Source: CBS Los Angeles
Date: July 1, 2015
Related Staff: John T. Affeldt

Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District Wednesday alleging that millions of dollars intended to help low income, foster care and English-learner students were diverted to special education services.

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The nonprofit law firm Public Advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California assert the nation’s second largest school counted special education costs in the 2013-14 school year instead as spending on services for the students targeted under a new funding law.

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Public Advocates and the ACLU estimate that as a result high need students were deprived of about $126 million in the 2014-15 school year and $288 million in the next. The groups conclude low-income, foster care and English learner students will miss out on more than $2 billion total by the time the law is fully implemented in 2020-21.

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“If other districts followed LAUSD’s lead the promise of LCFF would evaporate overnight,” said John Affeldt, an attorney for Public Advocates.

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