“Child Find” Complaint Filed in Petersburg

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The JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center has filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Education describing systemic problems with Petersburg City Public Schools’ “Child Find” program. Child Find is a part of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) that requires that schools provide free, appropriate education to children with disabilities.  The Child Find mandate requires that schools identify and evaluate all students with disabilities in order to ensure that children receive the educational services they need.

The complaint, filed on behalf of six individual students and all similarly-situated PCPS students, describes three Child Find violations: 1) the failure to locate and evaluate students who need special education services; 2) the failure to appropriately find students eligible for services even after evaluating; and 3) the failure to provide meaningful educational benefits to students who need special education services.

Resources
Press Release (PDF)

Complaint (PDF)

News Coverage
Lawyers Allege Petersburg Fails to Serve Special Education Students (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/19/2014)

Legal Aid Justice Center Files Complaint Against Petersburg Public Schools (WWBT-TV NBC12 Richmond, 6/16/2014)

Local Law Group Files Complaint Against Petersburg Schools (WRIC ABC 8News Richmond, 6/19/2014)

Parents File Department of Education Complaint Against Petersburg Schools (WTVR CBS6 Richmond, 6/19/2014)