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Chapter 357 of the Laws of 2023 Requiring Student Governments Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are the requirements of the new law?

Chapter 357 adds a new section 817 to New York State (NYS) Education Law to require every school district serving high school students in grades 9-12 with no districtwide or school building peer selected student government to establish at least one peer selected student government organization within such district or school building.    

2. When do the provisions of the new law go into effect?

New section 817 of NYS Education Law goes into effect September 1, 2024.Therefore, any school district serving grades 9-12 that does not currently have a districtwide or school building peer selected student government organization must establish at least one such organization beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.

3. What are the requirements for creating a student government organization?

The requirements for student government organizations are determined at the local district level.

4. If a school district has more than one high school, are they required by the new law to establish a peer selected student government in each high school building?

School districts may create either a district wide student government or a student government for each high school.

5. Do the provisions of the new law apply to boards of cooperative education services (BOCES), charter schools, religious and independent schools and nonpublic schools with approved special education programs (853 Schools), State-Operated Schools, State-Supported Schools (4201 Schools) (i.e., Approved Special Education Programs)?

No. The provisions of the new law apply only to public school districts in NYS, including special act school districts. However, BOCES, religious and independent schools, and Approved Special Education Programs are encouraged to establish student governments to provide students the opportunity actively participate in student government. Such experiences may be used to earn points toward the Seal of Civic Readiness and/or apply for the United States Senate Youth Program