Insideschools' parent organization, Advocates for Children of New York, announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed in 2003 against the DOE on behalf of parents with students with disabilities. The lawsuit contended that the DOE was not always following through on the (legally required) orders of independent hearing officers who had been called in to settle disputes over students' special ed. services. The DOE will now follow a series of benchmarks when dealing with these cases and be monitored by an independent auditor.
If this situation sounds familiar, and the DOE has failed to act on the orders of an independent hearing officer in your child's case, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of a voucher. The vouchers - which are for as much as $15,000 - can be used for services like tutoring, career and vocational training, assistive technology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other educational services. Insideschool's article on the lawsuit, the Advocates for Children press release and the lawsuit website have more information and claim forms.