NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed Tuesday to try to quickly settle reimbursement claims from parents of special-education students forced to attend private schools.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, New York City has about 170,000 special-needs students. Most of them can be accommodated in the public schools, but a number require parents initially paying out of pocket for costly outside special-ed programs.

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Some parents have undergone much contention and had to take court action to be reimbursed, de Blasio said.

De Blasio promised to cut the red tape and do right by families, setting a goal of settling claims within 15 days.

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“So, say, if we all agree in the first instance, great, we agree,” de Blasio said. “If we have a difference, we’re looking for a resolution of the difference rather than going through a very complicated, costly, lengthy litigation process.

“Starting this fall, when parents of children with disabilities seek tuition reimbursement, things will be different,” he added.

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