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Agreement To Facilitate Yeshiva Placement For Special-Needs Children

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Photo Credit: Joseph Aron

An agreement between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver promises to ease the path for parents seeking reimbursement for tuition costs of special-education programs in yeshivas and other non-public schools.

Federal law requires school districts to pay tuition for special-needs children in non-public schools chosen by their parents if such choice was the “most appropriate placement.” However, New York City has in recent years imposed administrative procedures and standards that tended to work against a finding of “most appropriate placement” and that required parents to submit to an arduous annual reapplication process.

Silver said that under the agreement, administrative procedures would be sharply modified by the Department of Education to make them more user friendly and consistent with the goals of the federal law.

The agreement came as the New York State legislature was poised to approve remedial legislation requiring substantial changes in the city process.

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