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New York: 6% increase in SPED students in one year; more help needed

Nov 1, 2019, NY Daily News: Special education enrollment increases in New York, but not fast enough, child advocates say Students who need special education aren’t getting enough special treatment. Nearly 29,000 city students with a wide range of disabilities failed to receive required special ed instruction, a children’s watchdog group said Friday. More than 15% of students with disabilities are missing out on instruction to which they are legally entitled, according to Advocates for Children of New York. The total number of neglected disabled children — 28,960 — is more than the entire enrollment of the Yonkers public schools, an organization leader said. The group was responding to a Department of Education report touting a 6% increase in the number of students receiving special education services between the 2017-18 and the 2018-19 school years…. “We’re making progress and seeing results, but there’s work to do and we are taking a comprehensive approach to ensure our students with disabilities have the services they need to thrive in our classrooms.” But Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children, said the evaluation process is too slow. For more than one in four of the students who were evaluated for special education for the first time last year, more than two months passed before an Individualized Education Program meeting was held to determine what support measures should be put in place, Sweet said. …

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