Education

Ninth Circuit Takes California Department Of Education (CDE) To Task

Ninth Circuit Takes California Department Of Education to Task in Major and Unprecedented Ruling for State’s Schoolchildren

December 15, 2016

The Ninth Circuit affirmed U.S. Northern California District Court Judge Thelton Henderson’s orders that the California Department of Education (CDE) must implement a corrective action plan designed to ensure that its special education monitoring system would comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Consent Decree in the case, a class action brought to protect the special education rights of students with disabilities. The decision is the culmination of nearly 20 years of attempting to reform failed local and state-level special education policies.
Continue reading Ninth Circuit Takes California Department Of Education (CDE) To Task

East County NAACP Sues Antioch Unified School District

East County NAACP Sues Antioch Unified School District for Violating Agreement on Civil and Disability Rights

District’s Broken Promises Deny African American Students a Quality Education

The East County NAACP filed suit against the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) for violating an agreement intended to address civil rights violations against African American students. That agreement, and the lawsuit, seek to end AUSD’s disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of African American students, particularly those with disabilities. The NAACP East County is represented in this lawsuit by Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), Morrison & Foerster, the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL), and the Equal Justice Society (EJS). The complaint asks the court to compel the Antioch school district to comply with the agreement. The March 2015 agreement was intended to address complaints of violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.

East County NAACP Sues Antioch Unified School District for Violating Agreement on Civil and Disability Rights

National Center for Youth Law, Equal Justice Society, Morrison Foerester and DREDF.

East County NAACP Sues Antioch Unified School District for
Violating Agreement on Civil and Disability Rights

District’s Broken Promises Deny African American Students a Quality Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 7, 2016

CONTACT:

Arlene Mayerson
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
amayerson@dredf.org
510-644-2555 x5241

Allison Elgart
Equal Justice Society
aelgart@equaljusticesociety.org
415-288-8708

Michael Harris
National Center for Youth Law
mharris@youthlaw.org
510-835-8098 x3006

Martinez, CA – The East County NAACP filed suit on July 6, 2016 against the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) for violating an agreement intended to address civil rights violations against African American students. That agreement, and the current lawsuit, seek to end AUSD’s disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of African American students, particularly those with disabilities.
Continue reading East County NAACP Sues Antioch Unified School District for Violating Agreement on Civil and Disability Rights

DREDF Demands Action After State Fails To Protect Children From Abuse In Special Education

ACLU, DRC and DREDF

January 15, 2016

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office of the State Superintendent
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Chris Drouin
Interim Director
Special Education Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 2401
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

RE: Call for Immediate Action to Protect Children with Disabilities from Abuse in California Schools

Continue reading DREDF Demands Action After State Fails To Protect Children From Abuse In Special Education

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students with Disabilities

In June 2015, the National Council on Disability released, Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students with Disabilities, a report researched and written by DREDF. The School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) refers to the practice of pushing students out of school and into the criminal justice system.The report’s findings document that students with disabilities, especially students of color with disabilities, are at the greatest risk of being thrust into the STPP. Nationally, students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be suspended than students without disabilities. The statistics are even worse for students of color with disabilities. In 2009–2010, one out of every four (25%) African American children with disabilities in grades K–12 received at least one suspension.

Antioch School Officials Agree to Groundbreaking Collaboration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2015

Antioch School Officials Agree to Groundbreaking Collaboration to Address NAACP East County Branch Complaint of Civil Rights Violations in Schools

ANTIOCH — Officials of the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) have announced a groundbreaking effort to identify the causes of disparities in school discipline by examining the subtle, complex, and often unintentional ways in which race, disability and discipline intersect.
Continue reading Antioch School Officials Agree to Groundbreaking Collaboration

Arlene Mayerson Interviewed for Investigative Report

No More Delay and Deny

Arlene Mayerson Interview“For parents, there’s an absolute feeling of betrayal. The system is not working the way it’s supposed to work,” said DREDF Directing Attorney Arlene Mayerson in this in-depth investigative story by NBC Bay Area News on the state of special education. Focusing on the problem of public schools’ tactic of “delay and deny,” the piece features Mayerson and Education Advocate Ann McDonald-Cacho.

There is a captioned version of the video following the article.

Important Information about Diabetes Care at School in California

DREDF logoSafe At School

September 2013
The California School Diabetes Care Lawsuit:
Questions And Answers For California Parents And Guardians

Insulin Administration in California School

What does the California Supreme Court’s recent decision mean for students with diabetes and their families?


On August 12, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a decision about who is allowed under state law to administer insulin to students.In that decision, the Court clarified that California law allows people who aren’t licensed nurses or doctors to give insulin and other prescription medications to students with diabetes and other health conditions in California’s public schools.The American Diabetes Association and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) are very pleased with this decision and believe it will help California children with diabetes get the insulin they need to be healthy and safe at school. (State law already clearly permitted non-medical school staff members to administer glucagon and perform blood glucose monitoring, among other types of diabetes care.)
Continue reading Important Information about Diabetes Care at School in California

American Nurses Association v. Torlakson (update 7/12/13)

California State Supreme Court’s Unanimous Ruling to Protect the Safety and Health of California Schoolchildren with Diabetes Benefits All People With Disabilities

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), representing the American Diabetes Association (ADA), with co–counsel Reed Smith, LLP, is extremely pleased with the California Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in American Nurses Association v. Torlakson, a landmark case involving diabetes care in California public schools. Today’s decision made it clear that state law is not an obstacle to children with diabetes receiving the proper care they need to be healthy and medically safe at school. The California Supreme Court agreed with plaintiffs’ interpretation of state law to allow school personnel, who are not nurses, to volunteer and be trained to help children with the insulin they need to survive and thrive at school.
Continue reading American Nurses Association v. Torlakson (update 7/12/13)

Amend Section 32282 of the Education Code

An act to amend Section 32282 of the Education Code, relating to school safety.

Summary

SB 549 requires school and school districts within their school safety plans to better define the role of police officers on campus in order to promote effective strategies towards school safety that better support a healthy school climate and student achievement. It additionally prioritizes funding for school counselors and administrators before police officers.

Status

In Committee process

Our Position: Support

California has the second worst student to counselor ration in the nation of 1 counselor for every 810 students despite a best practice standard of 250-to-1. Now more than ever, supporting safe and healthy school environments requires directing our critical resources towards proven prevention strategies that counselors and intervention workers can implement, such as, mental health services, school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports, restorative and transformative justice programs and additional supports that truly foster a positive and engaging school environment to maximize student growth and achievement.SB 549 takes an important step forward in ensuring our children remain safe in school.