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Update: Cuomo Vetoes Special Ed Placement Bill

Law would require schools to take family background into account when placing special education students.

Update, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed Senate Bill 7722-A, which would have required schools to take family and cultural background into account in the placement of special education students. 

In his leter to the Senate, Cuomo cited many of the concerns raised by critics of the legislation, including the potential costs to school districts and taxpayers.

"This legislation would require that each school district 'take into any possible educational impact differences between the school environment and the child's home environment and family background may have on the child's ability to receive a free appropriate public education.'" Cuomo wrote. "This contitutes and overly broad and ambiguous mandate that would result in incalculable significant additional costs to be borne by every school district and taxpayer.

"This proposal would significantly expand the scope of private placements and public reimbursement of private tuition costs at great taxpayer expense." 

State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) voted against the bill.

“As a former special education teacher I understand the importance of providing an appropriate education to children with special needs," Jaffee said. "However, I voted against this legislation because it not only imposed financial challenges to our public school districts, but also legal challenges given that it was in conflict with federal law."

Educators were among many in the state who have spoken out in opposition to the bill, raising concerns regarding the potential financial burden for schools and the risks involved with vague language it contains. 

In addition to a group of schools in Westchester County that passed resolutions opposing the legislation, the following groups asked Cuomo to veto it. 

  • Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
  • Council of New York Special Education Administrators (CNYSEA)
  • Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators (LIASEA)
  • NYS Council of School Superintendents
  • Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents Council of New York Special Education Administrators (CNYSEA)
  • League of Women Voters
  • NYS PTA
  • National School Boards Association
  • Rural Schools Association
  • New York State United Teachers
  • Council of Big 5 School Districts
  • New York City Partnership

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to veto a bill that would require schools to take family and cultural background into account in the placement process for special education students. 

Educators are among many in the state who have spoken out in opposition to the bill, raising concerns regarding the potential financial burden for schools and the risks involved with vague language it contains. The State Senate and Assembly had passed the bill last month and Cuomo has until Wednesday to act on it.

In addition to a group of schools in Westchester County that passed resolutions opposing the legislation, the following groups sent letters to Cuomo asking him to veto it. 

  • Council of New York Special Education Administrators (CNYSEA)
  • Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators (LIASEA)
  • NYS Council of School Superintendents
  • Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents Council of New York Special Education Administrators (CNYSEA)
  • League of Women Voters
  • NYS PTA
  • School Boards Association

The has to the bill.

An online petition created by a Spring Valley resident urges people to sign and call the governor's office at 518-474-8390.  

Supporters of the legislation argued that it would reduce litigation regarding the placement of special education students, but those who argue that the language is not clear enough have called that into question. 

Assembly Bill 10722/Senate Bill 7722 would call for schools to take a student's home life and cultural environment into account when making placement decisions.

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