A class action filed on behalf of thousands of New York City schoolchildren contends that the city is illegally denying them the right to transfer out of low-performing schools.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 15 in the state supreme court in Manhattan, a trial-level court, contends that a cap on transfers imposed by the New York City Department of Education “effectively denies the transfer option” to many eligible students who have that right under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The law affords transfers to children in schools deemed in need of improvement. This year, 328 of New York’s 1,200 schools fall into that category. Parents who applied for transfers were to be notified this week.
Last year, more than 6,800 of 26,400 eligible students chose to transfer out of schools in need of improvement. Fearing overcrowding at receiving schools, the district this year made high school students ineligible for transfers. Officials said an expanded high school choice program sufficiently addressed the issue.
Spokeswoman Michele McManus said the city’s education department was “working conscientiously to meet the requirements of NCLB and believe we are doing everything in accordance with the law.”