Student Support Services

Section 3204

§ 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
  minor resides.

    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
  this chapter.

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.

Last Updated: August 17, 2011