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More than 48,000 students with disabilities not getting needed help at NYC schools

NEW YORK — More than 48,000 special needs students in New York City schools did not get the help they were legally entitled to during the last school year, a new Department of Education report shows.

There are about 193,000 students in New York City with individualized education plans designed to help them learn. More than a quarter of those students only partially received their services  or did not get them at all last academic year.

It’s still a significant improvement from the previous year. The percentage of students fully receiving their needed help increased from 59 percent to 73 percent and the percentage of students not being served at all dropped from 8 percent to 4 percent.

“My entire professional career has been dedicated to meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and I’m proud of the significant shift towards inclusion across the DOE,” said Deputy Chancellor Corinne Rello-Anselmi. “We are encouraged by the increase in the number of students receiving services and will continue to work tirelessly — one-on-one with families and across school communities — to provide students with a high-quality education in the least restrictive environment with appropriate needs and services that meet their individual needs.”

The Education Department is working to further improve their numbers, but they face a number of stumbling blocks.

“One core challenge is a shortage of qualified teachers for certain license areas, notably bilingual special education teachers and secondary special education teachers,” according to the report.

About 20 percent of city students need individualized education plans. Special Education Student Information System