Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Persistently Dangerous Schools and Safety Transfers

What can you do if your child attends a school that’s considered “persistently dangerous”?

Since 2003 the federal No Child Left Behind Act requires states to identify “persistently dangerous” schools. It also allows parents of transfer students that attend these schools. In general, if a student becomes a victim of a violent crime, parents can request safety transfers through their borough's enrollment office. In cases where the child attends a special education program, a safety transfer can be obtained through the Committee on Special Education (CSE) office which collaborates with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Student Enrollment Planning and Operations (OSEPO). The list of "persistently dangerous schools" is made available to parents through the NY State Department of Education (click here to view the word document). Parents also receive a notification from the State Education Commissioner.

Does this mean that only students who are victims of crimes can request transfers?

It is the general understanding that unless the parent has made a police report or the school has generated an incident report, the student would not be awarded a transfer for safety reasons. But why wait until an incident occurs? For many parents and advocates it makes sense that these student be granted a transfer when requested and not necessarily after an incident had occurred. The State Education Department releases the list of "persistently dangerous schools" late in August which gives parents little time to request transfers.

How is this related to Special Education?

Children in special education programs are the most affected by crimes and insecurity in schools. The “persistently dangerous” list generated for the 2008-09 school years includes thirteen District 75 schools (specialized schools for children with disabilities).

What are your choices?

If your child’s school appears in the list of “persistently dangerous” schools you have the right to request a transfer under NCLB. You can also reject a placement offer based on these criteria. For more information you can visit the NY State United Teachers info page.

By: Yesenia Estrella

Metropolitan Parent Center @ Sinergia

1 comment:

Maria Maria said...

Thank you for that information.