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  • The under- and overrepresentation of Black & brown students in special education programs

    Jan 13, 2023

    12.22.2022 | Amsterdam News | Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children of New York, said that based on the data, Black students disproportionately rank in high numbers in “school aged” special education classes compared to other races while simultaneously missing out on critical access to early intervention and preschool special education when needed.

    “In preschool there’s a different situation relative to overall enrollment, children of color are underrepresented among preschoolers receiving special education services while white children are overrepresented,” said Levine.

    Levine said there certainly is a “worry” that Black and brown children that aren’t in early special education will need more intensive services later on in school, but there isn’t an official casualty as to why the inverse happens in preschool. 

    In a report conducted by Advocates for Children, researchers found that in the 2019-20 school year, 1,222 students were waiting for a preschool special education seat in a classroom, the shortage of seats being especially acute in the Bronx and southern Queens. Read article