Saturday, February 4, 2023

New York City establishes investment to support preschool special education and expand access

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks on Tuesday announced the expansion of special education seats for early childhood education in all five boroughs in partnership with community providers, Provide one special education seat for early childhood education for each child living with a disability by spring 2023.

Previously, the early childhood education system did not have a strategic or deliberate approach to serving children with disabilities and their families. Through a citywide contract reform process, New York City public schools are addressing this historic disparity by expanding the number of seats reserved for students with disabilities in early childhood education and by increasing the number of seats reserved for students with disabilities in early childhood education. are addressing. Salaries of teachers and providers.

“I know from personal experience what the support I needed to learn and grow as a child was. For too long, our young students living with disabilities have struggled in a system that who has failed to meet them,” Mayor Adams said. “Today, we are changing that. This expansion not only ensures that our youngest children receive the resources they need to succeed, but that the teachers and caregivers who serve them receive a fair and living wage that shapes the work they do. This investment is long overdue and I am extremely grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.”

Previously, early childhood opportunities for children with disabilities were few and limited, and their teachers were paid less than their general education peers. As part of Chancellor Banks’ long-term vision to revitalize early childhood education and special education programs in New York City public schools, it is critical that all children have access to teachers and resources that meet their needs. Have access , Class.

“For too long, children with disabilities and their families have been overlooked by a system that was not designed with them in mind. Our vision for early childhood education is for all children,” said DOE Chancellor Banks. “My team is focused on children with special disabilities. We are deeply committed to establishing early childhood education that works for all New York City families: truly accessible, high-quality, and sustainable programs that serves children with disabilities equally. Bright beginnings begin at birth, and I am proud that Vice Chancellor Dr. Ahmed and the Department of Early Childhood Education are dedicated to creating a truly inclusive early childhood system that will benefit our children. will set us up for success for generations to come. Thank you to Mayor Adams, our allies on City Council, our PEP members, and our dedicated community providers for prioritizing children with disabilities and building a system that not only not only meets their needs, but also understands and prioritizes their needs.”

The first set of special education contract enhancements will be implemented across 65 provider contracts to ensure that early childhood education programs are designed to meet the needs of the city’s most vulnerable children. As part of this process, around 3,000 seats across the sector will benefit, including 400 new seats to meet the needs.

An additional 400 new seats will be added this spring for a total of 800 new seats, with the additional seats being leveled out through the contract reform process.

“In an equitable society, high-quality early childhood experiences must include all children,” said Vice Chancellor Dr. Kara H. Ahmed. “Our team envisions a comprehensive system that serves all children from birth to age five, including children with disabilities. We have already created a unique program for each young child with a disability based on their individual strengths and learning needs. We have started the necessary work to provide seats, and we will not stop till the target is met.”

In addition, special education contract enhancements:

  • allocate $130 million for early childhood special education providers over two years;
  • Early childhood education by extending the school day from five hours to six hours and 20 minutes to integrate special education programs with the city’s general education 3-K and Pre-K programs and providing expanded care and learning for children and supports for working families align by;
  • Expand general early childhood education site support such as professional development opportunities for early childhood education special education providers;
  • Increase access to services in the least restrictive environment by allowing providers to offer specialty classes in an integrated setting (SCIS);
  • Establish funding to help recruit, train and retain staff for programs to support the opening of special education across the early childhood education landscape;
  • Allocate funds for teacher and staff salaries in accordance with new services and extended school days; why
  • They would bring about pay increases and pay parity for teachers in special education programs to match their peers in general education in 3-K and Pre-K.

Committed to strengthening and stabilizing the early childhood education landscape in close collaboration with New York City public school providers, educators, community members and families. Part of this essential work is weaving preschool special education programs into the fabric of New York City communities to ensure they are exceptional and accessible to all New York families in response to the needs of the community.

“Disabled children and their families have been forgotten by the system for years, today with this initiative our children with disabilities can have easy access to education, we will provide our forgotten families with excellent accessible, adequate and high quality Committed to serve. serve,” said New York State Assemblywoman Yudelka Tapia. “I stand ready to represent our community in a way that serves children with disabilities equally.”

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