RCSD working to fix ‘major issue’ in special education placement

RCSD working to fix ‘major issue’ in special education placement


By Spectrum News Staff

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The local issue of improper placement of Latino and African American children into special education is being addressed.

The Rochester City School District’s Board met Thursday night.

Members brought in a specialist who has surveyed the city’s schools over the past two months to see how widespread the problem is.

Their finding was conclusive, saying it’s a major issue in the district.

RCSD Board President Van White says the problem isn’t anything new.

“I did an internship at SUNY in Albany at the state capital for the committee of children and families and there was a report on disproportionate placement of African American and Latino boys,” White said. “That was 35 years ago. As chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education I’ve seen this problem nationally today. What we’re dealing with is not unfortunately unique. What will be unique is if we fashion the appropriate solution to stop this disparate treatment of young men and women of color.”

White says the next step is to create a strategy to deal with the problem within the next two months.