All students with learning needs due to physical or social-emotional struggles have the right to receive support, assistance and accommodations in the classroom. California law requires schools, teachers, administrators and districts to provide special education services to qualified students who need additional assistance in order to have an appropriate educational experience. However, there are some who maintain that California special education law is discriminatory toward certain groups based on their religion.
Are religious groups the victim of discrimination?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law that provides learning services to special education students. In California, non-public schools have the ability to receive reimbursement for students who need support. However, the state’s educational code does not apply this to religious schools.
Some parents of students in Jewish schools in the state believe that this is discriminatory on the basis of their religion. The parents have filed a lawsuit against the state in hopes of reversing this current rule. They say that the current policy is exclusionary and unfair, but a court recently dismissed the case. The parents say that they will continue their fight through all legal channels available to them.
Advocating for students
Parents are the most important advocates for their children. If they believe that their children have experienced educational discrimination due to their religious beliefs, they do not have to remain silent. They have the right to speak out about what they experienced, pursue a reasonable remedy and seek the support of an experienced California special education attorney.