For decades, students with disabilities have been disproportionately subjected to the harshest and most exclusionary discipline in schools, including suspensions, expulsions, restraint, seclusion, referrals to law enforcement, and school-related arrests.
The Center congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris on their victory. We look forward to this opportunity to work together to promote and protect the civil rights of students with disabilities.
The history of the struggle to secure rights for people with disabilities is a facet of the civil rights movement that is not well known. Fortunately, there is now an extraordinary, humanizing, inspirational film on Netflix that tells a crucial part of that story.
A charter school’s legal status as part of a larger local education agency (LEA) independent LEA affects the autonomy, funding, and programming of the school—and is essential to understanding what entity is responsible for educating students with disabilities. Nevertheless, LEA status can be confusing, especially since approaches vary by state and even by school. This infographic outlines the different approaches and their implications for students with disabilities.
Eight months after COVID-19 first shut down schools across the country, the state of education in the United States remains in flux. Students with disabilities, in particular, continue to be disproportionately impacted by school closures and lack of access to services. As cases tick upward once again, school leaders and administrators are likely to face tough decisions in the coming months. Despite the immense difficulty of the situation, we have identified several key strategies that will set school leaders up for success.
Students with disabilities have long faced disproportionate rates of harsh disciplinary practices like physical or mechanical restraint and seclusion—often with disastrous results, including permanent injury and death. New data from the Civil Rights Data Collection released today by the US Department of Education shows that this disproportionality has sharply increased—a shocking and disappointing trend.
Children with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—both in and out of school—and the enormous challenge of adapting to the new normal has placed schools and districts under financial strain. In light of these facts, the Center is proud to support the Supporting Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act (H.R. 8523).
As New Orleans educators and advocates for children, we are reflecting on the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing manifestations of that trauma for our community and our children. With humility and transparency, we examine the mistakes we made in our efforts to reopen schools and educate children, especially children with disabilities, in the wake of that unimaginable disaster and loss. We hope that our lessons learned will prove valuable to educators nationwide as they reopen schools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Center’s bi-annual secondary analyses of the US Department of State’s Civil Rights Data Collection help to identify trend data related to special education in public schools, and in particular in US charter schools. This infographic illustrates key trends the Center identified in our analysis of the 2015-2016 data collection.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life standing up—and speaking up—for just and equal treatment for all. She was the author of one of this country’s most impactful Supreme Court decisions on disability rights, Olmstead v. L.C., where she stood up against the systematic institutionalization of people with disabilities, holding that “unjustified institutional isolation is a form of discrimination” that “perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life.”