Monday, March 18, 2013

Stand up for Special Needs Students against the lucrative charter industry

An activist parent of a special needs child who is a long-time advocate for equitable special education, who has been especially critical of the lucrative charter industry for its outright discrimination, sent the following:

Help me spread the word, Robert: LAUSD families of students with disabilities: Speak truth to power! These annual hearings are an opportunity to give public testimony to the Independent Monitor of our Modified Consent Decree regarding special education services. If you are not being well-served at your local school site and personnel do not respond to your concerns, here's where you need to go...or write a letter if you cannot attend in person. Unless we tell otherwise, the district will assume everyone is just peachy. Please download and share flyers at your schools. Thanks!

Public Hearing on LAUSD's Compliance with Special Education Laws:

Parents of children with IEPs and all other members of the LAUSD community are invited to provide comments to Mr. Frederick Weintraub, the court appointed Independent Monitor, during two hearings scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 2013 (9-11:00am and 5-7:00pm). The hearings will be held at LAUSD Board Room located at 333 S. Beaudry Avenue."

This memo outlines school requirements for special education services. If more school site families were aware of what was required, there might be better compliance regarding students with disabilities. This District Validation Review (DVR) is supposed to be done every four years. If your school isn't on the list, use this to determine if they're following proper procedure and the law until it's your turn:


The purpose of this Reference Guide is to inform site administrators: (1) of the requirement to complete the “School Self Review Checklist, Students with Disabilities: 2012-2013” within 30 days of the new school year, and (2) that the Local Educational Service Center Superintendent, Charter Schools Division Executive Director, or their designee(s) will periodically conduct site level visits during the school year to determine the status of concerns identified by the checklist as mandated by the Modified Consent Decree."

note Attachment B was added finally to ensure that charters were not discriminating...problem is - many schools "cheat" the forms as parental input is usually not required unless it's an official review - then they only call on families who have had "positive" experiences....


1 comment:

Sonja Luchini said...

Thanks for sharing the information! Last year I was at the morning session and the Independent Monitor stayed well past 11:00 am (even though KLCS stopped broadcasting) to hear every person who signed up. He will listen, but he cannot make the changes - he only monitors.

There are LAUSD district personnel available to take formal complaints during the meeting (usually in the smaller Blue Room just outside the Board Room), too. The formal complaint process starts a procedural time clock to correct any problems. If unable to attend in person, please encourage families to contact the Complaint Response Unit/Parent Resource Network (CRU/PRN). Link here:

The website states their task as: "The unit is responsible for accurately recording all parent inquiries and complaints that they receive by telephone or in writing. The District will provide parents with a written response that satisfies the District's legal obligations and may be one of the following:

(1) a remedy and, where appropriate, the date by which the remedy shall be implemented;
(2) information that an appropriate referral has been made
(3) suggested action the complaint may wish to take; or
(4) a determination that the complaint has been investigated and determined to be unfounded.

In addition the unit must provide accurate information and record all school responses to specific parent inquiries."

It is this department that collects data for the Independent Monitor. His decisions regarding signing off on the Consent Decree are determined by OUR input as well as the data in the IEP Welligent system (which can be faked as has recently happened with a family I'm helping).

With all the serious budget cuts we've faced, I don't see us coming out of the Consent Decree as much as us slipping back into the problems we've had before the Decree was in place. This is why it's so crucial for families to be outspoken for their children who cannot speak for themselves. If we don't advocate for them, no one will.

Link to Independent Monitor's website: