September 09, 2009

Act now as clock ticks on Special Act/853 schools bill

Source: NYSUT News Wire

The clock is ticking for the governor to give Special Act and 853 Schools the financial capacity and flexibility they need to support some of the state's most needy students.

On Friday, Governor Paterson received a bill, (S. 5546/A. 8245) which would allow the schools to maintain a 4 percent fund balance from year to year; public schools already have this capability. Paterson has 10 days to sign the bill into law. We need to act now.

A network of 13 Special Act schools and about 120 "853 Schools" serve those students whose needs cannot always be met at traditional public schools. The bill would allow the schools to maintain a fund balance of no more than 4 percent to help pay for unexpected expenses or delays in state reimbursement and plan for the future.