Rochester City School District
Media Advisory
February 9, 2021
Editor Contact:
Marisol Ramos-Lopez
585.455.2844 (m)
Approval of Special Education Class Action Lawsuit
On February 4, 2021, the Honorable David G. Larimer, United States District Judge for the Western District of New York, executed and filed the Order Granting Final Approval of Settlement and the Consent Decree in N.N. v. Rochester City School District.
The Consent Decree puts into place a series of measurable interim performance benchmarks and final disengagement goals that the District must meet in order to request to be disengaged from the Consent Decree. These benchmarks and goals are meant to ensure that the District provides timely and compliance services for services with disabilities, increases the involvement of parents of students with disabilities in the development of individualized education programs and improves the achievement and graduation rates of students with disabilities.
“This settlement has the potential to create long-term change to the delivery of special education programs and services, thereby providing students with disabilities the education to which they are entitled and the opportunity to graduate from high school and enjoy post-graduation success.  We thank the District for engaging in this innovative approach to resolving these long-seeded problems, its willingness to make changes and we acknowledge the progress made to date. As we enter the next phase of this case, Empire Justice Center and its co-counsel at Nixon Peabody LLP look forward to continuing to work with families in RCSD to ensure students with disabilities are receiving the special education programs and services they deserve.,” said Maggie Robb, Senior Attorney at Empire Justice Center. 
“The District would like to express its thanks to the members of the Board of Education’s Special Advisory Committee to Review Special Education Programs and Services, current and former attorneys with Empire Justice Center, former Board of Education Commissioner Melanie Funchess, former General Counsel Karl Kristoff, and District staff. Additionally, we appreciate the insight and early work of Board President Van White, who brought the parties together for meaningful dialogue that ultimately led to this Consent Decree. The District is grateful for their commitment and diligent efforts to assist the District and improve the delivery of Special Education programs and services to our students. We appreciate the work and collaboration of many individuals that have brought us to this point, and we look forward to working together with Empire Justice throughout the Consent Decree and disengagement process,” said Steven Carling, Acting General Counsel for the District.
The Consent Decree can be viewed at: and at
Steven G. Carling, Esq.
Acting General Counsel
Rochester City School District
Maggie R. Robb, Esq.
Director of Civil Rights, Education, Employment & Health
Empire Justice Center
131 W. Broad Street, Rochester, NY 14614 | 585-262-8100