Distant studying impacted particular training college students
According to a recent report by the State Comptroller, distance learning has most likely resulted in students with disabilities lagging significantly behind in their education over the past year.
Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman, founder and CEO of Tiegerman Schools, says these students need special services and support that are very difficult to do from home.
“Most families have complicated situations today,” said Tiegerman. “It’s not that easy to sit next to a child with special needs five hours a day and sit in front of a tablet or iPad. It is very difficult.”
Schools will work with a student’s family, special education teachers, and service providers such as speech therapists and others to develop a customized lesson plan for students with disabilities. These are known as the IEP, Individualized Education Program.
The auditor’s report found that 46% of students with disabilities in New York City did not receive or received some of the services described in their individual plans, which could contribute to learning losses.
Senator John Mannion, who was a teacher for 30 years, says if schools have to switch back to distance learning, counties must have a plan for these students.
“I hope and believe in the school districts I interact with that a plan is in place,” Mannion said. “At least number one, they have recognized that we in this population group need to be creative as we face these challenges and move to distance learning.”
State auditor Tom DiNapoli in his report highlighted the need to fill the serious learning gaps for students with disabilities in the future, writing that “the performance gaps that existed before the pandemic are likely to widen”.
Tiegerman said it starts with the teachers.
However, 4410 and 853 schools, which are special schools, do not receive the same funding as public schools, which ultimately results in teachers dropping out for higher salaries.
Tiegerman says they are preparing to lose 10 to 15% of their teachers even though the school year is now starting.
“We’re all looking for teachers,” Tiegerman emphasized. “This is the start of the school year. This is the worst time of the year for us. We don’t have many teachers. There is a parity problem here. Fix it. It’s been 35 years. To solve the Problem.”
A bill that would bring funding parity between these special education programs and public schools was passed unanimously in both Houses.
The bill is still waiting to be signed by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mannion.
“These schools need to be able to prepare,” said Mannion. “You have to prepare for staffing, you have to prepare for your students. And if they don’t know the rules by which they play, it becomes even more difficult. “
In his report, DiNapoli stressed that school districts should prioritize state and state aid or special school services to address long-standing funding inequalities for students with disabilities.
Mannion also co-sponsored a bill that addresses some of the learning loss by allowing students with disabilities to stay in school longer.
Previously, students with disabilities had until age 21 to complete their individual school schedules, but that age has now been raised to 23.