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  • Eric Adams boosted pay for special ed pre-K teachers. Now they face deep cuts

    Jan 22, 2024

    Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative

    Chalkbeat – When the city fails to find a seat for a preschool student with a disability, they often sit at home, or wind up in a program that can’t provide intensive support and services, such as speech therapy, listed on a student’s learning plan.

    The impact on the city’s youngest students is significant. A lack of special education services early on can lead to more significant learning deficits later — and increased costs for the city. The gap in seats this coming spring is projected to be highest in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, covering a swath of the South Bronx and central Brooklyn, including Brownsville and East New York, according to the Advocates for Children analysis.

    “We need to hear a plan for how the city will provide a seat to every child who needs one this year,” said Randi Levine, the policy director at Advocates for Children. “The possibility of 1,400 seats being needed at the end of this year is extremely alarming.”