» Ruling Determines That Department of Education Did Not Provide Enough Support for Special Needs Students

Ruling Determines That Department of Education Did Not Provide Enough Support for Special Needs Students

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 5, 2014 - A ruling from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) said that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) failed to provide students with disabilities with proper evaluation and support for behavioral issues.

New York Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney Bernard Krooks

The ruling affirms a complaint made by the organization Advocates for Children of New York, which works to protect the right to education for high-risk students.

The decision by the NYSED requires the DOE to use Behavior Intervention Plans and Functional Behavior Assessments, which by law are required to support special needs students. The decision means that the DOE will be required to enforce existing support laws for students with disabilities.

The ruling comes at a time when the DOE has been criticized for high suspension rates for special needs students. According to DOE data, students with disabilities are being suspended at a higher rate than students without them. Critics pointed out that suspensions result in missed school time, and are therefore an ineffective response to behavior issues that may be rooted in a disability.

Despite the fact that students with disabilities account for about 16 percent of the student population in New York City, during the 2010-11 school year they accounted for just over 31 percent of the suspensions, more than 23,000 suspensions total. In at least 34 city schools, there were more suspensions of students with disabilities than of those without disabilities.

In suspensions of longer than 10 days, the law requires school officials to take into account whether students' disabilities are affecting their behavior. Advocates for children with disabilities say that options such as mediation and counseling are alternatives to suspension, and should be considered and used more often for special needs students.

A DOE spokesperson said that ensuring schools offer proper supports for special needs students is a top priority, and that combining available supports with professional development and training is the preferred way to deal with behavioral issues. According to the DOE, suspension rates have decreased for all students and are down 19 percent for special needs students compared to 2012.

The NYC DOE is the largest school system in the United States, with 1,700 schools serving more than 1.1 million students. The department is run by Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
[email protected]

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone

View Larger Map

  • How Students With Disabilities in New York Are Succeeding
    Some special education experts say that New York’s assessment tests, aligned with Common Core standards and intended to improve student achievement, are not producing good outcomes for students with disabilities. Last year, throughout the state, there were 190 school districts in which no third-grade special education students were proficient on the language arts test. In […]
  • Moving to a New State When You Have a Family Member with a Disability
    Moving to another state is a big undertaking for any family, but it can be particularly complicated when a family member has a disability. The secrets to a successful transition are advance planning and a backup plan in case of problems. Here are a few specifics to keep in mind. Know what to expect with […]
  • Special Education Case Seeks Supreme Court Review
    The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to grant review in a case about the degree of educational benefit that a special education student should receive under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to satisfy the requirements of the (IDEA). “Clearly, the Supreme Court should hear this important case, as the requirement that a student receive […]
  • Potential Disclosure of Records Impacts Students with Special Needs
    New York City special education students and their parents should be aware of a potential disclosure of student records for the purpose of a class action lawsuit. The potential disclosure may affect students who had an Individualized Education Program (IEP) prepared between 2003 and 2016 by the New York City Department of Education (DOE), and […]
  • Autism Speaks Teams Up with Major League Baseball
     By Stacy M. Sadove, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP As school is closing and summer is starting, many parents are looking to find ways to integrate their children in community events and activities for summer. Americans consider baseball a national pastime.  Children of all ages look forward to attending a ball game with friends and family […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required