DRLC Files Appeal of DCFS Special Education Case

 In Civil Rights

K.M. has been in foster care for most of her life. Like many children with multiple disabilities, she has bounced between homes and school districts, lacking the necessary supports, personnel, and education she deserves for an equal opportunity in life.

Instead, she has never received any meaningful education, has never even been fully assessed, and has been in and out of the juvenile justice system.

Thanks to DRLC and co-counsel Hirji & Chau LLP, K.M. has received substantial support, a comprehensive assessment, and a supportive group home placement that we hope serves her needs.

One aspect of K.M.’s case remains – the liability of DCFS under the special education due process system. DRLC has taken the novel approach of attempting to hold DCFS accountable via administrative due process – a legal process that DCFS has not been subject to. DRLC, with the help of Hirji & Chau and volunteer attorney Lee Gordon, filed a writ in Los Angeles Superior Court that the judge ultimately denied, believing the Children’s Court or legislature should instead address the problem.

DRLC has appealed the matter believing the statutory scheme for special education includes public agencies like DCFS, in addition to school districts, when they perform functions essential to students’ special education.

Briefing is in process, and we will keep our community posted.

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