03.01.2016 | Today, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) issued the following statement of its Executive Director, Kim Sweet, in response to the New York City Department of Education’s Reporting of Information Regarding Students Receiving Special Education Services pursuant to Local Law 27:
“At Advocates for Children of New York, we were not surprised to see the delays in special education service delivery reported by the Department of Education in response to the requirements of Local Law 27. We get calls every day from families requiring special education supports and services who face obstacles at multiple points along the path to receiving them. Sometimes they have trouble arranging for the necessary evaluations; sometimes the mandatory meetings to arrange individualized special education plans fail to occur; sometimes everyone agrees on the services a student needs, but those services are not put into place in a timely or thorough way.
Clearly, the City must address the problems delivering timely, appropriate, and legally mandated special education supports. First, it needs a data collection system that can track whether and when required services are actually delivered. Only once the City is able to identify where it falls short can it adequately remedy the holes left in the educational experiences of so many students with special education needs.
If there is no reliable way for the DOE to know which children, in which schools, are receiving timely evaluations regarding special education needs and timely and thorough supports, services and placements, then there is no way to ensure that students actually receive the services they so greatly need and are entitled to under federal and state law.” View statement as pdf