May 28, 2024
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Teach NYS Calls for Tuition Loan Program for Students With Special Needs

(Courtesy of Teach NYS) Teach NYS has launched a new set of ads calling on council members and Mayor Adams to support legislation (#0957) that will provide loans to cover tuition costs for special needs students while schools await reimbursement payments from the city. It offers interest-free loans for eligible schools, as long as they are repaid in a timely manner. The legislation also includes measures to ensure oversight of schools participating in the program.

The ads launching today are supported by a six-figure media buy and will be served on Facebook and YouTube, as well as geo-targeted websites in the districts of a majority of city council members, including Speaker Adams.

“Finally, there is relief in sight for a problem that has plagued our education system for too many years. It is unacceptable that bureaucratic delays are hindering schools’ ability to serve students with disabilities. With this first round of ads, we are calling on council members to take action. Supporting this bill will be a major step in shattering the logjam and giving every student in New York the opportunity to thrive. Thank you, Councilmember Brannan for leading this fight. Now let’s make it a reality this year,” said Sydney Altfield, executive director of Teach NYS, a project of the Orthodox Union.

According to federal law, parents and guardians may place their children in independent schools if the government is not able to offer a fair and appropriate education in a public institution. Under a system first launched in the de Blasio administration, the city committed to working with families whose children with disabilities are best met in independent schools, with tuition reimbursed by the city’s Department of Education. However, long and costly delays have undermined the program, and only eight percent of all students with disabilities are benefitting from its tuition reimbursements today.

Script of the ad is below:

200,000 – that’s the number of students with special needs in New York City.

Unfortunately, our public school system is leaving too many of them behind.

Under federal law, if the city isn’t able to offer a free and appropriate education, parents have the right to place their children in independent schools.

But only 8% of students with learning disabilities are participating in the program.

The current system is complex, time-consuming and costly.

Bureaucratic delays are forcing many hardworking parents to simply give up.

But help is on the way.

A new bill sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan creates a loan fund that will bridge the gap, making sure that students can be placed in schools that meet their needs.

The bill would ensure tuition is paid on time at no additional cost to parents or taxpayers.

It will cut red tape and help working families. Now let’s make it a reality.

Tell your council member and Mayor Adams to support this bill.

It’s time to give all children with special needs the education they deserve.

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