Cuomo Puts End to Special Education Bill

Judy Hartnett's picture
Friday, August 3, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would have made school districts responsible for funding the placement of special education students in the private school of their family’s choice.

The bill, which passed both the state Senate and Assembly in June, would have required local school district committees on special education to account for the “home life and cultural environment” of disabled students when making school placements, while also mandating that families be reimbursed within 30 days for the tuition payments of the private institutions where their children would be placed.

After vetoing the bill, Cuomo released a written statement explaining his opposition to the legislation.

“This constitutes an overly broad and ambiguous mandate that would result in incalculable significant additional costs to be borne by every school district and taxpayer,” the governor’s statement said.

Cuomo’s veto of the bill was met with significant relief from local public school administrators.

“We are very relieved at Gov. Cuomo’s decision to veto this last minute proposed legislation, which would have had the potential for catastrophic long-range financial consequences for Great Neck and all public school districts,” Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz said.

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