Gov. Cuomo wants to slash state funding to schools for the blind, deaf and severely disabled - and is asking local school districts to pick up the tab.
Cuomo's proposed budget eliminates all direct funding to 11 schools serving such children - including three in the Bronx, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn.
"To do this to our kids is just not right," said Jeannette Christie of Throgs Neck, the Bronx, whose son suffers from a rare vision disorder and attends the New York Institute for Special Education in her home borough. "These schools are needed."
Advocates say the move is a departure from tradition because the state has financed the education of the blind and deaf directly for more than a century.
"The students who come to our school are some of the most vulnerable people in the state," said Frank Simpson, superintendent of the Lavelle School for the Blind in the Bronx.
Under the governor's budget, the state would rely on local districts to front the money to fund the schools. The state would then partly reimburse the districts.
Still, the state's annual contribution would shrink by roughly $14 million, and advocates say it would take too long to get the money. They claim the change could shutter the schools, displacing 1,500 children in need of special care.
But a state Budget Division spokesman said the cut was a needed savings and that the proposal would advance "consistency and equal treatment" of all students at the schools, which cost the state $112 million a year.
Overturning a century of tradition and throwing blind, deaf and disabled children out onto the streets.
Wow - some policy.
Meanwhile as the NY Times details this morning, Cuomo is making sure his corrupt cronies in the health care industry are getting paid off.
They say that budgets are not just financial documents but also statements of ideals.
We can see from the way Cuomo has handled the budget just what his ideals are - stealing money from deaf and blind children and handing it to his hedge fund and Wall Street criminal friends or his health care industry cronies.
Little Andy is an arrogant prick and he thinks his 77% approval ratings give him license to do this kind of thing with impunity.
But you better watch out, Little Andy - a few days of the kind of coverage you got today in the Times over your health care industry corruption and in the Daily News over your relish to throw deaf, disabled and blind children out onto the street and those approval ratings are going to be plummeting earthward.