November 01, 2023 Increase to Minimum Weekly Instruction Time For Students on Out-of-School Suspension
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
A new opinion has been issued by the NYSED Office of Counsel regarding instructional service requirements for suspended students. The opinion states that the recent increase in required minimum weekly instruction time for homebound students should also apply to students on out-of-school suspension.
Effective July 1, 2023, the Board of Regents amended its regulations concerning homebound instructional services for students who are temporarily confined to home, hospital, or institutional settings for medical reasons. The amendment raised the minimum amount of required instruction time from five to ten hours per week for elementary students and from ten to fifteen hours per week for secondary students. The instruction must be provided by a tutor, either in-person at the student’s location or remotely.
The Regents’ amended regulations did not cover non-medical homebound situations, such as students on disciplinary suspension. NYSED has now issued a Formal Opinion of Counsel stating that the minimum instruction time requirements should apply equally to all homebound situations, including students on out-of-school suspension. Therefore, effective immediately, school districts are advised to provide suspended students with ten hours of instruction time per week at the elementary level and fifteen hours per week at the secondary level. Consistent with the regulations, we recommend that the instruction time be spread evenly throughout the week whenever possible.
The NYSED opinion does not reinterpret any other aspect of the alternative education requirements for suspended students. Required instructional services may still be provided through in-home tutoring or remote instruction. School districts are still free to set the other parameters of a suspended student’s instructional services on a case-by-case basis. The only rule that has changed is the minimum required weekly instruction time.
If you have any questions about this new rule, or its effect on your school district, please contact Bryan Georgiady, Sharon Berlin or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
 The term “remote instruction” is defined in Part 100.1(u) of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
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