Security Guards in NYC Nonpublic Schools
Click here to read JCRC-NY’s comments on the proposed rules.
Intro 65, the nonpublic school security guards bill authored by CM David Greenfield, passed by the New York City Council in December, 2015 and signed by Mayor de Blasio in January, will fund security guards in private and parochial schools with more than 300 registered students. New York City is moving ahead with implementation, with the hope of having the program in place by the start of school in September.
If you anticipate that your nonpublic school will have an enrollment exceeding 299 students we strongly urge you to follow this link to the HHS Accelerator and complete the submissions before the end of June. After completing the HHS Accelerator, schools will be eligible to apply to participate in the reimbursement program.
The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) drafted proposed rules and will hold a public hearing on June 27, 2016 at 3:00 PM in the Auditorium at 125 Worth Street, New York, New York 10013. You must register if you wish to submit comments on the proposed rules. You can view the proposed rules here. Several organizations, including the JCRC-NY, are reviewing the rules and will make comments. If you’ve read the FAQ’s and still have questions contact us here.
DCAS’ FAQ’s follow. Of course, the rules, which will be finalized after the hearings, will be definitive. Here are the FAQ’s (slightly edited for clarity):
Who is administering the program?
- The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) was designated as the administering agency by Mayor de Blasio on March 10, 2016.
When does the program begin?
- Reimbursement will be available for the 2016-2017 school year, starting from the date that an MOU (i.e., a contract) is signed. At this time, we anticipate that the contractual agreement will take the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and that it will require registration with the Comptroller.
Do I need to sign a contract with the City to receive reimbursement?
- Yes, each school must enter into a signed MOU (i.e., a contract) with DCAS before any reimbursements will be provided. Upon registration of each school’s MOU, qualified nonpublic schools will be able to submit reimbursement requests on a quarterly basis.
Who is eligible to participate?
- A qualified nonpublic school is a nonprofit elementary or secondary school in New York City, other than a public school, that provides instruction in accordance with the education law, has been assigned a Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) code by the New York State Department of Education, or similar successor identifier, and is serving students in any combination of grades from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Will the program reimburse schools for an unlimited number of security guards?
- No. The program will provide reimbursement to qualified nonpublic schools for the allowable costs 0f retaining certain security guards based on the number of students enrolled at such school.
- Approved schools that enroll between 300 and 499 students shall be reimbursed for the cost of one (1) security guard;
- approved schools that enroll between 500 and 999 students shall be reimbursed for the cost of two (2) security guards; and
- approved schools shall be reimbursed for the cost of an additional security guard for each additional 500 students enrolled in such school.
How does a school apply?
- If a nonpublic school wants to participate in the program during the 2016-17 school year, the school will be required to complete an application. The forthcoming application will be administered by DCAS through the HHS Accelerator system. In order to access the application, a nonpublic school must first be prequalified in HHS Accelerator.
What is HHS Accelerator?
- HHS Accelerator is the City’s online system for health and human service procurements and financial management, which was launched to simplify and speed the contract process for Client and Community based Services providers. HHS Accelerator will reduce paper-based submissions in the financial management of the reimbursement program.
Does being prequalified in HHS Accelerator ensure participation in the program?
- No. Prequalification only ensures that your school meets the standards set forth by HHS Accelerator to utilize their system for this program and also apply to other relevant procurements in HHS Accelerator that your school may be interested in pursuing. A school will still need to complete an application for reimbursement at a later date. Once the application is available, those schools that have been prequalified to use HHS Accelerator will receive an email notification.
When will an application be available?
- DCAS is working to finalize the application as well as rules that offer participants further guidance. Once completed, schools will be notified by DCAS and HHS Accelerator that an application is available for completion. In response to such applications, DCAS will inform schools if they meet the definition of “qualifying nonpublic school” and the number of guards for which they are eligible to receive reimbursements.
How often can a school submit for reimbursement?
- Schools will submit their requests for reimbursements on a quarterly basis. DCAS will provide additional information on the reimbursement schedule prior to the start of the program.
How does a school submit invoices?
- All payments will be processed using HHS Accelerator. DCAS will provide additional information on payment processing prior to the start of the program.
What activities are eligible for reimbursement?
- A qualified nonpublic school may be reimbursed for allowable costs of a security guard used to provide security services when the school is open for school-related instruction or school-related events. Reimbursements shall be given for security guards who provide security services and no other services.
- Forthcoming rules will be promulgated by DCAS that will provide additional guidance on allowable costs and what activities are eligible for reimbursement.
What qualifies as a student for purposes of determining how many security guards a school is eligible to claim reimbursement?
- A student is deemed to refer only to full time students meaning they attend school for six hours and twenty minutes a day. Students to whom the city separately provides assistances that includes funding for security are not included in the reimbursement determination. Schools will be required, upon application to the program, to provide the total number of students enrolled in the school. Schools must revise their application if the total enrollment changes as of the date the school provides this information to the New York State Education Department Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) Report of Nonpublic Schools.
Can a school use any security guard vendor?
- No. DCAS will establish a list of qualified vendors. In order to receive reimbursements, schools will only be able to utilize firms that are on the qualified provider list. Once a list is available, DCAS will notify schools of its availability via email or letter.
What salary is expected to be paid to security guards under this program?
- Security guard wages equal to the prevailing wage and supplements are allowable costs for qualified nonpublic schools under this program. “Prevailing wage and supplements” means the rate of wage and supplemental benefits per hour paid in the City of New York to unarmed security guards as determined by the Comptroller of the City of New York in accordance with section 234 of the labor law. For more information on prevailing wage, visit the New York City Comptroller’s website at: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/prevailing-wage/wage-schedules/.