Special Ed under Bloomberg

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the June 2014 Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: June 2014 Leaflet Front and back

Special Ed Under Bloomberg

“I want you to love your job again.” These were the words of Carmen Fariña to special education teachers, school psychologists, social workers, speech therapists and other related service providers.

Special Education for 12 years under Bloomberg has been devastated, to say the least. It was if Bloomberg took a bulldozer to special education under the guise of reform. And the children with special needs suffered the most.

Children’s’ needs were totally ignored in the interest of cutting the budget. Klein empowered incompetent principals who had no time for individual students’ special needs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it is impermissible to recommend services based on the availability of the program or personnel, space, budget or administrative convenience.

Bloomberg’s policies on special education bordered on child abuse and neglect! Often parents and staff had to advocate for the appropriate programs and related services for their children through the Special Education Complaint Form. Impartial Hearings spiked 300%. Caseloads for school psychologists and school social workers increased considerably, causing a rise in work disputes! Increased paperwork and SESIS forced special education teachers and providers of related services to interact more with computer monitors than with children.

Under the new de Blasio Administration and new Chancellor Carmen Fariña, it should be possible to reverse the damage done to thousands of children during the Bloomberg years of neglect. We need directives from the new administration to reverse the Bloomberg era abuses. Then, with the proper funding for programs, services and materials, the most vulnerable in our system may finally receive the services that will best serve their needs, and teachers, school psychologists, social workers, speech therapists and other providers can again love their jobs.

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