NYC CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, Mayerson & Associates filed a $500,000,000 federal class action against the New York City Department of Education and the State Education Department for systemically failing to provide tens of thousands of current and former students with disabilities appropriate vocational assessments and transition planning and training. See NBC Video
The lawsuit, which has been assigned to Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon, seeks the establishment of a compensatory educational fund that would be utilized for assessments and training, injunctive relief directing ongoing compliance with the law, and the appointment of a federal monitor who will report periodically to the Court as to the City’s ongoing compliance. The suit is likely one of the largest educational rights class actions ever filed in the U.S. See Federal Complaint
Annually, the City is responsible for teaching more than 135,000 students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). According to federal and New York state law, IEP students who are about to turn 15 are statutorily entitled to ongoing and “coordinated” vocational assessments and vocational/transition training and services to help prepare for the day when they “exit” from the public education system.
The assessment and training process is critically important for the independence and self-sufficiency of our students, as well as for the economy. While the national unemployment rate hovers near 6%, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is reported to be at least double that figure, in excess of 12%. And, for people with autism, the unemployment rate is estimated to be closer to a staggering 85-90%, if not higher.