COMMISSIONER'S ADVISORY PANEL FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES - WORKING PAPER ON ORGANIZATION
Please note: These Bylaws have been amended to reflect changes in federal and State law and regulations.
February 2013 Revised
- The responsibilities of the Commissioner’s Advisory Panel (CAP) for Special Education Services, which functions in an advisory capacity to the New York State Education Department (NYSED); Office of P-12 Education: Office of Special Education for the purpose of providing policy guidance with respect to special education and related services, are prescribed by section 4403 (6) of the New York State Education Law, section 612 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) sections 300.167 – 300.169 and include:
- To advise the Governor, Legislature and the Commissioner of NYSED of unmet needs within the State in the education of children with disabilities.
- To comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed for issuance by the Commissioner regarding the education of children with disabilities.
- To comment publicly on the procedures for distribution of funds under Article 89 of the State Education Law.
- To advise NYSED in developing procedures for evaluations of the special education system and reporting on data to the Secretary of Education under section 618 of IDEA.
- To advise NYSED in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in federal monitoring reports under Part B of IDEA.
- To advise NYSED in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities.
- To advise NYSED on the education of eligible students with disabilities who have been convicted as adults and incarcerated in adult prisons.
- CAP shall meet as often as necessary to conduct its business.
- Official minutes will be kept on all CAP meetings and are available to the public on request and on the CAP website after review and approval.
- All meetings and agenda items are to be publicly announced prior to the meeting, and meetings will be open to the public.
- NYSED shall transmit findings and decisions regarding appeals of impartial hearings to CAP as the State Advisory Panel.
- Members of CAP shall serve without compensation but their reasonable and necessary expenses for attending meetings and performing duties will be reimbursed.
A. Voting Members
The Commissioner of Education will appoint members to a three-year term, to run from July 1 to June 30. Any vacancy on CAP shall be filled by appointment by the Commissioner for the unexpired portion of the term. CAP may make recommendations to the NYSED designee on the appointments and reappointments. A majority of the members of CAP shall be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26). Members appointed to CAP shall include representatives* of each of the following categories:
- Individuals with disabilities.
- Parents or guardians of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26).
- State and local education officials, including officials who carry out activities under subtitle 3 of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act.
- Representatives of institutions of higher education that prepare special education and related services personnel.
- Administrators of programs for children with disabilities.
- Representatives of other State agencies involved in the financing or delivery of related services to children with disabilities.
- Representatives of private schools and public charter schools.
- At least one representative of a vocational, community or business organization concerned with the provision of transition services to children with disabilities.
- Representatives from the State juvenile and adult corrections agencies.
- A representative from the State’s child welfare agency responsible for foster care.
Members are appointed based on the category that they represent; however, each member continues through his/her complete term regardless of change of status or affiliation unless there is a conflict of interest. While the members are chosen on the basis of such categories and speak as members of the groups they represent, they participate as individuals whose sole interest is in the betterment of children and youth who are disabled.
*(Representative – a person so appointed by the Commissioner of Education)
- Nonvoting Members
Ad Hoc Members who represent other offices within NYSED and the Department of Health may be appointed as nonvoting members.
- The Assistant Commissioner for Special Education shall designate a staff person to coordinate CAP.
- That NYSED designee shall be responsible for performing duties as are appropriate to the responsibilities of CAP as directed and in cooperation with the chairperson, including but not limited to the following:
- Assist CAP in the performance of its responsibilities under section 612 of IDEA.
- Maintain the minutes of CAP meetings, the records of CAP and assist the chairperson in preparation of meeting agendas, materials and distribution of publications of interest to CAP members (including Commissioner's decisions).
- Arrange for all meetings and facilities and payments to the members for all actual and necessary expenses in relation to attendance at CAP meetings and discharge of their CAP responsibilities.
- Prepare and transmit information and updates for CAP.
- Provide information to members regarding legislation impacting on children with disabilities.
- CAP shall meet at least three times each year. The Chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Committee and the NYSED designee, will establish the dates for such meetings for the entire year and have this information available to all Panel members prior to that year.
- Special meetings, as required, may be convened by the chairperson, the NYSED designee and/or by a petition of five members of CAP.
- A written notice of regular meetings shall be mailed or emailed to each member by the NYSED designee at least fifteen days prior to each meeting. A written notice of each special meeting shall be mailed to each member by the NYSED designee at least 12 days prior to the meeting. Such notices shall state the time, place and purpose for which the meeting is called.
- CAP members should submit items to be considered for the agenda of the next scheduled meeting to the CAP Chairperson not later than fifteen days before that meeting. The NYSED designee will send the agenda with all available and relevant data to all Panel members.
- No CAP member may be represented at a CAP meeting by a substitute. Proxy voting is not permitted.
- A quorum of the Panel is fifty-one percent of its appointed membership. When the quorum falls below fifty percent, a two-thirds majority vote of the members present is required to pass a motion. At any other time, a simple majority is sufficient to pass a motion.
- Meetings of the CAP shall be open and accessible to the public. Personnel and confidential matters, the disclosure or public discussion of which would, in the opinion of a majority of the members present, be detrimental to the individuals involved or to the effective discharge of the Panel's responsibilities, may be discussed in executive session. The NYSED designee shall maintain a log of visitors and, in cooperation with the chairperson develop procedures for orderly response or discussions between CAP and nonmember attendees, as appropriate.
- The NYSED designee shall provide public notice of the time and place of each meeting prior to the meeting.
- A single public comment period is always included on the agenda. The public comment period is limited to 30 minutes, with an individual comment limit of five minutes.
- Members will be notified one week in advance of the meeting, whenever possible, of registered speakers and the intended topics.
V. Officers and Their Duties
- The officers (Executive Committee) of CAP shall consist of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary.
- One member of CAP shall be designated as chairperson by the Commissioner for a two-year term. The vice-chairperson and secretary are elected by the Panel at the first autumn meeting of CAP for a one-year term.
- The chairperson shall be the presiding officer and shall preside over all regular, special, executive and public meetings of CAP.
- The vice-chairperson, in the absence of the chairperson, shall perform the duties of the chairperson.
- The secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes at all CAP meetings.
VI. Responsibilities of the Members
- The responsibilities of CAP members shall include:
- Attendance at all State CAP meetings. In the event that a member does not regularly attend meetings without good cause, CAP may recommend to the NYSED designee that this person be replaced. Anyone who is not going to attend a meeting is expected to so inform the NYSED designee prior to the meeting and cancel any hotel or travel reservations 24 hours in advance. The NYSED designee should also be informed of partial attendance.
- Notification to the NYSED designee within 30 days of any change that may effect membership status, including but not limited to, changes in contact information, employment, constituency represented, child exceeds the age of 26, and resignation from CAP. Resignations from CAP must be provided in writing.
- Attendance and involvement in local and area meetings and conferences on individuals with disabilities in their home geographical area are encouraged. However, the only designated official spokesperson for CAP shall be the chairperson. The chairperson, after consultation with the vice-chairperson, will delegate a CAP member to attend the meetings in an emergency.
- Representation of the constituency while serving on assigned standing and periodic consultation with constituencies.
- Conformance to the general requirements of CAP, including but not limited to procedures for travel, reimbursement, and meeting participation.
VII. Executive Committee
- General Duties
- The Executive Committee of CAP shall be comprised of the CAP chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary. The functions shall include meeting as called by the CAP chairperson to conduct the administrative business of the Panel.
- CAP members shall receive notice of these meetings from the NYSED designee.
VIII. Rules of Order
- All meetings will be conducted according to general rules of order except as prescribed above.