CPR/AED Training Poised to be Added to Curriculum for New York State Students in Senior High Schools

The Board of Regents was busy at their most recent meeting June 15-16, 2015, and one action in particular is poised to have an immediate impact on School Districts. The Board began the approval process for an amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The proposed amendment would add section 100.2(c)(11), which would require the instruction of hands-only CPR and the use of AEDs to students in senior high schools. The Board adopted the recommendation to move forward to a July 1, 2015 posting for public comment, with an anticipated formal adoption of the amendment at the Board’s September meeting. The amendment is expected to have an effective date of October 7, 2015, and would impact next year’s curriculum for students in senior high schools.

This curriculum change proposal was put in motion last Fall when Governor Cuomo signed legislation on October 21, 2014 (Education Law § 305(52)) requiring the Commissioner of Education to make a recommendation to the Board of Regents regarding a potential new mandate for required instruction in CPR and the use of AEDs in senior high schools. The Commissioner was required to seek input from teachers, educators, parents, and others prior to making a recommendation to the Board, within 180 days from when the law was passed, on whether or not CPR/AED training should be mandated, and the fiscal impact of doing so. Input was sought and presented to the Board at its April, 2015 meeting. The recommendation by the Commissioner at the April meeting was to consider an exception to the general policy that curriculum decisions are made at the local level, and to allow for a state wide curriculum mandate because CPR/AED affects matters of life and death.

At the June meeting, the P-12 Education Committee reviewed the amendment and ultimately the Board adopted the recommendation to proceed forward by filing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making published in the State Register on July 1, 2015. After a 45-day public comment period on the proposed amendment, required for State agency rule makings, it is anticipated the amendment will be proposed for final adoption by the Board at its September 16-17, 2015 meeting. The amendment would then go into effect on October 7, 2015.

All indications are that for the 2015-2016 school year the amendment will be in place, requiring the instruction of hands-only CPR and the use of AED's to students in senior high school. Districts should begin to discuss the allocation of funds for the implementation of this amendment/course of instruction for the upcoming school year, and discuss how it will be implemented, i.e. what instructor would lead the course, what course of study should offer the training, what materials/supplies will be needed for instruction, etc.

To assist in their discussions, School Districts should review the Summary of the Issue proposed by the Commissioner to the Board from April, 2015, which discusses the initial comment period, cost information for this instruction, and course materials which could be provided by the American Heart Association and American Red Cross. The Summary of the Issue can be located here.

Districts should also review the Issue, dated June 8, 2015, as presented to the Board of Regents by Ken Wagner at its most recent meeting. This gives additional background information and may aid Districts in their discussions about implementation for the upcoming school year. The Summary of the Issue, along with the text of the proposed amendment, can be located here.

Honeywell Law Firm, PLLC, is available to assist Districts in complying with the new amendment, including answering any questions or concerns Districts have surrounding the implementation of additional curriculum, particularly the impact contracts between Districts and Teachers will have on implementing additional curriculum, as well as budgetary concerns. Contact us for further information as we will continue to monitor the progress of the proposed amendment.

For more information or if you have questions relating to the above, please contact us at (518) 512-4580 or info@honeywelllfirm.com.