Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, and Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan today announced passage of legislation that would permit distribution of full state aid to districts where schools were unable to hold classes due to extraordinary circumstances, emergency, or disaster.
"School districts that are forced to close due to disaster or emergency conditions deserve our compassion," said Silver. "In passing this legislation the Assembly is supporting school districts that have endured disaster."
The bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "Repairs and ongoing reconstruction following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee greatly impacted the 2011-2012 school year for districts across upstate New York. This measure reduces pressure on local taxpayers while providing financial relief to these beleaguered school districts."
"Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee damaged school buildings for many of New York's school districts, causing closures and delays," said Nolan. "This measure is intended to minimize the burden on these beleaguered areas by empowering the Commissioner to maintain their funding levels."
The bill (A.9442, Lupardo/S.6294, Seward) adds subdivision 7-a to section 3604 of the education law to require the commissioner to hold school districts financially harmless if a school has lost up to ten days during the 2011-12 school year, and is unable to be in session for the state mandated 180 days due to a federal declaration of a natural disaster, state disaster emergency, or certain other exceptional events.