Proposed Changes To New York Education Law
I received the following email yesterday regarding proposed changes to New York education law:
ATTENTION PARENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Albany is considering legislation RIGHT NOW that will make it harder for you to go to a hearing to enforce your rights or obtain additional academic support for your child.
Why should you be concerned? Two bills before the Senate (S5816 and S5758A) would:
Ø Reduce the amount of time you have to enforce your rights against your school district by cutting the statute of limitations to 180 days for parents who unilaterally place their children in nonpublic school and to one year for everyone else.
Ø Eliminate the right of parents who home school their children or who pay private school tuition to get related services for their child unless they tell the school district that they plan to do this by April 1 of the year before they want the services.
Ø Force parents who home school their children or pay for private school tuition to go through mandatory mediation before they could file a due process hearing.
Ø Allow school districts to cut Academic Intervention Services for students with IEPs.
Call your legislators (518-455-2800 for your State Senator and 518-455-4100 for your Assembly member) and Governor Cuomo (518-474-8390) IMMEDIATELY and let them know you oppose S5816 and S5758A for these reasons. Make it clear that none of the special education mandate relief provisions above should be included in any legislation or session-ending deal.
To read the full text of these bills, visit http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menuf.cgi. Type in the bill number, click on the box at the top of the page that says "text," and then hit "search." The proposal about reducing the statute of limitations from 2 years to a shorter period has been attempted before and has failed. Mediation is intended to be an alternative to an impartial hearing, not a prerequisite. The passage of either of these amendments would be an abrogation of the rights that parents currently possess.