Feb 10, 2020, NY Daily News: NYC parents of special needs students file class action suit over special education court delays http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/ny-special-education-lawsuit-nyc-20200210-zbcb7xfcafcppal3rhdgx2boeq-story.html Disabled city students who file legal complaints over their treatment at school wait an average of nine months for a resolution, despite a federal legal wait-time limit of 75 days, a new class action lawsuit alleges. The special education courts are designed to protect the legal rights of those children, but the city’s system is so overburdened that vulnerable students wait months or years for help getting critical support, according to the legal complaint. “This problem has been getting worse for years and years and years,” said Danielle Tarantolo, a lawyer at New York Legal Assistance Group, which represents five families in the suit filed Friday in Manhattan federal court — the first class action to take on the delays, Tarantolo said, adding: “The system remains entirely broken." The strains reflect the ballooning number of legal complaints against the city’s Education Department for failing to accommodate children’s special ed needs. During the 2017-18 school year, for example, there were 7,000 such complaints — more than California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas combined, according to an 2019 analysis commissioned by the state education department. Parents can file legal grievances when a school refuses to evaluate a child for a learning disability, offers inadequate support, or declines to recommend a school better suited to the child’s needs. But the city has only 69 special education judges to handle the load. As a result, 10,000 legal cases remain open, and it takes an average of 259 days for a complaint to wind its way through the legal system, a violation of the 75-day federal limit, the suit alleges….
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.