CLC attorneys filed an administrative complaint with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), asserting that youth incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail are not receiving the special education services they are entitled to under federal law. The complaint, filed April 3rd, 2012 on behalf of two individual students, alleges that the Columbus City School District and one of its charter schools, the Focus Learning Academy, violated multiple provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA), a federal law which requires school districts to provide special education to students with disabilities located within the district. Although the complaint was filed on behalf of two students, it is applicable to similarly situated students currently detained at the Franklin County Jail.
Youth with disabilities are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. Even if a child with a disability is not in school, the school district of residence is responsible for ensuring that the child receives appropriate special education services. Youth who are eligible to be sent to adult court are generally taken from juvenile facilities and placed into adult jails or correction facilities to await the disposition of the case and any resulting sentence. Thus, the school district’s responsibility extends to youth placed in jails located within the district.
ODE did not find individuals violations on behalf of the two names students, but did find systemic violations in the operation of educational services generally in the Franklin County Detention Center on behalf of students eligible for services under IDEA requiring corrective action plans.
Columbus City Schools Complaint Finding Letter July 2, 2012
Columbus City Schools Complaint Finding Letter July 3, 2012
Columbus City Schools Complaint Finding Letter July 24, 2012