June 7, 2016

Governor Cuomo Announces Funding Increase to Support Special Education Schools

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Funding Increase to...

Four Percent Increase Will Help Schools Serving Students with Some of the Most Challenging Disabilities


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced special education providers will receive a four percent increase in reimbursement rates. Schools benefitting from this increase serve approximately 13,500 students across the state with diverse and complex needs such as emotional or physical disabilities, mental health issues, trauma, substance abuse, or involvement with the juvenile justice, social service or child welfare system.

“Special education providers deliver extraordinary services to students who face unique learning challenges,” Governor Cuomo said. “This action recognizes the important role these providers play in helping children with special needs succeed and we’re proud to support them.”

In addition to the four percent cost of living adjustment, action was taken today to continue the reforms approved two years ago that help to stabilize and streamline the rate-setting process for school-age providers. The administration is also committed to working with the State Education Department and providers as they implement the new minimum wage. Providers will be reimbursed within the enacted appropriation for direct salary and related fringe costs through tuition rate adjustments. Rates will be amended before the new minimum wage requirements take effect on January 1, 2017.

While the majority of school-age special education students receive services from their school district, the students in schools impacted by these rate increases are placed there by each district's Committee on Special Education as the last option in the continuum of services. Services provided include an array of supports that extend well beyond education services. Benefitting schools include:

  • “853 Schools,” named for their statutory reference. These schools are operated by private agencies and provide day and/or residential programs for students with disabilities. There are approximately 130 such schools which together serve thousands of students. A list of these schools can be found here.
  • 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.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said, "The schools that will benefit from this funding are vital to the lives ofour state's most vulnerable students and I applaud Governor Cuomo for working with us to help provide them with additional support. Byincreasing the funding these schools receive, our state is demonstratingour commitment to working with them in their efforts and letting thechildren and their families they serve know that we are working to helpprovide them with the best future possible.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “This funding is a perennial priority for the Assembly Majority and will enable our schools to reduce barriers to learning and make sure that the unique needs of every student are met. Ensuring that every student in New York has equitable access to a high quality education is key to creating the brightest future possible for all New Yorkers.”

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office