Parents learn through Facebook that Long Island special needs school in danger of closing

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Kristin Thorne has the story.

A private school for children with special needs on Long Island is in trouble - the Mill Neck Manor School is in danger of closing, and many parents only learned about the school's financial problems after a Facebook post from a teacher.

Parents were shocked once they learned that the Early Childhood Center would be closing in June. The Administration says the program is in multi-million dollar debt. It is primarily funded by private donors, foundations and corporations, and receives a small amount of state funding.

"My daughter, when she showed up to the school almost was non-verbal. You really couldn't understand what she's saying. She didn't really know the concept of making friends," said parent Jonathan Knox.

Jonathan says that all changed in just a few months of his daughter, April, attending preschool at Mill Neck Manor.

"She's just blossomed, she's a social butterfly," adds Ashley Knox.

The president of the school, Michael Killian, tells Eyewitness News that no decision has been made whether to close the program.

"They're not taking any questions. They're not making any appointments to see anybody," said employee Michaela Taylor.

"The preschool registration is already starting, we need to know where we will be putting our children," says parent Lauren Tan.

Killian says the program is in debt because of exorbitant teacher pay. He said in a statement,

"We hope the Teachers' Union will promptly join us in addressing the cost of the Early Childhood Center staff compensation."

"If that's really the case, why didn't they come to people and give us the opportunity to fundraise?" says parent Ryan Bathie.

A spokesperson for the Teachers' Union says the union isn't even in contract negotiations because their contract is good until 2018.

Mill Neck Manor also houses a school for the deaf. Killian says that program will not be affected.

Related Topics:
educationeducationspecial needs childrenOyster Bay
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