Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
Special Education in NYC Saw Increased Funding
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
New York, NY —
The city spent over $100 million on private school tuition for special education students last year, an increase of more than $13 million over the previous year. WNYC's Beth Fertig has more.
REPORTER: Students with disabilities are entitled to attend private schools at taxpayer expense if they can prove their needs aren't being met in the public schools.
Last year, the city spent $102 million on private school tuition. The education department says it's been spending more money over the past two years because it settled a lawsuit over how long it was taking to make the payments, and is now dealing with a backlog of cases.
There are also more students receiving special education services in public schools. 162,000 were enrolled last year, according to the mayor's management report. That's an increase of 7,000 over the previous year.
The education department says more students are coming from private pre-schools and that students with disabilities are remaining in public schools longer and not dropping out as often. For WNYC I'm Beth Fertig.