Ra Backs Special Education Providers, Calls for Additional Support

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) is proud to support New York’s 853 Schools, which provide programs for students with disabilities. Ra outlined several important issues related to these providers in anticipation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Budget Hearing scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1, at 9:30 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B. Hosted by the committees on Education and Libraries and Education Technology, this legislative budget hearing provides a platform for state agency heads and stakeholders to present testimony and address inquiries related to the governor’s proposed budget.

These include:

  • Providing schools receiving temporary tuition rates with interim plus rates so they can fully realize the state’s investments over the last several years;
  • Exempting funds that were received from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from being considered offsetting revenue. Currently, special education schools that accept these funds are penalized through their state-set tuition rate, significantly diminishing the rates they receive; and
  • Addressing the workforce crisis facing 853 schools and other special education providers to ensure these schools can recruit and retain qualified teachers and support staff.

“I wholeheartedly support the budget priorities recently laid out by the New York State Coalition of 853 schools as they seek to improve opportunities and outcomes for students enrolled in the foster care, juvenile justice and special education systems,” Ra said. “All students should have the same opportunities for success, and these budget priorities are steps in the right direction to ensure special education providers can achieve this goal.”

“I introduced a bill in the Assembly, A.4156, which would provide special education schools with the same annual increases that other public schools receive. This includes support for approved private schools serving students with disabilities, special act school districts and July/August programs for students with disabilities. It also covers approved preschool special education programs. I will continue to fight for the success of every student in our local schools and throughout New York,” Ra concluded.