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  • More than 10,000 preschool kids missed required education services this year

    Jun 6, 2023

    Yellow school bus

    Gothamist | The education department released the data following a new analysis from Advocates for Children of New York that found similar problems in the 2021-2 school year. That year, the analysis found, 9,800 preschoolers did not receive legally required services. The advocacy group found many families also faced delays waiting for their kids to be evaluated for what supports they need.

    Specifically, the analysis found that more than 6,500 preschoolers who needed speech therapy did not receive a single session. More than 5,300 children never received occupational therapy, the nonprofit said, and nearly 2,000 preschool students never had a session of physical therapy.

    No school district managed to fully serve 85% of preschoolers with disabilities in 3-K and Pre-K, according to the review.

    Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children from New York, said the analysis was based on the most recent publicly available data. But she said there were indications that the delays had gotten even worse.

    “We’ve been hearing from parents that it’s even harder to get services this year,” she said. Levine said education department officials have also reported difficulty finding providers.