News for Social Workers & Psychologists

Know your rights | March 8, 2012 - 9:25am

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, students with disabilities are four times more likely to be suspended than students without disabilities. Yet members consistently report that they have been told that students with disabilities can’t be disciplined. So does the Discipline Code apply to students with disabilities?

Testimony | March 1, 2012 - 3:25pm

UFT President Michael Mulgrew testified before the New York City Council Committees on Education and Finance on the DOE's failure to claim hundreds of millions in federal dollars for special education services.

Union resolutions | February 15, 2012 - 5:46pm

The UFT resolves to take all necessary actions to prevent adoption of proposed legislation to limit the role of school psychologists and eliminate the requirement for the parent member and school physician on Committees on Special Education.

Around the UFT | February 2, 2012 - 3:46pm

More than 340 key activists from the union’s 14 functional chapters took part in a series of plenaries, practical workshops and small-group and informal discussions aimed at training the union’s grassroots leadership over the Jan. 21 weekend.

Vperspective | December 22, 2011 - 3:16pm

Our strong alliance with parents, advocates, disability groups and professional organizations was on display this fall as we together fought another series of cost-containment proposals for special education made by the State Education Department.

Around the UFT | December 22, 2011 - 3:13pm

School-related personnel throughout the city were honored by the UFT at special events in each borough recently for the invaluable support they provide. School psychologist Lisa Harte of PS 138 in Manhattan rated the celebrations “important” for strengthening camaraderie and because “we go back to work happier and focused,” she said.

Around the UFT | December 22, 2011 - 12:35pm

Some schools are lucky to get one visit from Santa’s helpers. East Harlem’s PS 811, the Mickey Mantle School, housed in PS 101, got two, and both on Dec. 7.

News | October 14, 2011 - 2:31pm

The Oct. 15 deadline for inputting encounter attendance information in the Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) is looming for those of you who teach students with special needs and, in many cases, your supervisors and principals are telling you to just get it done. From your phone calls and emails, we know you are working during your lunch, preparation periods, after school and at home and are still finding the task impossible to complete.

Editorials | September 22, 2011 - 4:49pm

Say the word “teacher” and the image that comes to most people’s mind is a person standing at the head of the class. The UFT knows differently. Teaching has a broader meaning, encompassing different kinds of educators, including those who work with children every day, but not necessarily at the head of the class or in the classroom at all.

Vperspective | September 8, 2011 - 3:25pm

This fall, the state Board of Regents will be making recommendations to the state Legislature on another package of cost-containment measures. This isn’t new. Special education is a very large target because it is expensive and it has a lot of requirements. But this time is different.

News | August 11, 2011 - 12:46pm

UFT members who work with students with disabilities have expressed deep concerns about special education cost-saving proposals currently being weighed by the state Board of Regents. The Regents are considering whether to recommend legislation to remove school psychologists from IEP teams, eliminate requirements for certain assessments as part of the initial evaluation and do away with planning and support services for students who are decertified.

News | June 30, 2011 - 12:11am

More than a dozen UFT school psychologists uniformly panned latest “mandate relief” proposals from the state Board of Regents at a state Education Department hearing in Brooklyn on June 28. At issue are guidelines that would waive the requirement that school psychologists and specific psychological evaluations be part of Committee on Special Education (CSE) processes.

Around the UFT | March 24, 2011 - 11:13am

Educators looking for surefire ways to strengthen the home-school connection should take a page from the UFT’s Queens parent book clubs. Today, more than 300 parents from diverse backgrounds, united by a commitment to their children’s education, are attending clubs and other activities at districts throughout the borough.

News stories | December 16, 2010 - 4:49pm

Paraprofessionals, secretaries, guidance counselors, school nurses, therapists, social workers, psychologists and all other support staff are so necessary to education that a New York State law was created in 2007 to honor them annually with a formal School Related Personnel Recognition Day on Nov. 17.

News | November 17, 2010 - 9:19pm

Despite months of protest, tens of thousands of letters and e-mails and passionate testimony by parents and educators, the New York State Board of Regents voted on Nov. 16 to implement a series of “cost containment” proposals that affect some of the most vulnerable students.

News | September 17, 2010 - 5:58pm

An ill-conceived proposal from the State Education Department to offer cost-cutting “mandate relief” to state school districts by lowering minimum-service requirements for students with special needs got slammed at a Sept. 16 SED hearing by every one of the 19 witnesses giving testimony. These included UFT VP for Special Education Carmen Alvarez, a slew of UFT special education teachers and several parents.

National education and labor news | June 17, 2010 - 11:12am

At least three states want federal Department of Education permission to reduce their mandated special education spending. Their out? A stipulation in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act aimed at financially struggling states facing "exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances such as a natural disaster or a precipitous and unforeseen decline in the financial resources of a state."

News stories | May 27, 2010 - 2:32pm

The Department of Education released an important memo issued by District 75 Superintendent Bonnie Brown that clarifies two longstanding issues regarding travel time and location of service for related services. According to the memo, travel time may not be included as part of the direct service time for students receiving related services and students with disabilities who receive instruction in special (self-contained) classes may receive related services in a location outside of the special education class.

Around the UFT | May 6, 2010 - 11:57am

The fine print is a big help in getting schoolchildren the services they need, which is why the UFT contract is playing a starring role in the union’s Protect the Children campaign. “It is the provisions in the contract that allow us to advocate for children and be treated as professionals,” said Marc Spinrad, leader of the social workers and psychologists chapter at their March 22 meeting at UFT headquarters.

Around the UFT | March 18, 2010 - 11:48am

Members of several UFT functional chapters — nurses, occupational and physical therapists, paraprofessionals, secretaries, psychologists and social workers — spent a busy weekend at the New Jersey Princeton Marriott attending workshops and briefings on overall union issues and topics specific to each chapter.

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