February 5, 2016
By Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate
New York, NY – Our City is responsible for providing a free and quality education to all children – including over 200,000 children with special education needs.
But unfortunately, the City's Department of Education (DOE) is failing to properly track the needs of students with disabilities, resulting in a severe lack of services for these children and a loss of hundreds of millions worth of Medicaid revenue for the City.
That's why I filed a lawsuit against DOE to force them to fix the broken computer system that is responsible for this failure to deliver basic services.
I was joined this morning by Modisha, whose 6-year-old son has autism. He is supposed to receive services such as cognitive and behavioral therapy, all year round. He has gone weeks at a time without these services because of the failing system.
This is our second lawsuit against DOE in six months regarding special education services. In August, we sued DOE for carrying children with disabilities to school on dangerously hot buses.
DOE has failed our children with disabilities for decades – ignoring pleas of parents, students, and teachers – and we will not stop fighting to get them the education, health, and safety they deserve.