Senator Tedisco calls on Governor Hochul to intervene and initiate plan to aid school districts
Senator Tedisco calls on Governor Hochul to intervene and initiate plan to aid school districts in Rotterdam, Colonie and across the state with potential “avalanche” of unplanned costs associated with welcoming students who speak English as a Second Language and may have additional special needs
Senator Jim Tedisco today called on Governor Kathy Hochul to intervene in the growing situation between New York City and upstate communities such as Rotterdam and Colonie, and initiate a plan to fully reimburse local school districts for any unexpected costs associated with enrolling an influx of children of families seeking asylum in the United States.
On July 18th, the Super 8 Motel in Rotterdam, with little to no advance notice, evicted its current tenants, many of whom received social services, and received about 250 asylum seekers including 68 children who were bussed up without any communication from the Mayor of New York City. The 68 children will be enrolled in the Mohonasen School District come September.
Many of these children will need English as a Second Language teachers and may require other special education services to help them learn. The Superintendent of Mohonasen told the Times Union that it is “unprecedented” for so many children to enroll this late in the summer, “especially so many students who will need help learning the U.S.’s main language.” While schools are happy to welcome these students, there is concern about the unplanned long-term costs associated with educating them.
“I have deep compassion for and am very concerned about the migrant children and families seeking asylum who have been used by the Mayor of New York City as pawns on a chessboard. Upstate communities such as Rotterdam and Colonie are now facing an unexpected new financial burden that is being placed on local taxpayers and school districts to quickly enroll scores of new students that New York City is bussing to municipalities across the state. This new policy being developed by the Mayor of New York City is not solving a problem, it’s exacerbating it. We really need the Governor to intervene here and help ease the avalanche of new, unplanned costs for our schools associated with having the resources necessary to welcome these students who speak English as a Second Language,” said Senator Jim Tedisco, Ranking Member of the Senate Education Committee, and a former special education teacher.
(Attachment is Tedisco’s letter to the Governor asking for state assistance for the unexpected costs to local school districts enrolling migrant children and making sure the funding is there to provide educators for children who speak English as a Second Language.)