Families living in wealthy neighborhoods are filing more claims for private school reimbursement than those living elsewhere in the nation’s largest school district and they’re often doing so before trying public school.

New York City’s Department of Education spent $116 million last year sending special education students to private schools, in some cases forking over $90,000 or more per student.

In many cases, parents secured funding after suing the school district alleging that it could not provide an appropriate education for their child internally. About half of claims come from families of children who have not first tried public school.

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With more claims coming from parents living in affluent neighborhoods, school officials suggest that suing is simply a way for parents who would likely choose private school regardless to have the public pay instead.

Advocates who work on behalf of families, however, say they represent children coming from a variety of economic backgrounds in efforts to gain private school reimbursement. What’s more, they insist that federal education law requires free and appropriate schooling to be provided to all students whether or not their families have the means to independently pay for it, reports The Wall Street Journal. To read more click here.