Special-needs kids await class placement in the Bronx

THE BRONX - Many Bronx parents say the school year has begun without their children, who have special needs, being placed in classes.

The frustrated parents waited in line Friday at the city's Department of Education in hopes of getting the issue resolved. After waiting for hours, one mother says she was turned away.

"She gave me an appointment for Monday," says Sabrina Yaw, about a DOE official. "We'll take it from there."

The schools that the students have been assigned to either don't have enough space, or don't have the proper facilities for them.

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum says she went to the DOE attempting to get answers for parents but was unable to. "Where's the accountability?" asks Gotbaum.

One DOE policy may prove to be a help: It states that children with special needs who are not placed in a timely manner can get a "Nickerson Letter," which could entitle a child to attend a non-public school.

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