What is a 10-Day Notice -- and What Happens Next?

In tuition reimbursement cases, there is a requirement that parents provide notice to the school district at least ten business days before unilaterally placing their child in a private school. That notice outlines the due process and placement complaints the parents are making. We commonly refer to these statutory notices as “10-day notices.”

With the start of the 2017-18 school year just around the corner, we are now busily preparing and sending out 10-day notices for the majority of our clients. For those of you who are new to this process, you are probably wondering: Now what happens?

In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a package of administrative policy changes aimed at streamlining settlements and avoiding unnecessary litigation. Since then, when a case meets certain, narrow criteria, the DOE will “fast-track” it for settlement based on the 10-day notice alone. This can happen:

·         When the family won an impartial hearing the prior year (without the DOE appealing) and is seeking a placement at the same school; or

·         When there was a settlement the prior year for the same placement and circumstances; or

·         When a student is in their last year of schooling at a previously funded school.

If a case does not meet the above criteria, this does not mean the DOE will not decide to settle, it just means your case will not be “fast-tracked.”

For cases that don’t settle right away, after the school year begins your attorney will file an Impartial Hearing Request.