Cuomo Vetoes Special Ed Bill Backed by Orthodox

Would Have Poured N.Y. Money Into Yeshivas, Private Schools

By JTA

Published August 01, 2012.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for religious students with special needs to receive tuition reimbursements for attending private schools.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Special needs students may currently receive a tuition reimbursement if their local public schools do not provide the services they need, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. Parents must apply for the reimbursement every year, and show why the public school is inappropriate for the child, as well as why the chosen private school is appropriate.

The bill, vetoed on Tuesday, would have required reapplication for the reimbursement only when students’ needs change, not annually. The bill would have required schools to consider “the school environment” versus the student’s “home environment and family background.”

Haredi Orthodox Jews, as well as Catholics, backed the bill.

According to the Journal, Leah Steinberg, special education affairs director for the haredi Agudath Israel of America, called the bill “compassionate.”

Cuomo called it “an overly broad and ambiguous mandate” in a statement.


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