TC's Pallas "Skeptical" of NYC's Nondisclosure of Disabilities Records | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
News & Events Header

Teachers College Newsroom

Skip to content Skip to content

TC's Pallas "Skeptical" of NYC's Nondisclosure of Disabilities Records

Aaron Pallas, Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education
Aaron Pallas, Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education
In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio made it easier for students with disabilities to have their private school tuition funded by the city. He said the new, streamlined system would make the special education system in public schools more equitable.

The policy change was successful in broadening access to special education. Chalkbeat New York reported that last year, the number of students with disabilities funded by the city to attend private schools was up 42 percent from 2011, and the city settled 49 percent more cases without going through a legal hearing than it did in 2011.

But when Chalkbeat New York asked the Department of Education for demographic breakdowns--including socioeconomic status--on the students who were benefiting from the streamlined system, the City balked, saying the state's open-records law did not require it. Chalkbeat writes that the refusal "does raise questions about how the city can tell if the policy is having its desired effect" of broadening access of disabled students to tuition subsidies.

TC's Aaron Pallas, professor of sociology and education, expressed "skepticism" about the department’s response to the records request, Chalkbeat reports. “You would think the department would want to demonstrate the effects of the policy change,” Pallas is quoted as saying. “One is always suspicious that an agency refuses what seems to be a reasonable request because they won’t like the interpretation of the records.”

LINK:  The City is Paying for More Students With Disabilities to Attend Private School. But is it Helping Poor Families?

Published Monday, Oct 31, 2016

Aaron Pallas, Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education
Aaron Pallas, Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education
In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio made it easier for students with disabilities to have their private school tuition funded by the city. He said the new, streamlined system would make the special education system in public schools more equitable.

The policy change was successful in broadening access to special education. Chalkbeat New York reported that last year, the number of students with disabilities funded by the city to attend private schools was up 42 percent from 2011, and the city settled 49 percent more cases without going through a legal hearing than it did in 2011.

But when Chalkbeat New York asked the Department of Education for demographic breakdowns--including socioeconomic status--on the students who were benefiting from the streamlined system, the City balked, saying the state's open-records law did not require it. Chalkbeat writes that the refusal "does raise questions about how the city can tell if the policy is having its desired effect" of broadening access of disabled students to tuition subsidies.

TC's Aaron Pallas, professor of sociology and education, expressed "skepticism" about the department’s response to the records request, Chalkbeat reports. “You would think the department would want to demonstrate the effects of the policy change,” Pallas is quoted as saying. “One is always suspicious that an agency refuses what seems to be a reasonable request because they won’t like the interpretation of the records.”

LINK:  The City is Paying for More Students With Disabilities to Attend Private School. But is it Helping Poor Families?

How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends