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  • Special Ed Students Denied Crucial Services During COVID Remote Learning, Suit Alleges

    Nov 24, 2020

    11.23.2020 | The CITY | The federal class action filing by the nonprofit Advocates for Children identifies eight students as complainants who have missed out on legally mandated services during remote learning for a host of reasons — including iPad shortages and the challenge of delivering services such as physical therapy remotely.

    The suit also cites a lack of translation and interpretation services for students and parents as an obstacle.

    The case argues that the city Department of Education’s current hearings system — under which parents can file complaints to reclaim the counseling, physical therapy and more their kids have been missing out on — is too complicated and costly for most families to navigate. 

    They say the log-jammed system, which fielded nearly 11,000 complaints in the 2019-2020 school year that took an average of 259 days to resolve, would inevitably move too slowly given the expected flurry of parents seeking services for their children.

    “This is a time when students can’t wait — they’ve already almost lost a year of appropriate services,” said Rebecca Shore, director of litigation for Advocates for Children.

    “They can’t wait any longer and they can’t wait until the end of the pandemic for the DOE to start addressing this issue,” she added. “The DOE needs to start addressing it now.” Read article