State Senator Jim Seward applauded an announcement Tuesday from Governor Cuomo that special education providers in the 51st Senate District of New York State will receive a four percent increase in reimbursement rates.  Pathfinder Village and Springbrook in Otsego County and the William George Agency in Tompkins County will receive the cost of living adjustment effective on January 1, 2017.

Schools benefiting from this increase serve approximately 13,500 students across the state with diverse and complex needs such as emotional or physical disabilities, mental health issues, trauma, substance abuse, or involvement with the juvenile justice, social service or child welfare system.

In addition to the four percent cost of living adjustment, action was taken today to continue the reforms approved two years ago that help to stabilize and streamline the rate-setting process for school-age providers.  The administration is also committed to working with the State Education Department and providers as they implement the new minimum wage.  Providers will be reimbursed within the enacted appropriation for direct salary and related fringe costs through tuition rate adjustments.  Rates will be amended before the new minimum wage requirements take effect on January 1, 2017.

While the majority of school-age special education students receive services from their school district, the students in schools impacted by these rate increases are placed there by each district's Committee on Special Education as the last option in the continuum of services.  Services provided include an array of supports that extend well beyond education services.