To complement our advocacy on education issues, we ask Affiliates to help make sure that Governor Cuomo will support children in both 4410 and 853 special education schools.

Background:
On April 15, the State Education Department requested that Governor Cuomo’s Division of the Budget (DOB) provide a 4% increase for both 4410 preschool special education and 853 school-age programs. Governor Cuomo will decide what DOB will approve.  If prior years are any indication, the Governor will provide the 4% increase for 853 schools but not for 4410 schools.

Message:
CP of NYS Affiliates provide special education services to preschool children ages 3-5 (known as 4410 schools) and school-age students ages 5-21 years (known as 853 schools) for their local school districts. 4410 and 853 schools are approved private schools that serve students whose local school districts and BOCES are unable to serve them because of their disability. Although our schools educate New York’s many students with the most severe disabilities, the tuition rates are not adequate to meet this challenge.  While public school Education Aid spending has increased at a rate of at least 3%-4% every year, the students with disabilities who attend these 853 and 4410 schools have been denied similar increases. As a result, our 853s and 4410s are finding that they are increasingly unable to meet the rising operating costs and are unable to pay our teachers, who must meet the same requirements as public school teachers, anywhere near what a local school district pays. Staff retention is extremely difficult for 853 and 4410 schools.

The rates for 4410 approved preschool special education programs have only received a 2% increase over the past six years. Increasingly, this has begun to affect the quality and availability of programs throughout the state, with recent closures of programs serving these young children.
 
Action:
Contact Governor Cuomo and urge him to approve the SED’s recommendation for a 4% tuition increase for all 4410 preschools and 853 school-age programs. Call the Governor’s office at (518) 474-1041 and press “3” to speak with an assistant or to email the Governor, please click here.