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Paterson, NJ: Schools owe thousands of speech therapy hours to hundreds of students

Dec 8, 2018, NorthJersey.com: Paterson schools report progress on special ed backlog https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/paterson-press/2018/12/08/paterson-nj-schools-report-progress-special-ed-backlog/2239414002/ The city school district says it reduced its massive backlog of special education services by providing students with 6,468 hours of speech therapy services during the past 10 months. But the district still owes about 1,600 students another 28,647 hours of speech therapy that they were supposed to receive during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, officials said. … “Those challenges can be exacerbated by the sheer volume of students who need the services, and the scarcity of education professions qualified to provide the services,” said the district in a press release issued this week about the progress made on the backlog. “We are doing everything possible to provide students with the services they need,” said the district’s Chief of Special Education, Cheryl Coy. In an effort to address the backlog, the district this year hired 20 additional speech therapists, raising the total number on the payroll to 48. The district also will be offering Saturday speech therapy sessions starting next month, officials said….