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District 75 Schools for Students with Disabilities Face Devastating Budget Cuts

Published
December 21, 2023
Type
In the Media, Statement

The City recently announced that District 75 schools, which serve over 26,000 students with disabilities in New York City, will face budget cuts of a staggering $97 million. These cuts are far larger than anticipated and will have a crippling impact on how these schools will appropriately educate and support their students.

“These cuts are an outrage,” said Cheryelle Cruickshank, Executive Director at INCLUDEnyc. “They will have a devastating effect on the most underserved and segregated children in our city, making it even harder for them to access the education and support they are entitled to and deserve.”

The cuts will force schools to make drastic reductions in after-school activities, art and music programs, work-based experiences, and sustaining basic school supplies. Furthermore, it will mean these specialized programs will have to significantly reduce their school staff, including individual and classroom paraprofessionals. These professionals provide critical support to students with disabilities and classroom teachers. 

“The paraprofessional shortage is already a major crisis in our schools,” said Cheryelle Cruickshank. “These cuts will only make it worse, leaving thousands of students without the adult assistance the City is required to provide and for our students to succeed and be safe. For too long, District 75 students have been undereducated, underserviced, and hidden. The impact of these cuts will be felt far beyond the classroom. These cuts will further exacerbate existing inequalities, making it even harder for these students to obtain a sound basic education while in school and their ability to be interdependent now and after. INCLUDEnyc is calling on the City to immediately reverse these cuts.”