Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Many chapter leaders received an email the other day from longtime UFT Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez (see below). In her email, the VP stated how we should be vigilant in enforcing the recent IEP Teacher posting in schools receiving central funding for this position.

Here is my question: In schools where administration is not complying with the posting, are teachers/chapter leaders going to the Union?

I hope so but my guess is in certain schools principals are getting the funding for the IEP Teacher and are out of compliance but nobody is saying a word because some teachers do not think of the UFT as viable option to protect their rights

Dear ____________,
Welcome back! I am writing, as I did last June, because your school has been allocated a centrally-funded IEP teacher position. Under the new posting, which must be used for all centrally-funded IEP teacher positions, IEP teachers will assume a new role as learning specialists. The first few weeks of school will set the course for the rest of the year.
We need your help to ensure that the position is filled as soon as possible and that your IEP teacher’s program meets the requirements in the posting.
Selection of IEP teacher:
  • The June 20, 2016 posting about the new IEP teacher position sets out requirements for the role.
  • If, prior to the date of that posting, the IEP teacher in your school was selected through the preference process prior to the date of the posting, your principal may keep the selected teacher in the position or use the posting to select a new candidate on an expedited basis.
  • Special education teachers who served as education evaluators in your school during the 2002–03 school year have preference for the assignment.
  • Schools that choose to continue a previously selected IEP teacher must adhere to the new job description in the posting for the position.
  • Issues with selection of the IEP teacher will be addressed through reorganization grievances which must be filed within two days after the employee has knowledge of the decision.
IEP teacher assignment:
  • For no fewer than five periods a week, this title serves as the IEP teacher at initial IEP team meetings for newly identified students and provides coverage for special education teachers of students already receiving special education services while they attend IEP team meetings (annual review, three-year review and requested reviews) for their students.
  • Up to five periods a week, this position will provide IEP-mandated specially designed instruction, e.g., Special Education Teachers Support Services, part-time Integrated Co-Teaching and part-time special class services to students with disabilities.
  • For the balance of the program, this position provides individual or small group reading interventions for special education and at-risk general education students and, after receiving professional development, delivers workshops and provides coaching support to teachers and paraprofessionals on evidence-based reading interventions.
If your IEP teacher’s assignment does not comply with the posting, you should first attempt to resolve the issue with your principal. If you are unsuccessful, seek help from your district representative. Your DR can try to resolve the issue with the district superintendent or DOE Borough Field Support Office. If the issue cannot be resolved, you should file a grievance.
IEP teachers will participate in DOE-provided professional development on their new roles and responsibilities. This PD will take place during the contractual workday at various times during the school year. The first of these sessions will occur in late September and early October.
In the meantime, your IEP teacher should work with the Pupil Personnel Team or other intervention team in your school, become familiar with the reading program and interventions that are currently in place in your school, review available data on students’ reading levels and begin to work with students who need additional support individually or in small groups.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email
Carmen Alvarez
Vice President for Special Education

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