State lawmakers want to expand programs for children with disabilities

Nick Reisman - Spectrum Local News

July 23, 2021

State lawmakers on Thursday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill meant to expand and strengthen programs that serve children with disabilities.

The bill would affect pre-school to school-age children and is meant to provide fair and equitable funding linked to the aid that is given to public schools. 

“Children with special needs are as valuable and as deserving of dignity and respect as all New Yorkers and state policy and state funding needs to reflect that,” said Sen. John Mannion, a Democrat from the Syracuse area who sponsored the bill.

“Every child in New York State is guaranteed a sound basic education under the law and it's up to all of us to deliver it. A sound basic education can only be achieved for these students if they have the proper supports and their schools are funded at the same rate as other public schools.” 

Advocates for these programs have pointed to a lack of funding, which has led to closures, disruptions and limited services for students with disabilities across the state. Current programming would be kept in place and the reinstatement of programming in underserved communities would be possible. 

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