Leaders of 4201 Schools Association urge Gov. Hochul to provide more funding for special-needs schools

Some educators are sounding the alarm about Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposed budget and the impact it could have on programs they offer for deaf, blind and disabled children.
The 4201 Schools Association Chair Dr. Bernadette Kappen says that their funding is significantly less than last year in the governor's budget.
"To have our $2 million not present in the budget, it is really troublesome," Kappen says.
A spokesperson for Hochul's office released a statement saying, "Gov. Hochul allocated approximately $144 million in total public funding for the 11 private 4201 Schools that serve students who are deaf, blind and disabled, equaling roughly $120,000 per pupil."
The schools are unique to serve children with special needs because they are equipped with a full medical suite. Students are fed with feeding tubes or even get oxygen if it is needed during the school day.
"We are able to be in a setting where all of our needs are met," says Jocelene Ramnanan, a senior at the Henry Viscardi School.
The school says it would have to cut programs if there is less allocated in the budget.
Henry Viscardi School head Angelo Zegarelli says they hope the governor will reconsider the funding provided in the current proposed budget.
The 4201 schools are traveling to Albany on Monday for an advocacy day. They are hoping Hochul will consider putting the $2 million back into the budget for their schools.