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City Council hearing: Special education reforms

In the fall of 2010, the DOE launched the first phase of its reform of special education at 265 schools throughout the City. In September 2012, DOE expanded its special education reform to all schools to provide instruction to students with an individualized education plan, or IEP, in their neighborhood school and in general education classrooms, as much as possible. Key goals of the reform are as follows: 1) to close the achievement gap between students with disabilities and their peers without disabilities; 2) to increase access to and participation in the general education curriculum for students with disabilities; and 3) to build school-based capacity to support the diverse needs of students with disabilities through greater curricular, instructional, and scheduling flexibility. This hearing will focus on questions and concerns about DOE’s implementation of its special education reform system-wide and the extent to which the key goals have been met.

The City Council invites members of Community Education Councils, parents, students, educators, advocates, and all other stakeholders and interested members of the public to testify at this hearing. Testimony will be limited to 2-3 minutes per person to allow as many as possible to testify. Although the hearing starts at 1:00 pm, the Administration (Department of Education), as well as other witnesses (such as elected officials) have been invited to testify and answer questions from Council Members at the outset, so we do not expect to hear from others until sometime after 3:00pm. Please make sure you fill out a witness slip on the desk of the Sergeant-at-arms if you wish to testify. If you plan to bring written testimony, please bring at least 20 copies. If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to submit written testimony, please email your testimony to