Provide Funding Parity for Special Act Schools, 853 Schools and 4410 Programs
As a constituent who cares deeply about the education and resources provided to both pre-school-age and school-age children with a variety of intense needs, I urge you to pass, before the scheduled end of session, S.6516-A (Mannion)/A.8013 (Benedetto). This legislation will ensure that the rate for pre-school and school-aged special education providers, and other special education services, are indexed to the support provided to traditional neighborhood schools. The enactment of this legislation will help to provide children with intense and complex needs with the education and services they need to thrive.
Special Act Schools, 853 Schools and 4410 Programs serve the neediest students who require services and supports that are not offered by traditional public schools. These schools and programs, and the children they serve, should not be treated any differently than students who attend our neighborhood public schools.
Ensuring that students who attend special education schools or programs, or require additional services, have the educational settings and supports to help them flourish should not be a financial decision. However, this year, New York State received billions of dollars in federal financial assistance. The state also generated additional revenue by raising taxes on the ultrawealthy. This additional revenue should allow the state to provide Special Act Schools, 853 Schools and 4410 Programs with a tuition growth factor that is in line with the increases that neighborhood public schools received. Due to these new revenue sources, funding parity is more feasible now than ever before.
This funding parity will allow these schools to educate our children and better plan and prepare for the future without the worry of financial insolvency.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I ask that you raise awareness of this issue with your conference, and I look forward to a reply to my email.
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