Suffolk school for the deaf fights for 'fair funding'
Parents, students, administrators and alumni of Cleary School for the Deaf in Nesconset have a petition going that says they don't have enough state money to pay for all of the students and families who want to attend the school.
Cleary has been around since 1926 and is one of three schools for the deaf on Long Island. It currently has 89 students ranging in age from preschoolers to 21.
"We are fighting for our share of fair funding," says administrator Alise Becker. "Our enrollment has continued to blossom and increase, with no funding increase. The money needs to follow the students."
Becker says one cost-saving measure implemented by the school is a wait list, on which there are about 20 families. Others include not filling open positions and reducing staffing hours.
Becker says all of Cleary's students are able to go to public school, but those institutions often don't have the services provided by Cleary.
Jessica Zane's daughter Hailey was a Cleary student for years. The girl graduated and now attends school in her own district, while wearing hearing aids. Her mother says depriving students of the education they need and deserve is unfair.
The Change.org petition can be found HERE