“The Assembly has long advocated for those with special needs. That’s why my colleagues in the Assembly and I passed an Assembly budget that restores 92.7 percent in state fiscal year 2011-12 – or $86 million school year – to the Summer School Special Education program. In addition, our budget rejects shifting $90.8 million onto local school districts and taxpayers for special education needs of the blind and deaf. We also reject the $48 million cost shift that would force school districts to pay for the maintenance costs of room and board for students placed in in-state residential facilities.
Special education programs like the programs provided at the Rochester School for the Deaf, are vital to students who are blind, deaf and disabled. Students with special needs depend on the high-quality educational services that have been available in this state for nearly 200 years. Shifting special education costs to local school districts is unfair and disgraceful. We must support these programs, not reduce funding for them.
Removing crucial special education programs would only put blind, deaf and disabled students at an even greater disadvantage. I’ll continue fighting to ensure that our most vulnerable students have the resources and opportunities they need to be successful.”