On August 20th our office filed notices in cases seeking tuition reimbursement for private school placement. As of today, the DOE has responded to 80 percent of these notices, recommending settlement in 60 percent of the cases. We are told that the remaining 20 percent where we have not had a response are still being reviewed by DOE lawyers. This is the first year since 1993 when the Supreme Court issued the landmark Carter decision that the city is recommending tuition reimbursement based solely on the required 10 day notices. We are calling this “fast tracking.” I refer you back to my Blog of August 20th which summarizes this new fast track policy: Follow up Re: Mayor's New Policy
In cases where settlement has been recommended, negotiations between our paralegals and the Department of Education paralegals are already underway. We have been in touch with all the private schools and we are also asking parents to provide us with documents.
On the cases where we are told that the DOE is not “fast tracking” settlements, we are now drafting and filing detailed Hearing Requests. Once these hearing requests are filed the Department of Education will review them and determine whether to recommend settlement or proceed to impartial hearing. Our hearing requests are extremely detailed and legally nuanced and we are optimistic that in most cases settlement will be recommended.
This is all good news and we are happy that the policy initiative put in place by Mayor de Blasio is actually being implemented. Stay tuned and we’ll continue to keep you posted.