View Full Version : All NYC Officials scrambling to find seats for 15,500 kindergartners with special needs

06-06-2011, 10:01 AM
From N.Y. Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2011/06/05/2011-06-05_specialed_mess_could_cost_city_big_15500_kids_s till_in_limbo.html) by Ben Chapman:
Education officials are weeks behind schedule in a scramble to find seats for about 15,500 kindergartners with special needs - and the delays could cost the city millions, the Daily News has learned.

If the Department of Education doesn't offer the kids spots in public school kindergarten programs by June 15, they could be eligible for seats in private schools, with the city picking up the bill, officials acknowledged.

The delays are also causing anxiety for families who need to know where their kids are going in the fall.

"I'm losing sleep over this. It's really scary," said Maria Farano of Staten Island, who is waiting to hear where her daughter who has autism is going to kindergarten next year.

"What if my daughter is assigned to a school that's far away? It's a total disaster," said Farano, a stay-at-home mom who is also a member of the Citywide Council on Special Education.

Farano is not alone in her dilemma.

While most typical kindergartners already know where they are going to school next year, changes to the city's special education program have created delays for thousands of incoming kindergartners with disabilities.

This year, customized education programs for kids with special needs are mostly being created by administrators at neighborhood schools, instead of education department officials.

The Education Department is also trying to roll out a new computer system for managing services provided to special needs kids, and the change is taking time.

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