NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio says he wants to know about any family having issues getting their child into the city schools’ “Summer Rising” program, the free city summer plan for any student in grades K-12 who want to participate..
However, a member of the citywide council on special education says she fears the needs of up to 250,000 students aren’t being met.
Aerika Newsome has four children in New York City schools.
Two of them have been accepted to the program, but her son with special needs was not.
“He’s deaf. Any students who are D-75 (which provides highly specialized instructional support for students with significant challenges) and apply to their home school are either dropped to a waiting list or flat out rejected,” Newsome said.
She adds that her 3-year-old is too young for the program.
“They cut off they cut off pre-K and 3K so they forgot the idea that there’s parents that have children in multiple grades and ages and now we’re stuck pretty much trying to find her a summer camp all by herself,” she said.
Paullette Healy is a member of the citywide council for special education and says complaints are coming in from across the five boroughs.
“Across the board, children with IEPs are being waitlisted and there’s no explanation why and then we also have reports from families that have students in temporary housing that are being wait listed as well and that is criminal,” Healy said.
De Blasio said he wasn’t aware of the issue.
“Of course we want kids with disabilities to be able to participate, so please get us information, we’ll work to resolve those, but the goal is to give every parent a positive option,” de Blasio said during a Friday press conference.
The program begins on July 6 in the Bronx.