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Bayside, NY: Special education: "A broken system in need of transparency"

Dec 19, 2019, QNS, Bayside, NY: City Council votes bundle of special education bills out of committee https://qns.com/story/2019/12/19/city-council-votes-bundle-of-special-education-bills-out-of-committee/ The City Council Education Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to approve a handful of bills requiring deeper levels of reporting from the Department of Education on its compliance with special education services. In February, the council members pressed representatives from the department of education on the shortages of seats for Pre-K students with disabilities, 40,000 students going without special education services and the challenges that parents and guardians go through to navigate the system. “We learned about a broken system in need of transparency, we learned about the extraordinary steps that parents and guardians must take in order to get their children the most basic of educational services,” said chair of the City Council Education Committee Mark Treyger. About 224,000 New York City students, or 20 percent all of the city’s students, have a disability. … The other pieces of legislation introduced would require the agency to increase the number of times it reports on IEP compliance rates from annually to three times a year and for the DOE to to report its response to parent requests for payment for private school tuition or tutoring if they don’t believe that their child is getting adequate special education services in public school. Parent complaints to the DOE have increased by 51 percent between 2014 and 2018, THE CITY reported, with a large number of those complaints attributed to parents requesting reimbursement from the DOE for placing their students in the private school system. The committee voted 13 to 0 in favor all the bills. In 2018, only 78 percent of special education students received their recommended services, according to data from the DOE. About 19 percent were receiving partial services and 2.5 did not receive any. And as Treyger pointed out during the committee meeting, last year, only about 46 percent of special education students graduated from high school in four years….