history record check, the  fingerprinting  of
  all prospective employees pursuant to section three thousand thirty-five
  of  this  chapter,  who  do  not  hold  valid clearance pursuant to such
  section or pursuant to section three thousand four-b of this chapter  or
  section  five  hundred  nine-cc  or  twelve hundred twenty-nine-d of the
  vehicle and traffic law. Prior to initiating the fingerprinting process,
  the prospective employer shall  furnish  the  applicant  with  the  form
  described  in  paragraph  (c)  of  subdivision  thirty  of section three
  hundred five of this chapter and shall obtain the applicant's consent to
  the criminal history records search. Every  set  of  fingerprints  taken
  pursuant   to   this  paragraph  shall  be  promptly  submitted  to  the
  commissioner for purposes of clearance for employment.
    (ii) Upon the recommendation of the chief  executive  officer  of  the
  charter   school,  the  board  of  trustees  of  a  charter  school  may
  conditionally appoint a prospective employee. A request for  conditional
  clearance  shall  be  forwarded  to  the  commissioner  along  with  the
  prospective employee's fingerprints, as required by subparagraph (i)  of
  this  paragraph.  Such appointment shall not commence until notification
  by the commissioner that the prospective employee has been conditionally
  cleared for employment and shall terminate forty-five  days  after  such
  notification  of  conditional clearance or when the prospective employer
  is notified of a determination by the  commissioner  to  grant  or  deny
  clearance,  whichever occurs earlier, and may not be extended or renewed
  unless the commissioner issues a new conditional clearance after finding
  that there was good cause for failing to obtain  clearance  within  such
  period,  provided  that  if  clearance is granted, the appointment shall
  continue  and  the  conditional  status  shall  be  removed.  Prior   to
  commencement  of  such conditional appointment, the prospective employer
  shall obtain a signed statement for  conditional  appointment  from  the
  prospective  employee,  indicating  whether,  to  the best of his or her
  knowledge,  he  or  she  has  a  pending  criminal  charge  or  criminal
  conviction in any jurisdiction outside the state.
    (iii)  Upon  the  recommendation of the chief executive officer of the
  charter school, the board of trustees of a charter school  may  make  an
  emergency  conditional  appointment when an unforeseen emergency vacancy
  has occurred. When such appointment is made, the process for conditional
  appointment pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph must also be
  initiated. Emergency  conditional  appointment  may  commence  prior  to
  notification  from  the  commissioner on conditional clearance but shall
  terminate twenty business days from the date such appointment  commences
  or  when  the  prospective  employer  is  notified  by  the commissioner
  regarding conditional clearance, whichever occurs earlier, provided that
  if conditional clearance is granted, the appointment shall continue as a
  conditional appointment. Prior to the commencement of such  appointment,
  the  prospective  employer  must obtain a signed statement for emergency
  conditional  appointment  from  the  prospective  employee,   indicating
  whether,  to  the  best of his or her knowledge, he or she has a pending
  criminal  charge  or  criminal  conviction  in  any   jurisdiction.   An
  unforeseen  emergency  vacancy  shall  be defined as: (1) a vacancy that
  occurred less than ten business days before  the  start  of  any  school
  session,   including  summer  school,  or  during  any  school  session,
  including  summer  school,  without  sufficient  notice  to  allow   for
  clearance  or  conditional clearance; (2) when no other qualified person
  is available to fill the vacancy temporarily;  and  (3)  when  emergency
  conditional  appointment  is  necessary  to  maintain services which the

  charter school is legally required to provide or services  necessary  to
  protect  the  health,  education  or  safety  of  students or staff. The
  provisions of clause one of this subparagraph shall  not  apply  if  the
  board  finds that the charter school has been unable to fill the vacancy
  despite good faith efforts to fill such vacancy in a manner which  would
  have allowed sufficient time for clearance or conditional clearance.
    (iv)  Shall  develop  a policy for the safety of the children who have
  contact with an employee holding conditional  appointment  or  emergency
  conditional appointment.
    * NB Effective until July 1, 2010
    * (a-2)  The  board of trustees of a charter school shall require, for
  purposes of a criminal history record check, the fingerprinting  of  all
  prospective  employees pursuant to section three thousand thirty-five of
  this chapter, who do not hold valid clearance pursuant to  such  section
  or  pursuant to section three thousand four-b of this chapter or section
  five hundred nine-cc or twelve hundred twenty-nine-d of the vehicle  and
  traffic  law.  Prior  to  initiating  the  fingerprinting  process,  the
  prospective employer shall furnish the applicant with the form described
  in paragraph (c) of subdivision thirty of section three hundred five  of
  this  chapter  and  shall obtain the applicant's consent to the criminal
  history records search. Every set of fingerprints taken pursuant to this
  paragraph shall be promptly submitted to the commissioner  for  purposes
  of clearance for employment.
