Special education evaluation delays for public school students up by 26percent

Public school students experienced considerable special education evaluation delays, and this hindered their progression. Moreover, they were detrimental as they go against federal timelines.

In the 2018-19 school year, 30% of  the cases reported, schools did not adhere to the 60-day timeline meant for evaluating students for smaller classroom settings or additional supports. 

4,229 students affected by special education evaluation delays

A considerable number of students have been victims of delays in the special education sector. Expressly, 4,229 students were not evaluated under the stipulated period.

According to a report by THE CITY and Chalkbeat, a substantial increase has been witnessed, and this has hindered optimal productivity. 

For instance, parents have lamented that the delays were hindering their children from getting comprehensive special education evaluations in public schools. 

An evaluation starts whenever a parent gives formal consent and typically ends when a school psychologist completes the process. 

Special education evaluation delays rise to 26%

In 2018, it was stipulated that the delays increased by 26% when re-evaluations were undertaken. This was disadvantageous because nearly 5,485 public schools were not reevaluated. 

The hurdles noted have presented parents with substantial struggles. 

For instance, Naomi Pena, president of the parents council in lower Manhattan, complained of how she grappled for more than a year to have her middle child attain supportive services, such as physical and speech therapy, in first grade.

She was even forced to pay an independent evaluation conducted by a neuropsychologist outside the school premises. Pena lamented that it was shameful for parents to be subjected to such struggles. 

The Department of Education has stipulated that it is replacing the present data system as it has experienced significant flaws making data inaccuracy inevitable. This approach will be pivotal in authentically tracking the progress and services rendered to special education students.  

On the other hand, Delkab County School District in Georgia recently promised that there will be no more shortage of special education teachers from now on. Nevertheless, some parents are still reluctant that the schools can provide consistent specialized teaching to their children with special needs.