Lawsuit to address segregation of students with disabilities in Sacramento City USD

Advocacy

Superintendent Jorqe Aguilar and members of the board of education in Sacramento City USD discussing fiscal issues in 2018
Visit the Sacramento Bee Article, posted September 5, 2019 for details about the lawsuit. Equal Justice Society, Disability Rights California, National Center for Youth Law and Western Center on Law and Poverty filed the suit in the Sacramento-based U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.  (Sacramento Bee)

Lawsuit alleges discrimination against disabled, black students at Sacramento City Unified (Complaint)

Will there be Justice for students with disabilities in Sacramento City Unified School District?

“The district has created and perpetuated a system of segregation of students with disabilities”

Mona Tawatao, Equal Justice Society

For years SCUSD has operated in a manner that has been harmful to students. The principles of "Equity, Access, and Social Justice" and initiatives in the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) have not included students with disabilities. Despite a detailed audit in May 2017 documenting the depth and breadth of the District's failure to provide appropriate special education services, the District was slow to respond and has failed to demonstrate meaningful plans. The Special Education/district leadership and capacity of schools to correct the grave deficiencies is limited.

Students with disabilities in SCUSD encounter:
Very poor graduation rates
Disproportionate numbers in suspensions, especially for African-American students
Racial disproportionality in certain disability categories, such as high numbers of English Learners labeled as Intellectually Disabled (ID) and high numbers of African-American students labeled as Emotionally Disturbed (ED)
Overrepresentation of students being sent to separate schools, denying their right to be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Lack of coordinated and meaningful transition goals and services
Lack of evidence-based instruction for reading disorders and other learning disabilities
Lack of evidence that Educationally Related Mental Health Services (EHRMS) are being provided appropriately
Unsafe learning environments including bullying, harassment, and discrimination of students with disabilities

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