Students With Disabilities Rely On Census-Informed Funding To Fill In The Financial Gaps For Special Education: LAist

Sara Austin holds a photo of her 12-year-old son. He was diagnosed with autism around age 2. (Gabriela Torres/LAist)

What’s at stake for Southern California in the 2020 Census? Billions of dollars in federal funding for programs like Medi-Cal, for public education, even disaster planning. Political representation in Sacramento and D.C. A census undercount could cut critical resources in L.A. County, home to the largest hard-to-count population in the nation.


In the 2018-19 school year, 14% of all public school students received special education services. Since 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has required the availability of free education and related services which address the individual needs of children and youth with a disability. Census-informed data is used to allocate federal dollars to ensure special education is properly funded.

Sara Austin is a local parent “intimately” familiar with the importance of education and services for kids with

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These Parents Are Suing Los Angeles Unified Over Its Approach To Distance Learning: LAist

Los Angeles Unified closed its campuses in March to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since then, it’s been educating students online through distance learning. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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Nine parents of Los Angeles Unified students are filing a class action lawsuit against the state’s largest school district over how it handles distance learning, arguing the district’s online offerings fall short and violate their children’s right to an education.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Black and Latino parents, parents of students with special needs, and parents of students learning English.

Surveys of parents and the district’s own data have shown that students in these groups, in particular, have struggled with distance learning.

“It was a really hard time for the spring for [my

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