YONKERS, NY — March 31, 2019 — The Yonkers School District is facing a $60 million budget shortfall that could lead to cuts in services and layoffs. The Yonkers Special Education Parent-Teacher Association (YSEPTA) is an organization that tirelessly advocates on behalf of one of the most vulnerable and underfunded populations-; Yonkers children with special needs. As it stands, thousands of children each year do not receive essential services for difficulties such as speech/hearing impairment as well as other learning disabilities. YSEPTA is asking Albany for $20 million to help advance the education of special education children in Yonkers.
Yonkers is at a disadvantage in terms of education funding compared to other cities. Its special needs population requires more than the basic services in order to thrive and succeed.
We are advocating for the following:
- Increased compliance with special education regulation and mandates. Services delayed, are services denied. For example: increased support is needed for staff managing IEPs to ensure that IEPs are being done quickly and accurately.
- Increased funding for special education and pupil support services staff in every school, especially speech therapists and occupational therapists, nurses, full-time psychologists and social workers. This will reduce the need for so many out-of-district placements.
- An increased reimbursement rate to the level of other districts in New York State.
- Increase the number of schools with Integrated Co-Teaching Classes (ICT). In the past, there were double the number of schools offering ICT classes.
- Make special education teachers in ICT classrooms full day, instead of half day (as it is in New York City).
- Increase funding to move forward with the renovation of our school stock and reduce the overcrowding that threatens the ability to properly educate Yonkers children.
Yonkers must receive the essential funding to finance these services and programs; so that Yonkers students may thrive, excel, and grow in our schools. Securing and delivering adequate funding falls onto our representative to ensure Yonkers children receive the best education. Our children need our representatives to work harder for Yonkers Public Schools.
Will you stand with us?
For additional information and/ to get involved, direct email to: Nnennaysepta@gmail.com Nnennaysepta@gmail.com
Yonkers Special Education Parent-Teachers Association (YSEPTA) Board of Directors
Nnenna Akoma-Ononaji, President
Karen Rodriguez, First Vice President
Arnoldo Lorenzo, Second Vice President
Sefora Wilson-King, Treasurer
Sonja Prophete, Secretary