NYC Mayor Adams expands special education in preschools


Hundreds of new preschool seats will be available to special education students, Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks announced Tuesday, seeking to address a persistent lack of access to free pre-K and 3-K for students with disabilities.

They said they will be making 800 more special education preschool seats available, including 400 to be in place by January and another 400 to be added in the spring.

“For far too long, our students with disabilities have struggled in a system that wasn’t fully able to meet them where they are,” Adams said at a Harlem preschool. “It wasn’t fair, and it was wrong.”

Adams and Banks promised to align many preschool special education offerings with other city-contracted pre-K programs, increasing special education preschool teachers’ pay to make their salaries equal to their counterparts in general education classrooms. They also pledged to add an hour of programming so that students with disabilities no longer have shorter school days than their peers.

“Imagine that children who needed more were receiving less,” Adams said. “That is just dysfunctional at its highest level.”

Adams, who has dyslexia, has said that increasing and improving special education programming is one of his administration’s top priorities.

The city will spend $130 million on the initiatives over two years.

The announcement comes after a turbulent fall for the city’s early education division that included massive delays in reimbursements for providers and accusations of overall mismanagement. Banks has countered that many of the problems began under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, including the failure to provide sufficient special education seats as part of its free “Pre-K for All” program.

“This term ‘for all’ has been thrown around, but in this sector ‘for all’ didn’t necessarily mean for all,” Banks said.

According to Advocates for Children of New York, while the de Blasio administration did provide preschool programming for students with disabilities, it was not enough. Hundreds of the city’s 3- and 4-year-olds have been unable to participate in the city’s free pre-K programming because there have not been enough teachers and seats for special education.

“In recent years, parents of children with disabilities have watched the expansion of pre-K and 3-K and wondered, ‘Why are there no seats for our children?” said the group’s policy director, Randi Levine. “Why are our children’s teachers paid less…Why is the school day length for our children shorter … And why do our children always seem to come last?’”

De Blasio administration officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Levine added that advocates plan to make sure the administration fulfills its promise of additional seats.


Source link

Related posts

George Santos claimed to be victim of attempted murder in resurfaced podcast

Paul Vasquez

George Santos claimed he had a brain tumor

Paul Vasquez

Sunday heat hampers biking, running portions of NYC Triathlon

Paul Vasquez