Transporting children with special education needs
Published on June 4th, 2019
Memorandum of Support
Re: A.1686 Pheffer Amato / S.4168 Addabbo
In relation to providing transportation for children with handicapping conditions
The above-referenced legislation amends paragraph d of subdivision 4 of section 4402 of the Education Law to clarify that transportation up to 50 miles is to be provided for children with special education needs based on the program / services / setting available to such children at the private school they attend as opposed to the more limited range of services and/or inappropriate program or setting that would otherwise be provided them.
The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation.
New York State has a long and distinguished history of caring for and attending to children with special education needs. For decades, the state has required school districts to provide transportation up to 50 miles for such students attending private schools (well beyond the regular 15-mile limit) to ensure that they have access to the school that best meets their particular needs. In some cases however, transportation services are being denied based on a subjective determination by the school district that the program / services being provided are dissimilar to those recommended by the Committee on Special Education.
While no parent would elect to have their child transported any longer than necessary, no family should be denied access to the school with the program, services and setting that are required to best meet the particular needs of their child.
For the above reasons, we urge enactment of this bill.