Budget Allocates Additional $300M for Special Education, But More Investment Needed

(New York, NY)—Mayor Bill de Blasio released his preliminary budget for FY 2020, which indicates an investment in special education.  

“We’re excited the Mayor is making an additional investment of $300 million in special education supports and services in this year’s preliminary budget. Despite the investment, we know this is not enough to close the achievement gap between the more than 250,000 students with disabilities and general education students in New York City,” said Lori Podvesker, Senior Manager of Disability and Education Policy at INCLUDEnyc.

“We also support the addition of 3-K seats, as we know how critical the early developmental years are. However, the preliminary budget also indicates a $55 million decrease in preschool special education with $588.7M allocated in 2019 and $533.3 in 2020. This may reflect the rapid closures of 4410 preschools. We urge the Mayor to restore the $55 million funds for preschool special education programs and create additional seats and programs, so every student has the same opportunity to attend school,” said Podvesker.

Lori Podvesker and INCLUDEnyc are available for comment. Please contact jreres@includenyc.org.