U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) closed its Investigation into allegations of discrimination against students with disabilities by PUSD when the school district closed Roosevelt Elementary.
By Rena Kurlander
The investigation by the OCR was prompted by parental objection to the November 2019 PUSD vote to close Roosevelt and the actual closure in 2021. Following closure, parents filed a complaint against the PUSD with two allegations.
Allegation 1 asserted discrimination against Latino students. Allegation 1 was dismissed by OCR because the parents filed a contemporaneous class action in the Superior Court of the State of California. The parents may refile with OCR if there is no decision on the merits or settlement in California courts.
Allegation 2 alleged discrimination on the basis of disability. In a letter dated April 6, 2023, the OCR concluded that there was insufficient evidence that PUSD’s decision to close Roosevelt discriminated against its students with disabilities or that its placement of these students in other PUSD schools violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II).
In reaching the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence of discrimination against its students with disabilities, the OCR cited the fact that Roosevelt was a small school on a small physical plant with a substantially higher percentage of special education students. PUSD believed these parameters might violate its obligation to place special education students in the least restrictive environment and limit the ability of such students to participate in school with their peers without special needs. The OCR also confirmed that in placing students with disabilities in other schools, the District had provided students with disabilities from Roosevelt with full access to the open enrollments process and placed medically fragile students at a site where their needs could be met best.
Rena Kurlander is a resident in the San Gabriel Valley.
I hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.
Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.
You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.
Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)