Thousands Not Receiving Special Education Services
It seems that education deficiencies are running more rampant than ever within the New York City public school system.
According to a report published on Monday, February 29, available data suggested that only 5 percent of students recommended for special education services were receiving recommended care. Thirty-five percent of students were only receiving only part of the services recommended for them. This means that approximately 9,000 students were receiving all of the care they needed. 60,000 plus students were receiving only some of the special education needs recommended to them, which is a rather large education deficiency.
This report also discovered that only 30 percent of students whose parents and teachers had asked for special education services evaluations had actually received these evaluations within the 60 day period required by law. Data systems were so unreliable that it was impossible to determine the exact percentage of students who weren’t receiving proper special education services.
The report cites “major deficiencies” within the structure of the Special Education Student Information System. The Special Education Student Information System is supposed to keep track of every student receiving special education services, but their system is failing to do so. These education deficiencies prevent the DoE from generating reliable and exact numbers of students who are receiving the services that they need. The report estimates as many as forty percent of students are being deprived of their special education services.
Advocacies are getting frustrated with the situation and are offering their opinions on why deficiencies in the education system are continuing to occur.
“You need the data to figure out where the holes in the service delivery are.”
Department spokesman Harry Hartfield has stated that education officials have put around $7.5 million into hiring more school psychologists and social workers this year. Hartfield has also stated that eliminating these education deficiencies is a “top priority for the administration.”
The New York City Education Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Information Technology are all working together to come up with a more effective way to evaluate the quality of special education services.
Sarah Samel is an Emerson College senior Writing, Literature and Publishing student focusing on young adult fiction. When she’s not browsing bookstores, she’s blogging or jotting down ideas for new poems and stories.