You can challenge your school district in a Due Process proceeding. New York Due Process proceedings can be a two-tier process. Problems can range from failure to identify and classify a child to failure to provide the child with a legally appropriate education. In New York, the Due Process proceeding can be a two-tier process; first a hearing before an impartial hearing officer that can be reviewed by State Review Officer if either the parent or school district appeals. As a New York special education attorney, I can help you ask for reimbursement for private school tuition, proper evaluations or payments made to private related service providers. Related service providers might include speech and language therapists, specialized reading instruction or executive function coaching. Attorneys fees, but not expert witness fees, may be awarded to parents prevailing on their claims. Because a solid record is absolutely necessary for any of these claims, it is important to begin our partnership as soon as possible.
Private School Tuition Reimbursement
If you believe that your public school district has failed to offer your child a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment, you may have a claim for private school tuition reimbursement. If you are thinking about seeking private school tuition reimbursement, call (516) 967-5874 for special ed attorney, New York-based Bonnie Spiro Schinagle. Also go to all meetings and visit all placements offered by your public school district and let the district know, in writing, that you are placing your child in a private school within 10 days of enrollment in the private school.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This act pre-dates the IDEA by two years and applies to programs and activities, including schools, accepting Federal funds. It prohibits discrimination against ‘qualified individuals with a disability.’ 29 U.S.C. § 794. Qualified individuals under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are those who have “…a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities.” Section 504 requires provision of a FAPE (free, appropriate public education) to qualifying students, but does not have the same progress reporting process as the IDEA.