HEARING CONGESTION AT THE NYC IMPARTIAL HEARING OFFICE

As the year comes to a close we wanted to update you on information that affects many of our families.  You may have seen reports recognizing a crisis in the administration of due process filings in New York City. We first alerted our families to this problem in the beginning of 2019, when an external report commissioned and released by the State Education Department found that a serious problem had developed due mainly to the sheer number of hearing requests that are filed each year in NYC (roughly 6,500 to 10,000), coupled with a declining number of hearing officers willing to accept New York City case assignments primarily because of inadequate and disparate pay that has not been adjusted for many years. After the State's external report was released, nothing was done to improve the hearing officer compensation situation for hearings held in New York City. There were reports that the hearing officer roster had declined to only five hearing officers in New York City still willing to accept NYC case assignments. That number has now apparently declined to zero. We have been reaching out to the Chancellor's office, state legislators and others who are in a position to help implement a remedy for this problem. Once the hearing officer compensation issue is resolved, we expect more eligible hearing officers to return and again accept New York City based hearing assignments, essentially allowing the current hearing scheduling problem to resolve on its own. We know this situation is extremely unsettling both emotionally and financially and we are doing everything we can to advocate for our client families  We will continue to keep you apprised.

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