Special Education News

Around the UFT | June 1, 2017

Colorful art and creative projects lined the walls of the union’s Shanker Hall this year for the union’s 11th annual Better Speech and Hearing Month celebration on May 11.

Feature stories | May 4, 2017

A Bronx pair perfects the art of co-teaching. What makes their partnership successful?

Feature stories | May 4, 2017

PS 721, a District 75 school in Manhattan, held a rally to salute its very own Olympians — eight students who were part of the unified floor hockey team that beat China to win a bronze medal in the Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria in March.


Feature stories | May 4, 2017

Those with disabilities today have “a world of opportunity ahead of them,” said Dr. Mary McInerney, the principal of the Richard H. Hungerford School on Staten Island, speaking of people like Marianna Pastena, a graduate of the District 75 school and now a paraprofessional there.

Chapter news | April 20, 2017

In June 2016, the Regents created a new local diploma option for students with disabilities who did not meet graduation standards through the existing appeal and safety net options.

National education and labor news | April 6, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 22 that public schools must do more to accommodate students with disabilities in one of the most significant special education cases­ to reach the high court in decades.

Chapter news | March 28, 2017

Schools are no longer required to request prior approval from the State Education Department to administer state assessments over multiple days. And beginning with the 2017 test administration, students with disabilities who have the “tests read” accommodation on their individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 accommodation plans (504 plans) must be provided with this accommodation for all sections of the test.

News stories | March 2, 2017

Students and staff at PS 32 in Great Kills, Staten Island, performed a new version of Snow White written and directed by one of the school's paraprofessionals.

Editorials | February 2, 2017

The six million students with disabilities in public schools around the country will suffer the most if Betsy DeVos expands for-profit charters and private-school vouchers nationwide.

National education and labor news | January 5, 2017

Students with disabilities will have an easier time requesting accommodations during tests, starting on Jan. 1.

Feature stories | January 5, 2017

In most classrooms, you’ll find one or two teachers. In Alexandra Hernandez’s classroom, there are 16.


News stories | January 5, 2017

Students with reading disabilities will now have a chance to demonstrate what they know on New York State English Language Arts assessments, thanks to a new state policy that will allow the entire test — not just directions — to be read aloud to them.


News stories | December 1, 2016

The UFT and the DOE on Nov. 18 signed an agreement that addresses the challenging working conditions that speech teachers have faced when documenting their work with children with speech and language delays in the SESIS system.

News stories | December 1, 2016

The DOE on Nov. 18 agreed to provide $33 million in back pay to thousands of UFT members who have spent many hours outside their regular workday since Jan. 1, 2013 logging student data onto the DOE's SESIS system.

News | November 22, 2016

In accordance with federal law, the programs and services in a student’s IEP — which may include special education programs (e.g. Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classes) — are legally mandated.

Q & A on the issues | November 14, 2016

See questions and answers on the Nov. 18, 2016 memorandum of agreement between the DOE and the UFT on SESIS issues and Medicaid reimbursement for speech and language services.

Inside my classroom | November 3, 2016

The K–2 students in my self-contained 6:1:1 class love our morning meetings.

Vperspective | November 3, 2016

The centrally funded IEP teacher role has been reenvisioned to focus on identifying and addressing learning issues before students are referred for evaluation.

News stories | November 3, 2016

At the UFT’s prodding, the city and the Department of Education have finally moved to upgrade the troubled SESIS system to stem both the ongoing loss of over $300 million a year in Medicaid reimbursement for student services and to address the thousands of UFT member complaints that have poured in since the system was launched five years ago.


Teacher to teacher | September 8, 2016

Here’s what I learned in my first year of co-teaching about building and sustaining a productive and positive relationship.

Feature stories | July 7, 2016

Everything in Yvon Milien’s architecture class at the Brooklyn School for Career Development in Brooklyn is designed and constructed by his students, from the landscapes to the buildings to the miniature artwork inside small-scale models.

Around the UFT | July 7, 2016

Twelve teachers and 58 special-needs students worked together to bring their standing-room-only production of the hit musical “The Lion King” to the stage of P4 in Fresh Meadows on June 2.

What I do | July 7, 2016

Valencia Edwards has spent her 16-year career at the Lorge School, a non-public special education school in Chelsea with students who range in age from 5 to 21.

Chapter news | May 4, 2016

Here are some of the questions members have asked at meetings. The answers should help you to better understand your rights and responsibilities.

Chapter news | May 4, 2016

Minutes of the May 4, 2016 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

News stories | March 3, 2016

UFT members who had questions about Integrated Co-Teaching classes now have a blueprint of rules and protocols that schools should follow in serving students with disabilities.

Q & A on the issues | January 25, 2016

The UFT, the DOE and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators crafted this FAQ to help with special education issues.

Chapter news | January 20, 2016

Minutes of the January 20, 2016 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Feature stories | January 7, 2016

Elizabeth Bonney is willing to try many things to figure out what will help the students in her self-contained special education class at PS 88 in Ridgewood learn — including a monthly visit from Sammy, a therapy dog.

Vperspective | January 7, 2016

The No. 1 special education issue in schools is pressure to fit students into the programs and services that are available in the school even if the programs and services did not meet the student’s needs.

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