§ 3204. Instruction required. 1. Place of instruction. A minor
required to attend upon instruction by the provisions of part one of
this article may attend at a public school or elsewhere. The
requirements of this section shall apply to such a minor, irrespective
of the place of instruction.
2. Quality and language of instruction; text-books. Instruction may be
given only by a competent teacher. In the teaching of the subjects of
instruction prescribed by this section, English shall be the language of
instruction, and text-books used shall be written in English, except
that for a period of three years, which period may be extended by the
commissioner with respect to individual pupils, upon application
therefor by the appropriate school authorities, to a period not in
excess of six years, from the date of enrollment in school, pupils who,
by reason of foreign birth or ancestry have limited English proficiency,
shall be provided with instructional programs as specified in
subdivision two-a of this section and the regulations of the
commissioner. The purpose of providing such pupils with instruction
shall be to enable them to develop academically while achieving
competence in the English language. Instruction given to a minor
elsewhere than at a public school shall be at least substantially
equivalent to the instruction given to minors of like age and
attainments at the public schools of the city or district where the
2-a. Instructional programs for pupils of limited English proficiency.
1. Each school district which is receiving total foundation aid shall
develop a comprehensive plan consistent with requirements as the
commissioner may establish in regulations to meet the educational needs
of pupils of limited English proficiency. Such plan shall include a
description of the programs, activities and services used to meet the
educational needs of pupils of limited English proficiency that comply
with the regulations of the commissioner governing such programs. By
July first, two thousand eight, the commissioner shall develop
guidelines for the enhancement of services for such pupils, which shall
include but not be limited to the replication of existing model programs
that have been effective in meeting the needs of such pupils, and shall
establish eligibility standards for incentive grants to improve services
to such pupils and the competitive process that will be used to award
such grants. On or before March first of each year commencing with March
first, two thousand nine, the commissioner shall submit a report to the
governor, the director of the budget, the speaker of the assembly, the
temporary president of the senate, the chair of the fiscal committees of
the senate and assembly on the expenditure of state, local and federal
funds by school districts in the prior school year on programs,
activities and services for pupils of limited English proficiency, along
with recommendations for improvement of such programs.
2. The board of education of each school district receiving such funds
shall provide a program of bilingual education or English as a second
language for eligible pupils and may contract with a board of
cooperative educational services or another school district to provide
such program, provided that in a city having a population of one million
or more, the community school boards shall provide such program in the
schools within their jurisdiction.
3. Eligibility for such programs shall be based on the following
criteria. A pupil who by reason of foreign birth or ancestry speaks a
language other than English, and either understands and speaks little or
no English, or who has been identified by any English language
assessment instrument approved by the commissioner as a pupil of limited
English proficiency, shall receive a program of bilingual education or
English as a second language in accordance with standards established by
the commissioner. A pupil's proficiency in the English language shall be
measured annually by such language assessment instrument in order to
determine further participation in bilingual education or English as a
second language program in accordance with standards established by the
commissioner, subject to the provisions of subdivision two of this
section. The parent or guardian of a pupil designated as limited English
proficient shall be informed by the local school authorities of the
pupil's placement in an instructional program.
4. Bilingual programs shall be designed to:
(a) provide content instruction for children of limited English
proficiency using the child's native language and English;
(b) provide native language instruction; and
(c) provide English as a second language instruction.
5. English as a second language program shall be designed to develop
skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing the English language,
and assist in the learning of content areas through monolingual
instruction in English.
6. The commissioner shall establish, by regulation, standards for
approved programs for pupils of limited English proficiency.
7. After a pupil is enrolled in a regular instructional program, he
may receive additional instruction in his native language.
8. A school district which provides a program of bilingual education
or English as a second language designed to meet the needs of pupils of
limited English proficiency, shall be empowered to:
(a) impart to pupils a knowledge of the history and culture associated
with their native languages;
(b) establish closer cooperation between the school and the home;
(c) provide early childhood educational programs related to the
purposes of this section and designed to improve the potential for
profitable learning activities by children;
(d) offer adult education programs related to the purposes of this
section, particularly for parents of pupils with limited English
(e) provide programs designed for dropouts or potential dropouts
having need of such programs; and
(f) provide other activities deemed desirable to further the purposes
of this section.
9. Any duly authorized local educational agency or agencies is hereby
empowered to make application for any grant or grants in furtherance of
this section under any public law enacted by the United States Congress.
2-b. Gifted instruction in schools. The governing board of any school
district and any community school district is hereby empowered to
determine the circumstances wherein instruction shall be given to meet
the special needs of gifted pupils as provided in this chapter.
3. Courses of study. a. (1) The course of study for the first eight
years of full time public day schools shall provide for instruction in
at least the twelve common school branches of arithmetic, reading,
spelling, writing, the English language, geography, United States
history, civics, hygiene, physical training, the history of New York
state and science.
(2) The courses of study and of specialized training beyond the first
eight years of full time public day schools shall provide for
instruction in at least the English language and its use, in civics,
hygiene, physical training, and American history including the
principles of government proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence
and established by the constitution of the United States.
(3) The courses of study beyond the first eight years of full time
public day schools may provide a program for a course in "communism and
its methods and its destructive effects".
b. For part time day schools. The course of study of a part time
public day school shall include such subjects as will enlarge the civic
and vocational intelligence and skill of the minors required to attend.
c. For evening schools. In a public evening school instruction shall
be given in at least speaking, reading, and writing English.
d. For parental schools. In a parental school provision shall be made
for vocational training and for instruction in other subjects
appropriate to the minor's age and attainments.
e. Changes in courses of study. The state education department shall
have power to alter the subjects of instruction as prescribed in this
4. Length of school sessions. a. A full time day school or class,
except as otherwise prescribed, shall be in session for not less than
one hundred ninety days each year, inclusive of legal holidays that
occur during the term of said school and exclusive of Saturdays.
b. A part time day school or class shall be in session each year for
at least four hours of each week during which the full time day schools
are in session.
c. Evening schools shall be in session each year as follows:
(1) In cities having a population of one hundred thousand or more, on
at least one hundred nights;
(2) In cities having a population of fifty thousand but less than one
hundred thousand, on at least seventy-five nights;
(3) In each other city, and in each school district where twenty or
more persons from seventeen to twenty-one years of age are required to
attend upon evening instruction, on at least fifty nights.
4-a. Special education. Every pupil, having been determined to be a
"child with a handicapping condition" by a committee on the handicapped,
shall be offered an opportunity to receive the benefits of an
appropriate public education as prescribed in article eighty-nine of
5. Subject to rules and regulations of the board of regents, a pupil
may, consistent with the requirements of public education and public
health, be excused from such study of health and hygiene as conflicts
with the religion of his parents or guardian. Such conflict must be
certified by a proper representative of their religion as defined by
section two of the religious corporations law.