Speaker Silver Announces Agreement with Mayor de Blasio on Placement of Special Needs Children in Private Schools


shelly-silverFrom NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:

“Families with special needs children face a multitude of challenges including finding the right fit for their children’s education. We must do all we can to remove barriers and give these children an equal opportunity to succeed. While federal law requires school districts to pay private school tuition for special needs children if it is deemed the most appropriate placement, for too long New York City has refused to pay or has dragged out legal proceedings challenging these placements. Meanwhile children are denied their fundamental right to a sound education and parents must shell out thousands of dollars to either pay tuition or challenge these decisions.

“While the Assembly has passed legislation in previous years to address this issue, I have spoken with Mayor de Blasio and he has pledged to make administrative changes to end this practice and implement a system that is fairer to families beginning in the upcoming school year. To be clear, the Assembly stands ready to act on legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein if the New York City Department of Education fails to act as promised, however we believe administrative steps would be more effective and likely better serve families. I am pleased that Mayor de Blasio has recognized this issue and I look forward to working with him to ensure that children are able to realize their full potential.

“More details regarding these administrative changes will be released next week.”

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Finally!
    Just as Senator Simka Felder passionately pleased with his fellows senators on June 10th the parents of these children had to reapply each year anew for services for issues their children had as though our brilliant bureaucrats expected the Autistic child or Down child to get better and grow out of their handicap. And as Simka also stated it is a mandated federal law!
    Good for them Albany people! It’s good to see them upholding the for a change!

  2. Kol Hakavod. But what about the majority of healthy gezunt kinder in regular Yeshivo’s who are paying double? Once, thru taxes, for the public Schools and again for Yeshiva tuition. How can WE get help?

  3. The New York Times quotes a parent from our community as saying: “As powerful as the mayor is, so what? It’s not going to do anything. This has to be a law. If it’s not a law nobody has to listen to it.”

    I concur with the parent 100%. This was de facto a colossal loss. Simply stated, the Mayor and the Speaker pulled out the rug from under the feet of these children.

    Aaron Tyk, Esq.
    Brooklyn, New York

    The writer Previously served as a Hearing Officer for the New York State Education Department