Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that had to do with placement of Special Education students. He felt that the wording in the bill was too broad, and would place an unfair burden on taxpayers. Others feel the bill would have helped families to pay for placement in religious schools.
In the United States, there is a constant battle going on within the education system. One one side, there is the interest in ensuring that a student who is part of the Special Education system is able to attend a school that can appropriately meet the child’s needs. On the other side, is the question of where the funding for that will come from.
In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a bill that would require public school officials to consider the “home life and family background”, of a Special Education student before the student was placed into a school.
This wording is specifically designed to enable religious parents to have their child placed into a private school that matches the religion of the parents. The cost of the private school tuition would be passed onto the taxpayers.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that this bill would have created an “overly broad and ambiguous mandate” to send more Special Education students into private schools. He also said it would burden taxpayers with “incalculable significant additional costs”.
It is worth noting that, right now, there are laws that enable a parent to move their child from a public school to a private school and have the tuition for it be paid by the public school. In order for this to happen, the student must be enrolled in Special Education. This is allowable only if the public school cannot meet the needs of the student, and that the private school can.
In other words, if your child requires an occupational therapist, and his public school doesn’t have one, you can use this system to move your child into a private school that does have an occupational therapist. The bill would have expanded the rules to include a religious preference as though it were a disability, condition, or special need.
Right now, New York spends over $100 million a year on private schooling for about 5,000 students who are part of the Special Education system. It doesn’t seem right to have the public schools spend part of the funding that is designed to enable students who have special needs to get the educational and developmental help they require on a parent’s interest in placing their child into a school that matches the parent’s religious beliefs.
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