    * NB Effective July 1, 2010
    (a-3)   The   board  of  trustees  of  a  charter  school  shall  upon
  commencement and termination of employment of an employee by the charter
  school district, provide the commissioner with the name of and  position
  held by such employee.
    (b)  The  school employees of a charter school that has been converted
  from an existing public school who are eligible for representation under
  article fourteen of the civil service law shall be deemed to be included
  within the negotiating unit containing like titles or positions, if any,
  for the school district in which such  charter  school  is  located  and
  shall  be  subject  to the collective bargaining agreement covering that
  school district negotiating unit; provided, however, that a majority  of
  the members of a negotiating unit within a charter school may modify, in
  writing,   a   collective  bargaining  agreement  for  the  purposes  of
  employment in the charter school with  the  approval  of  the  board  of
  trustees of the charter school.
    (b-1)  The employees of a charter school that is not a conversion from
  an existing public school shall not be deemed members  of  any  existing
  collective bargaining unit representing employees of the school district
  in  which  the charter school is located, and the charter school and its
  employees shall not be subject to  any  existing  collective  bargaining
  agreement  between  the  school  district  and  its employees. Provided,
  however, that (i) if the student enrollment of the charter school on the
  first day on which the  charter  school  commences  student  instruction
  exceeds  two hundred fifty or if the average daily student enrollment of
  such school exceeds two hundred fifty students at any point  during  the
  first  two years after the charter school commences student instruction,
  all employees of the school who are eligible  for  representation  under
  article  fourteen  of  the  civil  service  law  shall  be  deemed to be
  represented in a separate negotiating unit at the charter school by  the
  same  employee  organization,  if any, that represents like employees in
  the school district in which such charter school is  located;  (ii)  the
  provisions  of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph may be waived in up to
  ten charters issued on the recommendation  of  the  charter  entity  set
  forth  in  paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision three of section twenty-eight

  hundred fifty-one of this article; (iii) the provisions of  subparagraph
  (i)  of  this  paragraph  shall  not  be  applicable  to  the renewal or
  extension of a charter; and (iv)  nothing  in  this  sentence  shall  be
  construed  to subject a charter school subject to the provisions of this
  paragraph or  its  employees  to  any  collective  bargaining  agreement
  between  any  public  school  district  and its employees or to make the
  employees of such charter school part of any negotiating  unit  at  such
  school  district. The charter school may, in its sole discretion, choose
  whether or not to offer the terms of any existing collective  bargaining
  to school employees.
    (c) The employees of the charter school may be deemed employees of the
  local  school district for the purpose of providing retirement benefits,
  including membership  in  the  teachers'  retirement  system  and  other
  retirement  systems  open  to employees of public schools. The financial
  contributions for such benefits  shall  be  the  responsibility  of  the
  charter   school  and  the  school's  employees.  The  commissioner,  in
  consultation  with  the  comptroller,  shall  develop   regulations   to
  implement  the  provisions  of  this  paragraph  in a manner that allows
  charter schools to provide retirement benefits to its employees  in  the
  same manner as other public school employees.
    (c-1)  Reasonable  access.  (i) If employees of the charter school are
  not represented, any charter school chartered pursuant to  this  article
  must  afford  reasonable  access to any employee organization during the
  reasonable  proximate  period  before  any  representation  question  is
  raised; or
    (ii)  If  the  employee  organization  is  a challenging organization,
  reasonable access must  be  provided  to  any  organization  seeking  to
  represent  employees  beginning  with  a  date reasonably proximate to a
  challenge period. Reasonableness is defined, at  a  minimum,  as  access
  equal to that provided to the incumbent organization.
    (c-2)  Employer  neutrality.  It  shall  be an improper practice for a
  charter school board of  directors,  chief  administrative  officer  and
  their  agents  to commit any of the acts set forth in subdivision one of
  section two hundred nine-a  of  the  civil  service  law  and  could  in
  accordance with section twenty-eight hundred fifty-five of this article,
  result in the revocation of the charter.
    (d) A teacher employed by a school district may make a written request
  to the board of education for an extended leave of absence to teach at a
  charter  school.  Approval  for  such a leave of absence for a period of
  three years or less shall not be unreasonably withheld. If such approval
  is granted to a teacher by the school district, the teacher  may  return
  to  teach in the school district during such period of leave without the
  loss of any right of certification, retirement, seniority, salary status
  or any other  benefit  provided  by  law  or  by  collective  bargaining
  agreement. If an appropriate position is unavailable, the teacher's name
  shall  be  placed  on  a  preferred  eligible  list  of  candidates  for
  appointment to a vacancy that may  thereafter  occur  in  an  office  or
  position  similar to the one such teacher filled in such school district
  immediately prior to the leave of service.