Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why should private schools (i.e. in New York) who gets federal funding

keep their meetings secret? Its cleary why St. Mary School for the Deaf in Buffalo, New York is not working for the students. This is a school where one of the deaf students' favorite teachers got dismissed by the school officials. The board members are not concerned about the teachers or students. I believe that is a major problem and we need to make the public aware of this. The board meetings are closed to anyone including parents, staff or students are allowed in. Board members are not even required to release minutes from its meetings or even to tell what was voted on.

Like any public schools, St. Mary School for the Deaf receive state money and possibly federal money. I have some concerns with this because almost all States are getting funding from the Federal Government's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law governs how states and public agencies provide individuals with disabilities. The State of New York spends about $111 million for the deaf and blind schools without internal control monitoring or financial monitoring. There's no over-sight and no assurances if the government funding is spending as it should. I doubt that either state or federal auditors audited their books. I am not sure if the schools financial records are being audited. They do file federal tax reports which is nothing. About 11 private nonprofit schools serving the blind and deaf in New York State are exempted from the state’s Freedom of Information Law.

In today's The Buffalo News, it published an articleSt. Mary’s School for the Deaf board keeps its meetings closed. One of the biggest issues is this: Board executive committee members have more authority and not listening to teachers, parents and students needs and making it more difficult for them to bring concerns to any of the board members.

I want to know how much of the State money is federal money (if any). If they are giving any federal funding, should'nt the federal government be concerned about this?


Deb Ann said...

I always enjoy reading your blog, but this post...I really have no idea about funding.

Jean Boutcher said...

Your points are valid! Aside from
the problems currently at the
said school. my parents wanted me
to enter St. Mary's School because
it was one of three excellent oral
schools. Now the school is ASL-
oriented and more and more laypeople can apply for a teaching job there. In my days,
all faculty members were nuns and the superintendent was run by a
priest. Time has changed now.

Karen Mayes said...

Yup... Rochester School for the Deaf also has closed meetings, as I remember.