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SPLC negotiates landmark settlement to help New Orleans students with disabilities

The SPLC has reached a settlement with state and local education officials to help New Orleans children with disabilities. 

Today the Louisiana Department of Education, the Orleans Parish School Board, and a class of children represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law reached a settlement on a lawsuit that was filed over four years ago.

The agreement puts in place a plan to ensure that all public schools in New Orleans uphold the educational rights of students with disabilities. The agreement includes training and technical assistance for New Orleans schools, ongoing monitoring and additions to the charter renewal and extension process that ensure all schools are ready to serve students with disabilities.

The terms of this settlement will go into effect upon approval of the court, at which point the Department of Education and the Orleans Parish School Board will offer guidance to schools on implementing the provisions of the settlement. The court will oversee implementation of the agreement.  All parties appreciate the progress New Orleans schools have achieved in recent years and look forward to the day when all New Orleans students, especially those of historically disadvantaged backgrounds, have access to an excellent education.

Read the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement (PDF).