On February 25, 2019, the ARISE Coalition testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education regarding the provision of special education services. The City must do more to extend the vision of equity and excellence in education to students with disabilities and to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are considered and addressed in every DOE policy decision. Read our testimony [PDF]
Today, the ARISE Coalition is testifying before the City Council Committee on Education about the importance of improving the school transportation system and in support of a bill to provide real-time GPS bus location data to parents. Our testimony [PDF] highlights some of the trends Coalition members have seen that make this system so problematic for individual families and their children with disabilities.
Members of the ARISE Coalition and Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE) sent a letter [PDF] to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking that the City include a major investment in the FY 2020-2024 School Construction Authority Five-Year Capital Plan to make at least one-third of schools accessible to students, parents, and teachers with physical disabilities. Currently, only one out of every five City schools is fully accessible; as a result, students with physical disabilities find themselves automatically shut out of the majority of schools because of architectural barriers.
We estimate that reaching this target would require an additional $750 million over five years. While we would like to see the school system fully accessible to individuals with physical disabilities, this funding would go a long way toward integrating students with physical needs into NYC’s schools and would have a significant impact on their lives.