New York City announces new programs for special needs students

CBS New York
CBS New York

NYC announces funding for programs for students with special needs 02:04

NEW YORK -- Schools Chancellor David Banks made a big announcement Thursday about programs for students with special needs.

Public School 186 in the Morrisania section of the Bronx rolled out the red carpet for Banks, who made a $205 million investment in improving special education programs, CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported.
Schools chancellor on future of special education in NYC 35:11

"Far too often, people with disabilities are left out of our vision for a better future," Banks said.

Teachers said the expansion of the special needs programs is long awaited. They include NEST for students with autism , PATH for students with emotional disabilities, and the SEED Pilot Program, which stands for sensory, exploration, education and discovery. The city is adding 70 new sites that have more space and activities than a typical classroom for students to be active, and to help them self regulate.

"Sometimes, we need an outlet to relieve that stress. That's what this is about. You can do whatever helps you to calm down," one student said.

"I'm a chancellor. I get stressed every day," Banks added.

There's also new paid internship program for high school students with special needs, so they can help coach other younger students coming up through the system.

Parents and teachers said they will be watching closely to see how the program rolls out. A new advisory council has also been set up to figure out what's working and what's not.

"Our students with disabilities and their families deserve public schools that see them and can meet their unique needs and prepare them for bold futures," Banks said.

"I am very proud that this administration is taking decisive steps to serve our students with disabilities, to transform the way that we serve our students with disabilities, and, most importantly, to include our students, our advocates, our families in the team that will do this together," student ambassador Joshua Stern said.

Parents can reach out to the Department of Education to help identify which programs their children are eligible for, and how to enroll.

For more information on the special education programs, please click here .

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