Monday, November 18, 2013

New York State to Settle Its Special Education Tuition Reimbursement Lawsuit

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the state had reached a proposed settlement with parents who have placed their special needs children in private schools  and are seeking tuition reimbursement.  The settlement would still need to be approved by the district court.  To be clear, however, the settlement is more procedural that substantive.  Currently, state law requires that a state agency approve settlements/serve as the appeals agency for those families who are denied a settlement by the school district.  The problem is that so many parents have placed their children in private settings, and so many appeals are before the state agency, that there is a huge backlog. As a result, the state is simply failing to process all the claims before it.  This settlement would eliminate the appellate process and defer to local school district decisions, which would drastically speed up the process.

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