Disabled kids, educators rally at the Capitol

Disabled kids, educators rally at the Capitol

Times Union | March 10, 2011 | By Casey Seller

An estimated crowd of 600 disabled students, family members and educators joined legislators this morning in the well of the LOB to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pull back on an element of his budget proposal that would change the way “4201″ schools are funded. New York has 11 state-supported private schools that work with 1,500 student who are blind, deaf, or fall within an additional range of disabilities.

Under the current system, 10 percent of the cost of each pupil is covered by the local school district, while 90 percent is picked up by a discrete state appropriation distributed by the Education Department. Cuomo’s budget proposal would require the local district to pick up the tab, as is the case with other special education schools. The state would then reimburse 85 percent of the remaining cost, throwing the remainder back on the district. The end result would be a 13.5 percent reduction in state spending on the schools on average, although the cut sustained by each school would be up to the individual district.

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