Over 7 million students nationwide receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The specific special education services for each student are formalized in a contract between the school district and parents, otherwise known as an Individualized Education Program or IEP. In March 2020, school districts around the nation unilaterally closed schools, sent students and staff home, and substantially and materially altered these students’ educational programs. This was a violation of federal law. To this day, most school districts continue to violate the federal rights of students and their parents.
Parents and/or natural guardians of students with a disability have joined together as Plaintiffs in a national class action lawsuit. (Click here to join the national class action lawsuit with other parents.)
The Defendants in this national class action lawsuit are local school districts (Click here to see the list of Defendant School Districts) and State Education Departments (Click here to see the list of Defendant State Education Departments).
The ReOpen Class action lawsuit seeks the following relief:
1. (A) Either ReOpen Class immediately and provide the in-person instruction and other services as outlined in each students’ IEP, or
1. (B) Issue a Pendency Voucher to allow parents to self-cure;
2. Order the school districts to conduct independent evaluations of each student with a disability to determine: (A) what compensatory services the students need to make up for all of the missed services and (B) make any updates to the students’ IEPs;
3. Order the school districts to reimburse parents for any expenses or loss of employment due to the failure of the school districts; AND
4. Award parents punitive damages based on the intentional and willful violations of the federal rights of parents and students.
The complaint was filed in federal district court in the Southern District of New York. Click here to read the entire complaint.
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