An Open Letter to California Parents and Taxpayers

Welcome to Education Not Litigation.  This website has been developed to bring attention to the misuse of our tax dollars by school districts that hire legal counsel and fund litigation in order to avoid providing needed services to students with disabilities which are mandated by state and federal law.

We want to expose how school districts:

  • Use tax dollars to hire attorneys and fund litigation in both due process and compliance complaints, instead of providing legally mandated services students need and are entitled to under the law.
  • Use tax dollars to hire attorneys for due process and litigation against children and families while parents and their children are unrepresented as they cannot afford an attorney.
  • Use attorneys to wear down parents by engaging in “scorched earth” litigation tactics, misusing mediation and the resolution process to force parents to waive legal and educational rights guaranteed by both state and federal law.
  • Engage in such tactics at the same time school districts provide assurances to the federal government, as a condition of receiving federal funds, that they are providing all students with a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
  • Routinely refuse to provide community members with public records and data regarding litigation and legal fee expenditures in violation of the Brown Act and a local education agency’s obligation for fiscal transparency.

As a result of these activities, students with disabilities are deprived of an appropriate education and ALL students are negatively impacted, as this misuse of funds siphons sorely-needed tax dollars away from education to wasteful litigation.

At the present time there is no state-level accountability or oversight by either the California Department of Education or any other state public agency with regard to such legal fee expenditures.

In California today no one knows just how much of California’s tax dollars are being spent on school district lawyers who fight the provision of special education services to California students instead of making sure school districts follow the law.

The “Documents” page not only details information we have provided to state and federal officials, but includes the few responses we have received.  This lack of accountability for a state’s tax dollars is unacceptable, particularly in a time of fiscal crisis when teachers and student services are being cut across the board because California allegedly lacks sufficient funding.

These are issues that should concern not only parents of students with disabilities, but ALL California parents and taxpayers, since California’s education dollars and our children’s futures, are being wasted on fighting families instead of educating ALL of our children.

We want to hear from families in California and other states who find themselves in similar circumstances so we can use their stories to expose the depth and breadth of this problem.

We want to collect data and information about the practices described here to bring greater scrutiny and accountability to school districts and the attorneys they employ.

We want to end these abusive practices once and for all.

Please take the time to:

Send us your data and your comments.

Tell other parents about the website and share it with them.

Check in periodically and see how these efforts are progressing.

Help us expose and ultimately end these abusive practices.

 

Sincerely,

Education Not Litigation

 

1 thought on “An Open Letter to California Parents and Taxpayers”

  1. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) Advisory Committee is holding its autumn meeting on November 9 at their Van Nuys and Sacramento offices. I think it’s important for as many of us as possible to go there and give public comment on the experiences of parents and advocates with OAH.

    I’m going to Van Nuys, and if anyone wants to go with me from the Inland Empire or points on the way, let’s go together.

    909-464-1631 home
    951-897-1721 cell
    attwoods@earthlink.net

Leave a Reply