Toni Gantz is a Deputy Counsel at the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the U.S. She supervises the General Practice Unit, which handles a broad array of issues related to education law and the administration of New York City’s school district, and the Senior Field Counsel, who provide legal assistance to the more than 1,800 schools in the district. She advises on various policies and initiatives affecting New York City’s 1.1 million students, for example, as related to school siting and closure, serving and supporting immigrant students, charter schools, and increasing diversity in schools.
Prior to her position at the Department of Education, she was an attorney at the New York City Law Department. She litigated class-action and civil rights cases, including complex cases involving prisoners’ rights, disability rights, and equal protection, and later drafted legislation and counseled the Mayor’s Office and City agencies on a wide variety of policy initiatives. Such initiatives included Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan to reduce traffic-related deaths on City streets, the significant expansion of the City’s “Pre-K for All” program, and efforts to address and alleviate homelessness. She also served as the Law Department’s Deputy EEO Officer/Disability Rights Coordinator and the Chair of the Law Department’s Women’s Committee. Before working at the Law Department, she clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Dolinger in the Southern District of New York.
Toni received her J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. She has received several fellowships and awards for her public interest work. Prior to law school, Toni worked in education and public health, including at the Prevention Institute.