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  • New York City to Better Track Foster Youth Education

    Oct 12, 2023

    Huseyin Bilgen, Adobe Stock.

    The Imprint | “For far too long, data showing these disparities have been hidden from public view — and the unique needs of students in foster care have been overlooked,” said Kim Sweet, executive director of the nonprofit Advocates For Children.

    More than 40% of the city’s students who have spent time in the child welfare system are categorized as students with disabilities, which is twice the citywide rate, according to the advocacy group’s data analysis of public records. Foster youth are also overrepresented in “District 75” schools, which analysts say segregate students with significant disabilities from the rest of the system, while lacking resources and showing far lower graduation rates than other city schools.

    The bill passed by the City Council would require the Department of Education to track students’ individualized education programs –– documents required for students enrolled in special education programs.

    Erika Palmer, supervising attorney at Advocates for Children, said foster youth are also more likely to be placed in “very restrictive special education settings,” signaling the need for more careful monitoring of how students are being classified. Read article