The California public school system provides individual education programs (IEPs) and other resources to accommodate students with special needs. The education laws that govern such issues are at the center of a lawsuit that was filed by a group of parents from the Jewish community. These parents say state laws are violating their religious liberties by not allowing children with special needs who attend religious schools to access the same resources.
The parents say that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) enables all children with disabilities to receive funding for education accommodation resources. They say children in their religious schools who have disabilities are being denied access to special education programs, which constitutes discrimination. An advocate speaking on behalf of the parents stated that all children are entitled to a quality education, regardless of the school they attend.
Federal funding pays for special education resources, says California lawsuit
The California lawsuit filed by a group of Jewish parents has asked a U.S. District Court to strike down the state’s law which excludes students in religious schools from accessing federally funded special education resources. Such funding pays for assistive technology, as well as training for special education staff members. The lawsuit further states that every student with special needs must be afforded equal opportunity to access programs to accommodate those needs.
The parents who are plaintiffs in this lawsuit say that California education laws prevent their children (who attend religious schools) from accessing IDEA funds. They believe religious freedom entitles them to choose schools that align with their faith traditions and core values, while IDEA and other education laws protect their children’s right to a quality education. Many California parents will be following this case, and any who are facing similar issues may seek counsel from an attorney experienced in this field of practice.