Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Victory for PA Students with Disabilities, English Learners

Play

Thursday, March 28, 2019   

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and Pennsylvania's Department of Education will mean significant changes in the state's disciplinary education programs.

The Education Law Center filed a complaint in 2013 about what it alleged were discriminatory practices at more than 700 Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth, or AEDY, programs in the state.

At that time, more than half of the students in AEDY programs were students with disabilities, and 35 percent were African-American, compared to 16 and 15 percent of the state's student population, respectively.

While the settlement doesn't address the racial disparity, attorney Cheryl Kleiman at the Center calls it a major victory.

"This agreement represents a significant overhaul of the system of segregated and inferior education programs that have been a key component in Pennsylvania's 'school-to-prison pipeline,'" she states.

The agreement sets limits for how long students with disabilities can remain in AEDY programs and also requires translation, interpretation and English learner services.

But Kleiman says the failure of the settlement to address the disproportionately high percentage of African- American students being placed in AEDY programs is a glaring problem.

"Racial disparities existed at the time we filed our complaint and continue to exist today, even as the number of students in alternative education programs is declining," she stresses.

The agreement requires the state to collect data, analyze AEDY student outcomes and report the findings on an annual basis, but does not mention data on students' race.

Under the settlement, the Justice Department will continue to monitor and oversee the alternative education program for three years.

Kleiman adds the Education Law Center also will be involved going forward.

"We are going to continue to urge the Pennsylvania Department of Education and local school districts to proactively address race and gender disparities in their alternative education programs," she states.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021