As seen in the Buffalo News on Wednesday, December 13, 2023:

St. Mary’s School for the Deaf has served the deaf and hard-of-hearing community for more than 170 years. Our unwavering commitment to equitable access at our school is what prepares our students to become successful and independent lifelong learners. While we have an incredibly rich history and serve students from all eight counties in Western New York, our ability to meet the needs of our children is dependent upon state funding.

Each of the 11 members of the 4201 School Association, which represents schools serving children who are blind, deaf, and severely physically disabled, has and will continue to prioritize the individual needs of our students. This past year, when public schools received a significant increase in funding, we were grateful that at the end of budget negotiations, Gov. Kathy Hochul and our Legislature also provided a welcomed increase for 4201 Schools.

Whether part of the Deaf Infant Program, summer school, after school, or in the classroom – we greatly value the learning environment that each of our specially trained faculty and educators provide to our children. We couldn’t uphold our school’s mission without them, which is why state funding is necessary to improve staff retention within the academic programs and support services offered to our students.

We greatly appreciate the steadfast commitment of our local and statewide elected officials who continue to keep 4201 schools a priority. We look forward to continuing our work and advocating on behalf of the students that we proudly serve in the next state budget cycle.

Timothy M. Kelly, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf Superintendent and 4201 Schools Association Chair