Section 3602 (e) (12) – Title V, Article 73, Part IS 3602-e(12). Universal prekindergarten program.
The board of regents and the commissioner shall be authorized to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section. In developing such regulations, the board of regents and the commissioner shall consider and seek to coordinate any regulations which may currently be applicable to any existing programs or eligible agencies. In addition, the regents when developing regulations shall consider and recognize the diversity of settings and models available for the delivery of prekindergarten programs. Such regulations shall include but not be limited to:
- qualifications for the staff of a prekindergarten program;
- transitional guidelines and rules which allow a program to meet the required staff qualifications by the start of school year two thousand two--two thousand three;
- transitional guidelines and rules which allow a prekindergarten program to meet any other requirements set forth pursuant to this section and regulations adopted by the board of regents and the commissioner;
- health and safety standards;
- time requirements which reflect the needs of the individual school districts for flexibility, but meeting a minimum weekly time requirement;
- the staff/child ratio;
- reasonable grounds and basis for the non-acceptance of a proposal submitted to the school district when the proposal otherwise meets, to the extent applicable, all the regulations of the commissioner and the requirements set forth in this subdivision, as well as subdivisions seven and eight this section;
- any other program components, such as health, nutrition or support services, which the regents deem appropriate and necessary for the appropriate and effective implementation of a prekindergarten program;
- commencing July first, nineteen hundred ninety-nine, and continuing until June thirtieth, two thousand two, a requirement that the district give preference to serving eligible children who are economically disadvantaged, as defined by the commissioner;
- a process by which a school district must submit an application;
- a definition of the approved expenditures for which grant funds may be used, which shall include but not be limited to transportation services and lease expense or other appropriate facilities expenses; and
- a process for the waiver of the time requirements established pursuant to this subdivision in order to authorize the operation of a summer universal prekindergarten program limited to the months of July and August, upon a finding by the commissioner that the school district is unable to operate the program during the regular school session because of a lack of available space pursuant to regulations of the commissioner. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, such process shall provide for a reduction of the aid per prekindergarten pupil payable for pupils served pursuant to such waiver by one one-hundred eightieth of the aid per prekindergarten pupil determined pursuant to paragraph a of subdivision ten of this section for each day less than one hundred eighty days that the summer program is in session.