Education is a Civil Right

The principles of “Equity, Access, and Social Justice” and initiatives in the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) have not included students with disabilities. Data tells us that educational rights are being ignored for over 5,900 students with disabilities in this District year after year.  (data infographic updated 8/25/19 – right image / PDF)

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. 

(Special Education Audit, May 2017 – Report)

Students with disabilities in SCUSD encounter:

  • Very poor graduation rates, although as a district graduation rates are increasing
  • 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

This is pushing students with disabilities out of the public school system, creating a clear path in the school to prison pipeline. 

It is with the utmost URGENCY, that SCUSD schools stop harming students with disabilities and denying them access to equitable opportunities to learn, grow, and reach their full potential.

Principles of Equity, access, and social justice must apply to all students:

This is achievable through:

  • Use of Evidenced-Based Instructional Practices
  • Healthy and Safe School Climate, including the Implementation of the F.A.I.R. Education Act (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education)
  • Opportunities for Students with Disabilities to Learn about Self-Advocacy, Empowerment, and Greater Independence
  • Upholding the Educational Civil Rights of Students

Read More about Solutions

Next Steps…

Students and Families have spoken.
Is Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) listening?   

All students deserve to a chance to make educational progress. If the district says it is working to ensure that all students graduate with the greatest number of post secondary options, students with disabilities must be included in these plans…. ALL MEANS ALL! 

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