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Tuesday, January 31, 2017
MAYOR de BLASIO TIME FOR ACTION............ KEEP YOUR PROMISE YOU MADE TO AGUDATH ISRAEL OF AMERICA AND THE CATHOLIC CONFRENCE TO HELP SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS
IN 2014 YOU PROMISED TO HELP THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CHILDREN KEEP YOUR PROMISE
THANK YOU SENATOR SIMCHA FELDER FOR LEADING THIS FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday 2014 announced a package of administrative changes that Would make the process easier and less contentious for parents who are entitled to reimbursement of tuition for their child’s special education program.
The deal was announced as the Aseembly was about to vote on a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, and passed in the Senate by Senator Simcha Felder earlier this month. The changes announced by Mayor de Blasio will render decisions about whether to settle cases within 15 days, to expedite reimbursements to parents, and to limit the paperwork they are required to submit.
“Every child in this city deserves a quality education. But for years, parents of children with special needs have had to wait for the City to settle legitimate claims for tuition reimbursement. Today, we are turning the page, making changes that will ease the burden on these parents. We are cutting red tape, speeding up the process, and reaching outcomes that do right by families,” de Blasio said at the press conference.
Noting that New York City had an opportunity to do “something foundational and right some wrongs,” Mayor de Blasio called the deal a “streamlined, parent-friendly, family-friendly, respectful approach.”
The plan, the mayor announced, following changes by September 1, will expedite decisions and seek a settlement within 15 days of receiving notice of parent intent to unilaterally place their child in a school. The DOE will also refrain from re-litigating settled or decided cases, unless there is a change in the IEP placement recommendation and avoid unnecessary litigation in cases where the agency is unable to offer a placement, or when a child is about to enter the final grade of a school.
Under the agreement, the DOE will only require that paperwork every three years, allowing for income eligibility updates to be made each year, as needed.
“Each and every child in this state is entitled to a sound, basic education. Unfortunately, our public school system is not always able to accommodate children with special education needs, and many parents must turn to non-public schools. For too long, parents of special needs children had to engage in a lengthy fight to get their children placed in a private school. Parents have had to sue the City for reimbursement of tuition, placing an undue financial burden on these families. Worse yet, parents have to fight this battle year after year,”