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  • Class Action
  • J.G. v. Mills

    Advocates for Children of New York and The Legal Aid Society of New York filed a class action suit on behalf of a class of students aged 7-21 who had a history of involvement with the juvenile or adult court systems and who were entitled to an education in New York City schools. The plaintiffs in this action claimed that upon being released from a court-ordered setting, they had been denied timely re-enrollment in New York City schools. The students claimed that court-involved youth were regularly denied the opportunity to return to school or were warehoused in alternative settings where they were segregated and adequate educational services were not provided. The complaint also contained allegations on behalf of two subclasses: court-involved youth with disabilities and class members who did not receive adequate educational services while in detention in New York City.

    In 2008, AFC and The Legal Aid Society reached a settlement with New York State. On October 3, 2008, the court approved the settlement agreement between the plaintiffs and the state defendant, Richard Mills, Commissioner of the New York State Education Department.

    In April of 2011, AFC and The Legal Aid Society reached a settlement with New York City. In the settlement, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) agreed to take the following actions:

    • All students returning from placements in the juvenile justice system get promptly enrolled in school after they come back to New York City,
    • Credits earned while students were in court-ordered settings get awarded on students’ transcripts,
    • Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) receive timely and appropriate special education services and placements.

    For school-aged students who were not returned to school in a timely manner during the course of this lawsuit, the settlement provided compensatory relief.

    During the term of the settlement, the DOE was required to produce three monitoring reports to be shared with AFC and our co-counsel, The Legal Aid Society.  On November 6, 2013, the court approved an extension of the settlement, which extended the deadline for the third monitoring report and required the DOE to provide additional interim data.