New York State Exposed Follow-Up: Special education mandates

Posted at: 03/18/2014 5:26 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

An emotional reaction to News10NBC’s New York State Exposed investigation on state mandates for special education.

New York State imposes more than 200 laws and regulations onto local school districts when it comes to children with special needs. That is 200 mandates above the federal guidelines. California has fewer than 30. 

The school districts News10NBC talked to say they want the state to give them more autonomy over special education. The districts say they can still work with parents to get the best program for their child, but they would have more flexibility and be more efficient with taxpayer money.

But after News10NBC’s report Monday, we heard from people like Bonda Reid, who is the guardian for her granddaughters who has special needs. Reid says state laws and regulations with special education give people the confidence there is a process in place. 

Bonda Reid, grandmother of special needs child, said, “ I think if we don't have mandates and it is left to the individual schools districts to handle this and decide what would be provided and what's appropriate, then I don't think the kids will be served well.”