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School Transportation News: D.C. Back in Legal Hot Water Over Busing of Students with Disabilities

March 11, 2024

School Transportation News photo of school bus in front of U.S. Capitol.

Ryan Gray of School Transportation News reports on our class action lawsuit against the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and compares to past court oversight of the District on this issue:

A class action lawsuit filed in federal court last month alleges that the District of Columbia is once again failing to meet its “basic obligation to ensure students with disabilities have safe, reliable and appropriate transportation to and from school.”

Five parents of affected students joined disabilities advocate The Arc in seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against D.C. and the Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), claiming that school buses show up late while some don’t show up at all. This, they argue, is denying at least some of the 4,100 D.C. students a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), one of the main principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The lawsuit states the affected students “are suffering or will suffer irreparable harm.”

The school bus issues are not new to D.C. OSSE was under court supervision for late or no-show buses from 2010 until 2012, when the district said it improved to a 94 percent on-time arrival rate with sufficient staffing and new state-of-the-art technology.

“OSSE is failing to meet all of those same metrics today, just 12 years later,” states the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 7.

The District is Failing to Provide Transportation for Students with Disabilities

Parents and guardians of children with disabilities living in the District of Columbia, along with The Arc of the United States, filed a class action lawsuit on March 7, 2024 against DC’s Office of the State Superintendent for Education for failing to provide safe, reliable and effective transportation to and from schools for children with disabilities, thereby denying students equal access to their education and unnecessarily segregating them from their peers.

Read About Our Lawsuit