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Advocates charge NYC education officials delay orders to provide special education services

09.03.2019 | Chalkbeat New York / THE CITY | City education officials have allowed more than a thousand students with disabilities to languish without services for months — despite orders from administrative hearing officers, according to a motion filed in federal court Tuesday. The filing charges the city is in violation of a longstanding legal settlement from 2007 that requires the Department of Education to provide services or payments to special needs families within 35 days of receiving a hearing officer’s order. According to the most recent data, the DOE blew that deadline over 30% of the time between October 2017 and January 2018. When the department had to provide a direct service, such as physical or occupational therapy instead of reimbursing the family, officials failed to meet the deadline in about half the cases, the filing says. “After parents go through the lengthy and burdensome process of a hearing and win, they expect their child to finally get the services they need — not months of stalling,” said Rebecca Shore, litigation director for Advocates for Children, which brought the original class action lawsuit in 2003 along with Milbank LLP. Read article