**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
MARCH 12, 2013
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Calls On SUNY Charter Schools Institute to Immediately Investigate Student Suspensions at Success Academy Schools
6-Year-Old Charter School Student with IEP Received 20 Suspensions In Single School Year
(New York, NY)— On Thursday, March 14, 2013, Council Member Letitia James will be joining education advocates to request an immediate investigation on the suspension policy for children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) at the Charter School Success Academy in Cobble Hill Brooklyn, after corresponding with a constituent whose 6-year-old son with an IEP was suspended over twenty times during the school year.
Research shows that chronic absentees in kindergarten have the lowest academic performance in first grade. Because each suspension lasted 2-3 days, the child missed over 50 school days. This child’s IEP required that he have a para-professional (“para”) to shadow him during the school day, however his parent states that the para was removed by the school. Other services he was entitled to were given by teachers who were not certified in special education.
“This is an outrageous mistreatment of this child and his family,” said Council Member James. “Children with special needs are entitled to services whether they attend traditional public schools or charter schools. To punish a child and keep him from the classroom because the resources are not available to help him demonstrates a shocking degree of indifference to his education.”
WHAT: Press Conference calling on SUNY Charter Schools Institute, as well as the Success Academy Board of Trustees and DOE to Investigate Student Suspensions at Success Academy
WHO: Council Member Letitia James, and Education Advocates
WHEN: Thursday, March 14, 2013
WHERE: Steps of City Hall