Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
The City has determined that certain special ed instructors will continue in their assignments through the 2019-2020 school year.
By Forum Staff
Following conversations with three borough elected officials, the City Department of Education has decided to keep special education teachers serving non-public schools in place, those pols announced Tuesday.
According to State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing), and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D-Flushing), the City employs 10 special education instructors to provide Special Education Teacher Support Services to students with disabilities attending nine non-public schools in Queens. Changes in federal law regarding service delivery for federally funded services raised the concern that these teachers might be reassigned. Due to the sudden nature of the announcement, the news was met with backlash from parents, school administrators and the instructors. The special ed teachers were expected to receive new assignments across the five boroughs by September.
Addabbo, Rozic, and Rosenthal said they brought their concerns to DOE officials and the Mayor’s Office, and advocated for a review of the policy. The City eventually determined that SETSS providers would continue in their assignments for at least one additional school year (2019-2020).
“When it was announced that the NYC Department of Education was going to remove SETSS instructors from non-public schools — despite the program’s obvious success — my office received calls from teachers and parents asking if there was anything we could to do save the program,” said Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee. “After working with the DOE, I am thankful that they have reversed their decision and will allow the amazing SETSS instructors to remain with their current assignments for at least the 2019-2020 school year.”