Decades of Special Ed Service Monitoring Coming to an End at LAUSD

For 23 years, Los Angeles Unified’s special education services have been under court-ordered supervision. That’s finally about to change. The Los Angeles Times reports that LAUSD will regain full control over its special needs programs per an agreement reached last week.

“This is an important milestone for Los Angeles Unified and the students and families we serve,” said Supt. Austin Beutner. “The Court has recognized the exceptional work we’ve done to serve the needs of students in our special education programs. We plan to build on the progress and make sure every student in Los Angeles Unified, including those with special needs, gets a great education.”

Both sides — LAUSD on one, disability advocates on the other — agreed to end the consent decree. LAUSD will spend around $1.75 billion from its $8 billion general fund on programs for the disabled. LAUSD has promised to continue making improvements.

Beutner said independent monitoring cost $3 million to $5 million per year. The monitor, David Rostetter, took issue with that estimate. He also said LAUSD’s self-congratulations were out-of-touch and premature given that “the District has yet to comply with the [Americans with Disabilities Act], when it was to have met these obligations by 1995.”

Read more about the history of the consent decree and the latest agreement at the Los Angeles Times