How is the special education system working in the city's public schools? Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and the ARISE Coalition of special education advocates would like to know. They have dubbed April "Students with Disabilities Month"
Parents of students with special needs are encouraged to fill out a survey asking about the issues that their families face in schools every day, and to offer their ideas on how to improve the system. De Blasio says that survey results will be used to "develop clear recommendations to guide the new positive reforms at the Department of Education."
The survey is timely because eight months into the special education reforms piloted in 265 schools this year, there has been little information about how they are actually working. One thing we have heard is that roll-out of the reforms to all schools, originally set to take place during the next school year, has been postponed until the following year.
This month the ARISE Coalition is sponsoring a series of Speak Out sessions for parents of the 200,000 students with special needs in all boroughs, the first of which will be held tomorrow in the Bronx.
Here's the schedule of events:
Bronx, Co-sponsored by Bronx Independent Living Services
April 7, 6-8pm, 4419 Third Avenue, Suite 2C
Queens: Co-sponsored by Parents for Inclusive Education and Advocates for Children of New York
April, 11, 9-11am, 25-09 Broadway
Manhattan, Co-sponsored by Sinergia
April 12, 10am-noon, 2082 Lexington Avenue, 4th Floor
Staten Island, Co-sponsored by Staten Island Parent-to-Parent
April 27, 6-8pm, 1050 Forest Hill Road
Brooklyn, Co-sponsored by United We Stand and Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled
April 28, 6-8pm, Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza
Will you be going? Please share your thoughts in comments below!