Special Education Services (SES) in New York City Schools aim to help struggling students get the help they need in English language arts, mathematics, and reading free of charge in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. However, one of the major problems behind this vitally important tool in a child’s learning is that it isn’t offered to every child. New York City Schools are only offering this free tutoring to those students eligible for free lunch and attend a school that failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards for three or more consecutive years.
It would seem as if New York City Schools only believe that the underprivileged should be allowed the tools necessary to help their children refine their skills in a subject that they have trouble with. In fact, with the troubles in the economy these days there are more and more families who live in the New York City Schools area who are not eligible for free lunches but still couldn’t afford private tutoring for their children if they struggle in particular subjects. Yes, there is only a certain amount of funding available for SES programs in the district, so it would make sense that they would be selective in bringing only the children with the highest need into the program. Why narrow that down even further to selecting those with the highest need ONLY out of those who are eligible for free lunches, though? There is always the chance that a child who comes from a middle class family, who also can’t afford private tutoring, has a larger need for SES than a child from an underprivileged family. New York City Schools seem to be ignoring this possibility.
How do Special Education Services Affect Students in New York City Schools?
Special Education Services can only help those students enrolled in SES programs in New York City Schools. The programs are often flexible and allows for before school tutors, after school tutors, weekend tutors, and even some online tutors. SES providers are required to provide assistance at the most convenient time for the child enrolled and can provide students with tutoring at several different sites:
– Schools: SES providers in New York City Schools can provide assistance inside the school building before or after school. This can help students focus more because they are inside their learning institution that has little distractions.
– Homes: SES providers can also come to a student’s home for tutoring in order to help the student be in a more relaxed environment where learning can take place under less pressure.
Overall, New York City Schools have the right idea in providing free SES to students in need. They’ve got it wrong though, in assuming that only the underprivileged can’t afford tutoring for their children. Middle class families in the New York City Schools are struggling to make ends meet every day. Their children shouldn’t be forgotten simply because they aren’t eligible for free lunch. All children, regardless of class, should be given the same opportunities for success. New York City Schools would be better off if they would understand this.