Guides for Schools

WHAT CAN I PURCHASE?

Q. ARE THERE MANDATED PURCHASE GUIDELINES?


A. YES - The New York State Education Law stipulates that NYSTL funds must be expended only for the purchase of new or used textbooks, or textbook substitutes, that a student is required to use in a particular class or program. They must be used as a primary source of study material, intended to implement a major part of a New York State curriculum or New York State-approved local curriculum. These may include both hardcover and paperback editions.

ANY SUCH BOOK OR ANCILLARY MATERIAL MUST BE "APPROVED" AS NYSTL-COMPLIANT BY THE DIVISION OF CONTRACTS AND PURCHASING, INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS REVIEW UNIT ("IMRU") at 131 Livingston Street, Room 601, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201 (718) 935-5441) TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PURCHASE WITH NYSTL FUNDS. IMRU neither endorses nor recommends how approved books are to be used in a classroom or school; rather, the review and approval process confirms that NYSTL and Board standards are met.


Q.
OTHER THAN TEXTBOOKS, ARE THERE ANY OTHER NYSTL APPROVED MATERIALS?

A. YES: NYSTL approved materials include:

 Manuals or Workbooks designed to be written in and used by students 

 Dictionaries individually assigned to all students 

 Novels assigned on an individual basis 

 Sheet Music

 Newspapers and News Magazines.

These must have a general circulation, must be published at least bi-weekly, have a paid circulation within the school district, be registered as second-class matter with the U.S. Postal service, and be made available to schools at a discount of not less than 33-1/3 percent from the regular price. There must also be student and/or teacher study guides, provided by the publisher on a regular basis, provided to the school district at no additional charge.


Q.
WHAT MATERIALS CAN'T I PURCHASE WITH NYSTL FUNDS?

A. 
 (OBJECT CODE 338) Reference materials normally housed in the school library, such as    encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, and general or special dictionaries. (Dictionaries individually    assigned to all pupils in a particular class or program can be NYSTL approved,
   however - see above)

(OBJECT CODE 338) Supplementary textbooks, novels, magazines, and newspapers (except as    provided above), which are normally housed in the school library or learning center for short-term
   use by students.

(OBJECT CODE 338) Audio-Visual Materials 

 
(OBJECT CODE 199) Computer software, supplies, and related equipment

 Review books

 Tests and testing materials

 Teacher's Editions of textbooks

 Sectarian publications and materials advocating or supporting religious beliefs


Q.
CAN I PURCHASE DISALLOWED MATERIALS WITH OTHER FUNDING SOURCES?

A. YES - The State provides funding for materials normally housed in the school library.
This includes Audio-visual materials, through the New York State Library program
(NYSLIB - OBJECT CODE 338) and Computer Software through the New York State Software
Law program (NYSSL - OBJECT CODE 199).

Furthermore, although a book may be deemed Disallowed for purchase with NYSTL funds, it still may be determined by IMRU to be "DOE Approved" and available for purchase using funds other than NYSTL funds, such as the City Council appropriation.


Q. HOW DO BOOKS GET APPROVED?

A. To promote the availability of the latest quality materials, the Board maintains a policy of open submittal of textbooks. Submitters must provide IMRU with a review copy and complete a
"Submittal Form for Textbooks" (or its electronic equivalent) provided by DCP. In addition to publishers and vendors, authorized DOE educators, such as principals and program directors,
are invited to submit materials, not currently approved by the Board, to IMRU at no charge.


Q.
ARE THERE BOARD APPROVAL GUIDELINES?

A. For approval, submitted materials must meet the Board's "GUIDELINES FOR THE REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF TEXTBOOKS."

 Books should be reviewed for curriculum content, accuracy, and scholarship.

 The content should be free of discriminatory depictions of ethnic groups, women, the disabled, or   sexual orientations.

 Books should be free of sectarian or denominational content. They should also not contain   commercial advertising.

 Materials should present cultural, social, economic, and ethnic groups through the use of names,   illustrations, and characters, to promote the recognition of diversity in our society.

 Materials should be presented from a non-ethnocentric perspective and, wherever possible,
  historical events should be viewed from a variety of perspectives.

Q. HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT A BOOK'S APPROVAL STATUS?

A. Only materials approved by IMRU, whether "NYSTL Approved" or "DOE Approved" are in the DOE's computer data base (ITEM Master). DCP's electronic online ordering system will automatically prevent NYSTL disallowed books from being ordered with NYSTL funds.