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The Washington Post: It shouldn’t take a lawsuit for D.C. to do right by disabled students

March 10, 2024

Photo with reflection of the Capital in the window, credit: The Washington Post.

Washington Post writer Theresa Vargas covers new class action lawsuit filed against the District’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education:

Most of the city’s students take public transportation to get to school, but the city is required to provide transportation for more than 4,000 students with physical or intellectual disabilities. On Thursday, attorneys representing some of those families and a national disability rights organization filed a class action complaint against the city. The complaint describes that legal action as aiming to remedy the city’s “systemic failures, which violate federal and DC law.”

“Every day,” reads the complaint, “the District of Columbia and its Office of the State Superintendent of Education (“OSSE”) inexcusably fail to meet their basic obligation to ensure students with disabilities have safe, reliable, and appropriate transportation to and from school.”

Every day. That phrasing matters. It shows the frequency in which families have been left holding their breath. Every day, parents and other caretakers wake up and don’t know if their children’s buses will arrive on time or at all. Every day, they accept that they may have to scramble to drive their children to or from school or call for a car service. Every day, they wait and brace.

Photo: Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post

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