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New York Education Section 414 - Use Of Schoolhouse And Grounds.

414. Use of schoolhouse and grounds. 1. Schoolhouses and the grounds connected therewith and all property belonging to the district shall be in the custody and under the control and supervision of the trustees or board of education of the district. The trustees or board of education may adopt reasonable regulations for the use of such schoolhouses, grounds or other property, all portions thereof, when not in use for school purposes or when the school is in use for school purposes if in the opinion of the trustees or board of education use will not be disruptive of normal school operations, for such other public purposes as are herein provided; except, however, in the city of New York each community school board shall be authorized to prohibit any use of schoolhouses and school grounds within its district which would otherwise be permitted under the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall provide for the safety and security of the pupils and shall not conflict with the provisions of this chapter and shall conform to the purposes and intent of this section and shall be subject to review on appeal to the commissioner of education as provided by law. The trustees or board of education of each district may, subject to regulations adopted as above provided, permit the use of the schoolhouse and rooms therein, and the grounds and other property of the district, when not in use for school purposes or when the school is in use for school purposes if in the opinion of the trustees or board of education use will not be disruptive of normal school operations, for any of the following purposes:

(a) For the purpose of instruction in any branch of education, learning or the arts.

(b) For public library purposes, subject to the provisions of this chapter, or as stations of public libraries.

(c) For holding social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainments, and other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community; but such meetings, entertainment and uses shall be non-exclusive and shall be open to the general public. Civic meetings shall include, but not be limited to, meetings of parent associations and parent-teacher associations.

(d) For meetings, entertainments and occasions where admission fees are charged, when the proceeds thereof are to be expended for an educational or charitable purpose; but such use shall not be permitted if such meetings, entertainments and occasions are under the exclusive control, and the said proceeds are to be applied for the benefit of a society, association or organization of a religious sect or denomination, or of a fraternal, secret or exclusive society or organization other than organizations of veterans of the military, naval and marine service of the United States and organizations of volunteer firefighters or volunteer ambulance workers.

(e) For polling places for holding primaries and elections and for the registration of voters and for holding political meetings. But no meetings sponsored by political organizations shall be permitted unless authorized by a vote of a district meeting, held as provided by law, or, in cities by the board of education thereof. Except in cities, it shall be the duty of the trustees or board of education to call a special meeting for such purpose upon the petition of at least ten per centum of the qualified electors of the district. Authority so granted shall continue until revoked in like manner and by the same body as granted.

(f) For civic forums and community centers. Upon the petition of at least twenty-five citizens residing within the district or city, the trustees or board of education in each school district or city shall organize and conduct community centers for civic purposes, and civic forums in the several school districts and cities, to promote and advance principles of Americanism among the residents of the state. The trustees or board of education in each school district or city, when organizing such community centers or civic forums, shall provide funds for the maintenance and support of such community centers and civic forums, and shall prescribe regulations for their conduct and supervision, provided that nothing herein contained shall prohibit the trustees of such school district or the board of education to prescribe and adopt rules and regulations to make such community centers or civic forums self-supporting as far as practicable. Such community centers and civic forums shall be at all times under the control of the trustees or board of education in each school district or city, and shall be non-exclusive and open to the general public.

(g) For classes of instruction for mentally retarded minors operated by a private organization approved by the commissioner of education.

(h) For recreation, physical training and athletics, including competitive athletic contests of children attending a private, nonprofit school.

(i) To provide child care services during non-school hours, or to provide child care services during school hours for the children of pupils attending the schools of the district and, if there is additional space available, for children of employees of the district, and, if there is further additional space available, the Cobleskill-Richmondville school district shall provide child care services for children ages three and four who need child care assistance due to lack of sufficient child care spaces. Such determination shall be made by each district's board of education, provided that the cost of such care shall not be a school district charge but shall be paid by the person responsible for the support of such child; the local social services district as authorized by law; or by any other public or private voluntary source or any combination thereof.

(j) For licensed school-based health, dental or mental health clinics. (i) For the purposes of this subdivision, the term "licensed school-based health, dental or mental health clinic" means a clinic that is located in a school facility of a school district or board of cooperative educational services, is operated by an entity other than the school district or board of cooperative educational services and will provide health, dental or mental health services during school hours and/or non-school hours to school-age and preschool children, and that is: (1) a health clinic approved under the provisions of chapter one hundred ninety-eight of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-eight; or (2) another school-based health or dental clinic licensed by the department of health pursuant to article twenty-eight of the public health law; or (3) a school-based mental health clinic licensed or approved by the office of mental health pursuant to article thirty-one of the mental hygiene law; or (4) a school-based mental health clinic licensed by the office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities pursuant to article sixteen of the mental hygiene law.

(ii) Health professionals who provide services in licensed school-based health, dental or mental health clinics shall be duly licensed pursuant to the provisions of title eight of this chapter unless otherwise exempted by law and shall be authorized to provide such services to the extent permitted by their respective practice acts.

(iii) Except where otherwise authorized by law, the cost of providing health, dental or mental health services shall not be a charge upon the school district or board of cooperative educational services, and shall be paid from federal, state or other local funds available for such purpose. Building space used for such a clinic shall be excluded from the rated capacity of the school building for the purpose of computing building aid pursuant to subdivision six of section thirty-six hundred two of this chapter or aid pursuant to subdivision five of section nineteen hundred fifty of this chapter.

(iv) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to justify a cause of action for damages against a school district or a board of cooperative educational services by reason of acts of negligence or misconduct by a school-based health, dental or mental health clinic or such clinic's officers or employees.

(k) For graduation exercises held by not-for-profit elementary and secondary schools, provided that no religious service is performed.

The board of education in the city of New York may delegate the authority to judge the appropriateness for uses other than school purposes to community school boards.

2. The trustees or board of education shall determine the terms and conditions for such use which may include rental at least in an amount sufficient to cover all resulting expenses for the purposes of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (i), (j) and (k) of subdivision one of this section. Any such use, pursuant to paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (h) and (j) of subdivision one of this section, shall not allow the exclusion of any district child solely because said child is not attending a district school or not attending the district school which is sponsoring such use or on which grounds the use is to occur.


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Last modified: September 11, 2016