GLENN YOST, CANDIDATE FOR STATE ASSEMBLY 62ND DISTRICT CALLS ON GOVERNOR TO SUPPORT “SPECIAL NEEDS” AGENDA
Yost is calling for cameras in classrooms, regular evaluations of teachers/paras and funding increases for Special Act schools and 853, 4201, 4410 preschool programs
Staten Island, NY: Glenn Yost, candidate for State Assembly in the 62nd district is calling on Governor Cuomo to support a “Special Needs” agenda that will include placing cameras in classrooms, annual evaluations for teachers and paras and funding increases for special needs programs.
The request comes following a series of incidents that have shaken the special needs community, including the alleged verbal abuse of a non-verbal, pre-school student by a special needs teacher working in a state-funded school.
Said Yost, “The number of special needs students entering our education system is increasing but it has become abundantly clear that the need is outpacing our ability to provide appropriate services. Today I am calling on Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to support a “Special Needs” agenda so that parents of special needs children can feel confident that their children are receiving appropriate services in a safe and nurturing environment.”
Yost says that the first and most important item on his agenda is placing cameras in schools and common spaces of group homes for the safety of the students/residents and the staff.
“Cameras have become an important part of our everyday lives so there is no reason why they shouldn’t be used in our classrooms and our common spaces of group homes and programs that serve the special needs community – especially when those who are being served are non-verbal. Every parent worries about their child when s/he is at school. However, parents of non-verbal, special needs children have the added worry because their children can’t tell them if something is wrong. Cameras in the classroom is a common-sense solution to a very real problem.”
Yost is also calling for funding increases for non-public day and residential programs for school-age children with disabilities which are totally reliant on the state to generate revenue for their operations. They are referred to as Special Act schools and 853, 4201, 4410 preschool programs.
“Special education providers must fulfill the individual education and therapeutic needs of students with disabilities. Oftentimes these providers are small organizations with limited resources who can easily find themselves strapped if funding is delayed or if an unexpected circumstance occurs. In order to ensure that providers employ the most qualified and competent staff, it is important that they receive the same pupil funding as New York public schools. This issue is regularly spoken about in Albany and I think it is important for the Governor to give it some real attention now that Staten Island has lost – a county that was already short of slots for special needs pre-school students, lost more than 100 seats when Gingerbread Learning Center and other non-profit organizations have closed programs over the last few years.”