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Complaint Filed against Georgia Department of Education

April 5, 2012

The Department of Justice is investigating a complaint filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the Georgia Department of Education. The Law Center complaint alleges that students with disabilities who can succeed in a regular classroom are being placed in segregated classrooms because Georgia’s funding formula gives schools more money if these students are identified as “most needy” and therefore requiring a self-contained setting even though they could cope well in an integrated classroom.

"What we are hearing from advocates in Georgia and from parents, [is that] students with special needs are being moved from inclusive environments, placed into segregated environments and doing much worse in those segregated environments," said Jadine Johnson, a co-author of the complaint.

The complaint accuses the state of violating Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. “Georgia's Council for [Developmental] Disabilities actually commissioned a report in 2005 that documented this problem. It was presented to the legislature and despite several reviews of the funding formula, it has essentially remained the same so we're very concerned about it and we're very pleased that the Department of Justice has initiated an investigation," Johnson said.

Georgia Department of Education Complaint filed by Southern Poverty Law Center (PDF 23 pages, 6 MB)

Attachments to Georgia Department of Education Complaint (PDF 75 pages, 3.1 MB)

News source: (Online news source includes video without captions.)

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