April 14, 2020
As we start another week working and turning our homes into surrogate classrooms, we wanted to reach out about some events from this weekend.
As many of us paused during the new norm to enjoy Passover and Easter, the Mayor and Governor expressed somewhat different positions on the timing of school reopenings, causing families additional stress. On Saturday, Mayor De Blasio announced that the city's public-school buildings would likely not reopen until September due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The mayor called the announcement "painful," but also "the right thing to do." Mayor De Blasio also said that the next school year would mark a "new era" and be the most important school year in the city's history. Governor Cuomo remarked: "We won't open schools one minute sooner than they should be opened, but we won't open schools one minute later than they should be opened either. It is clear to all that reopening the school system, and reopening New York City needs to be very carefully coordinated."
Like you, we are anxious to have schools and offices fully operational as quickly and safely as possible. Until that reboot occurs, our firm is very much open for business, and we are doing everything we can to keep all of our clients' matters moving along as quickly and efficiently as possible. The DOE is also working remotely, and while it is not nearly "business as usual" and certainly not perfect, we have found that the system is functioning. The DOE is holding IEP meetings via teleconference. We are litigating impartial hearings via teleconference. We are seeing our settlements move along, and the DOE has recently developed a procedure and protocol for executing stipulations in this new "remote" era. Perhaps most importantly, our office continues to receive reimbursement money and funding for our client families and their educational programs. Our reimbursement specialist, Eric Tacher, continues to track all of our clients' funding submissions to ensure that the DOE is timely, providing funding to families and providers.
We realize how stressful this time is for your family but are thankful for your partnership and support. We appreciate how well you are documenting your child's remote learning program, and we are pleased to hear from so many of you each day about your child's accomplishments – no matter how big or small. We appreciate that balancing home, work, school, and family can be incredibly stressful, and helping each of our families navigate this process helps us continue the important work that each of us is so passionate about.
Wishing you and your family only continued health and peace!
Mayerson & Associates