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Exclusive: Data Show Girls in NYC Schools Receive Special Ed Services at Disproportionately Lower Rates Than Boys. How Race and

12.16.2019 | The 74 | The special education system in New York City is vast, serving upward of 200,000 students across K-12. Its handling of these students’ individual learning needs has been widely criticized, with recent reports exposing skyrocketing special-education-related complaints and severe delays in addressing them. Even with the revelation that 84.3 percent of students in special education last year received all of the services mandated by their Individualized Education Programs — up from 78.4 percent in 2017-18 — organizations such as Advocates for Children of New York have stressed that there are still nearly 29,000 students not getting their full, legally required supports.

When Marisol Nunez recalls how her daughter was left behind in school, it brings her to tears.

Emely, a Latina student in NYC, was still reading at a second-grade level when she was 14. And although school staff had brought Emely’s floundering academics to her mother’s attention, it was years before anyone told Nunez a crucial detail: Something could be done about it.

“They just started to say that she was struggling, but I never heard anything from the district that she needed special support,” Nunez said in Spanish through a translator. She spoke on behalf of her now 17-year-old daughter, who, after advocate intervention, is receiving services for a language disorder and learning disability. Read article