School Choice & Charters

Lawsuit Supporting Special Education Students in New Orleans Nears Closure

By Christina A. Samuels — December 11, 2014 1 min read

Cross-posted from Charters and Choice:

A lawsuit involving special education students and charter schools in New Orleans might be on the verge of settlement, according to The Times-Picayune.

The complaint was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010. It claimed that New Orleans public schools discriminated against the student plaintiffs because of their disabilities and that massive post-Katrina school choice reform efforts—specifically the charter school boom—have largely left those students behind. The center said the issue has been ongoing in a more recent filing from 2013.

The Louisiana Department of Education, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the state superintendent, and the Orleans Parish School Board are defendants in the case. Reporter Danielle Dreilinger with The Times-Picayune has been following the story:

Last week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to grant authority to the Education Department to settle the case. Superintendent John White emphasized Wednesday that a settlement had not yet been reached. In New Orleans, the School Board's legal committee is scheduled to review and vote on the settlement Thursday. Typically, that means there is a draft agreement with the framework generally set but some details left to work out.

You can find the original complaint here.

Related: Special Education Charter Schools Vulnerable to Funding Shortfall

GAO Probes Charters on Serving Students With Disabilities

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.