P.B., et al. v. Pastorek

Popular Name: 
New Orleans Special Education
Court where filed: 
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Date Filed: 
10/26/2010
Status: 
Ongoing
Plaintiffs: 
P.B., by and through his next friend, Cassandra Berry; D.B., by and through his next friend, Kelly Fischer; A.J. by and through his next friend, Kelly Fischer; A.J. by and through his next friend, Rosezina Jefferson; T.J., by and through his next friend, Jeanette Johnson; K.J. by and through his next friend, Kimberly Jones, M.M., by and through his next friend, Nancy McSween; L.M. by and through his next friend, Shelton Joseph; D.T. by and through his next friend, Chanell Thomas; and L.W., by and through his next friend, Cynthia Parker, on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated students.
Defendants: 
Paul Pastorek, Louisiana State Superintendent of Education in his official capacity,; Louisiana Department of Education; and Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Case Related Items 

Students with disabilities were denied access to New Orleans public schools and often pushed into schools unable to provide them with the educational services they deserved under federal law.  

The Southern Poverty Law Center and a coalition of advocacy groups first filed an administrative complaint against the Louisiana Department of Education to bring these schools into compliance with federal law and end practices that harm students with disabilities.

When that effort to work collaboratively with the state to craft a solution that would ensure all students have equal access to educational services stalled, the SPLC and advocacy groups filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Both the complaint and the lawsuit describe the failure of the state department of education to ensure students with disabilities receive services required under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). They document IDEA violations in more than 30 New Orleans schools – including charter schools and schools operated by the state’s Recovery School District.

Co-Counsel: 
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Community Justice section of the Loyola Law Clinic, Southern Disability Law Center