The New York City Department of Education recently announced a policy that it said will “reduce the likelihood that an individual with a learning disability will receive an education.”
The change, which the department says “will allow parents to make the best decisions for their families,” is the latest effort by the city to improve education for students with learning disabilities.
A study by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that a third of children with learning impairments in New York County are not enrolled in schools.
“This policy is intended to give parents the option to send their child to a school with a different learning level, with the expectation that they’ll get a better education,” said Erica Nappen, a policy analyst at the organization.
“Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that the child will receive a better learning experience than they might have received elsewhere.”
The city says it is implementing the change because “the school system has a limited ability to provide high-quality education to children with disabilities in New Yorks public schools.”
The department says it will also make other changes to improve the experience for students who have learning disabilities in the city.
One of the department’s top priorities will be improving access to high-level education for children with special needs.
The department said it is also introducing new tools and programs to help schools educate students with special education needs.
For example, it is testing new learning interventions in schools and increasing support for teachers with special-education experience.
In the meantime, it said it will continue to improve educational opportunities for students and families with learning disability.
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“The City of New York’s mission is to serve New Yorkers of all backgrounds and abilities,” said David Goldblatt, the commissioner of education, in a statement.
“As New York continues to grow, it’s important that we continue to invest in the most innovative and effective strategies for making our schools better places to live, learn and thrive.”
The move comes just a month after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that allows states to expand school choice and provide vouchers for children of low-income families.
The state has already approved nearly $2 billion in vouchers for students to attend public schools.
The new policy, which takes effect in 2020, will be subject to approval by New York State’s Supreme Court.