Student Secures Special Education Benefits

November 20, 2012

On November 20, 2012, Cleary Gottlieb, in partnership with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, successfully settled a claim brought against the New York City Department of Education on behalf of M.H., a student with autism, and his parents. In their request for an impartial hearing, M.H.’s parents alleged that the DOE failed to provide M.H. with a free and appropriate public education as required by state and federal law by failing to offer him a school placement that fit his needs. This is the second claim that M.H.’s parents have made in as many years due to the DOE’s consistent failure to comply with the law regarding M.H.’s education. As a result of the DOE’s failure, M.H.’s parents, for the second year, unilaterally placed M.H. in a private school appropriate to his needs and sought reimbursement for the cost of tuition from the DOE. Rather than proceed to a hearing, the DOE agreed to settle the matter, offering M.H.’s parents full tuition reimbursement for the cost of sending M.H. to the school of their choice for the summer of 2012 and the 2012-2013 school year.