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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 13, 2017
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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State Education Department Proposes Public Library Construction Aid Regulation Changes To Expand Scope Of Eligible Projects

45-Day Public Comment Period Begins April 12

Proposed amendments to the State Aid for Library Construction regulations expand and further define the types of public library construction projects that are eligible to receive State aid, the State Education Department announced today.  A 45-day public comment period on the proposed amendments begins April 12.

“Public libraries are centers of communities,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “These regulation changes will enable public libraries to apply for State aid for a wider range of necessary projects that ultimately benefit children and adults.”

“We must continue to invest in public libraries that are vital educational centers and central gathering places for so many communities,” State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With these regulation changes, libraries can receive aid for necessary technology projects, like broadband installation, and receive more funding for projects that serve economically disadvantaged communities.”

The proposed amendments align the Commissioner’s regulations with recent statutory changes the State Legislature made to Education Law §273-a. The proposed amendments include the following significant changes:

•  clarifies eligible costs, including the acquisition of vacant land and purchase and installation of assistive listening devices and systems for the deaf and hearing impaired;

•  makes the installation and infrastructure of broadband services an approved project cost; and

•  enables approved projects serving economically disadvantaged communities to be funded up to 75 percent of eligible project costs.

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on April 12, 2017 and public comment will be received until May 30, 2017. Following the public comment period, it is anticipated that the proposed rule will be presented for permanent adoption by the Board of Regents at the July 2017 meeting. If adopted, the proposed amendment would become effective on August 2, 2017.

The proposed regulation can be viewed here: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/317audbfd2.pdf.

Update - 4/5/17

Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published in the State Register on April 5, 2017. NYSED will accept comments on the proposed amendments for 45 days. Please email comments to regcomments@nysed.gov.