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.
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).
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.”
We are deeply appreciative of the important clarification provided by Secretary DeVos to states ensuring states must plan to administer statewide summative assessments during the 2020-2021 school year. This is consistent with the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which the Center worked collaboratively to support with charter school leaders as well as civil rights and special education advocates.
Today and every day, the Center stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues and friends and with the entire Black community as it mourns yet another senseless series of losses.
The Center applauds the drafters of the HEROES Act for prioritizing education funding in this latest relief package and for ensuring that states receiving relief funds guarantee that the rights of students with disabilities remain intact.
It’s National Charter Schools Week — and in the midst of a particularly challenging period in American public education, the innovative, nimble approach epitomized by charters is more valuable than ever.
States need additional education funding now—and the Center applauds a new federal funding request from a group of Democratic senators led by Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire that would specifically provide additional funding for the provision special education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.