Press Release: Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Announces Funding Increase to Support Special Education Providers

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

June 10, 2014

Yonkers, NY - State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic Conference Leader, today announced along with Governor Andrew Cuomo that special education providers in the 35th State Senate District are among those statewide who will be getting a 3.8% increase in reimbursement rates. These schools, a majority of which are located within Westchester County, serve the diverse and complex needs of students outside of the traditional school settings. These students need assistance due to emotional or physical disabilities, mental health, substance abuse, or trauma, or because of their involvement with the juvenile justice, social service or child welfare system.

Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “We have an obligation as public servants to ensure that all New Yorkers, especially our children, receive the quality services they require and deserve. Increased reimbursement rates for special education providers is a common sense way to help these institutions better serve students with special needs and I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue.”

The increase applies to “853” Schools and Special Act School Districts:

“853 Schools,” created by Chapter 853 of the Laws of 1976, and operated by private agencies and provide day and/or residential programs for students with disabilities. There are currently more than 120 such schools which together serve thousands of students. A list of these schools can be found here and include:

  • Andrus Children's Center, Yonkers
  • Carol & Frank Biondi Education Center at Leake & Watts Services, Yonkers
  • Ferncliff Manor, Yonkers
  • Hallen Center for Education, New Rochelle
  • Westchester School for Special Children, Yonkers & Hastings

Special Act School Districts, which are public schools created by special action of the legislature for the purpose of providing education services to students who reside in child care institutions. There are ten such schools together serving hundreds of students. A list of these schools can be found here and include:

  • Greenburgh Eleven UFSD, Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry
  • Greenburgh-Graham UFSD, Hastings on Hudson
  • Greenburgh-North Castle UFSD, Dobbs Ferry

Tuition rates for these schools are based on actual allowable costs. As approved by the Division of Budget this year, the rates calculated with include a 3.8 percent increase in recognition of greater costs associated with school expenses.