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Newark, NJ: "16% of students ...require SPED services"; a "team" is being massed

Sept 19, 2019, Chalkbeat: As León vows improvements, here are 5 issues facing special education in Newark’s schools Newark schools chief Roger León has promised to make many long-needed changes, but perhaps the biggest promise he’s made is to fix the city’s special education program. Even the most thriving school districts can struggle to serve students with disabilities. Complex districts with many needy students often have it harder — and run up against challenges that can stand in the way of getting those students the services they legally are entitled to. Many of those challenges, including having the right staff in place and being able to get children to the schools that can best serve them, have long plagued Newark, where more than 16% of students in the school district require special education services. The district is still being monitored under the 2012 settlement of a class action lawsuit about its handling of special education. But León says changes are on their way, and he’s amassing a team to tackle those problems. The team includes Carolyn Granato, the special education office’s executive director, who was carried over from the previous administration, and Marilyn Mitchell, who was recently promoted to deputy director of the district’s special education team. …


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