Special Education Class Action Lawsuit Targets Nearly Every School District In The Country

Earlier this summer, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, naming nearly every public school district and education agency in the country.  The class action suit was filed by parents and guardians of students with educational disabilities, and those similarly situated, alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit seeks an injunction that would require the immediate reopening of schools to provide services to students with disabilities or, alternatively, “Pendency Vouchers” to be used for self-care, educational programs, and services.  The suit also seeks immediate extensive independent educational evaluations, compensatory education plans, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.

A list of school districts named in the lawsuit may be found HERE.  Keep in mind that, even if your school district is named, action may not be required until the district is properly “served” with the lawsuit under federal court rules.  The federal rules include a number of technical requirements for delivering the lawsuit to a party.  School districts should consult with legal counsel on the status of the suit, whether action is necessary, and appropriate next steps.

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