In New York, it is common for there to be issues related to special education. When parents do not think their children are getting the education they need, it is important that they be proactive and speak up. If, however, there are too many outstanding complaints for the Board of Education to handle, it can result in a backlog and delayed resolution. Although there are steps being taken to deal with the backlog, it may still be a wise decision for parents who are seeking a speedier resolution to have assistance from those with extensive experience in special education matters.
Changes upcoming to add people to hear complaints
A plan is moving forward to add hearing officers for cases related to special education complaints. These are often related to families who are concerned about the education being given to their children. That includes children being placed in the right classes, getting therapy and having a nurturing school environment. In many instances, parents claim that only private schools can give their children the education they need and they want to have it paid for by the city.
The most recent numbers say there were more than 14,000 such complaints. Fifteen percent are still waiting for a hearing. The Board of Regents approved a change to the criteria to become a hearing officer to include attorneys from other states who have at least a year of experience. Before that, the officers needed to be licensed in the state and have two years of education law experience. The number of officers is currently double what it was two years ago. Federal law requires these cases to be settled within 75 days, but it is taking much longer.
Legal representation might help with resolving a special education case
Whether it is having a program that is suitable to the child and his or her needs, seeking reimbursement for tuition, complaints about disciplinary hearings or for other education law issues, having experienced representation may be critical. The challenges the city is facing in reducing the number of cases waiting to be heard is just one factor among many faced by people in this situation. When in need of help, it is important to have professional assistance from the start.