KLEIN ANNOUNCES 4201 SCHOOL FUNDING RESTORED IN 2012 BUDGET
Bronx Educators, Students and Parents Thank Senator Klein For His Efforts
BRONX, NY – State Senator Jeff Klein (D- Bronx/ Westchester) joined Frank Simpson, Superintendent for Lavelle School for the Blind, Diane Tucker, Upper School Principal for Lavelle School for the Blind, representatives from the New York Institute for Special Education, Noreen Collins of St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf, students, parents and teachers at Lavelle School for the Blind Thursday to announce the restoration of funds for 4201 Schools in the 2012 Executive Budget.
The proposed 2011-2012 Executive Budget previously did not include 4201 School funding, and would have put nearly 1,500 students that attend these 11 schools in the hands of the public school system. Students attending 4201 Schools require specially trained teachers and staff and have been receiving funding from New York State for nearly 200 years.
Last month, Senator Klein and members of the Independent Democratic Conference issued a letter to Governor Cuomo asking for his consideration to restore the state’s appropriation in support of 4201 Schools, and allow professionals at these schools to assist local school districts in evaluating disabled students’ needs both for placement and services. In addition, Klein visited with Lavelle School for the Blind, marched with the New York Institute for Special Education on Pelham Parkway and spoke with Debra Arles, Executive Director for St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf about restoring the funding for 4201 Schools. Senator Klein then went to the leadership of the New York State Senate and asked for this funding to be restored. Klein then voted to restore the funding for 4201 Schools in the Senate. Changes to the Governor’s 2012 Executive Budget now include an additional $272 million in education which includes the restoration of funding for 4201 Schools.
“I have met with all of the 4201 Schools in the Bronx. I understand the great work they do and I'm proud that these schools are a large part of New York’s education system – which is why I fought to restore funding for them in the 2012 Budget,” said Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/ Westchester). “It is crucial that we continue to do all that we can to ensure these schools remain intact for current and future students.“
“Our students and staff eagerly awaited Senator Klein’s visit today and have a sense of security with his support. He demonstrates an understanding of the importance of the special education needs of our students. He recognizes and values our school and the other 4201 schools as resources to meet those needs. Our students said it best in a “Thank You” song - “Senator Klein is a friend of the blind,” said Frank Simpson, Superintendent, Lavelle School for the Blind.
“Senator Klein has supported the deaf, blind and severely disabled children who attend the 4201 schools for many years. In this very difficult budget year, his support helped restore 4201 funding and as a result has made it possible for our students to continue to be educated among their peers in the inclusive and highly specialized environment they require. Senator Klein’s leadership on this issue demonstrates his solid understanding of the complex nature of low incidence disabilities and what New York’s deaf, blind, and severely disabled children need. We invite the Governor to visit any one of the 4201 schools to see what these schools do and how effectively we serve our students,” said Debra Arles, Executive Director, St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf.
“The students and staff at The New York Institute for Special Education are grateful to all the legislators for their support on the 4201 issue. They heard our story and created a solution to provide funds for the students to be successful in school. Our efforts were always about giving the students the opportunities they deserve,” said Dr. Bernadette Kappen, Executive Director, New York Institute for Special Education.