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SCCA provides interpreter, other services in

´╗┐support of a new federal complaint

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LEP Parents of Texas Students with Disabilities file suit against the Texas Education Agency in federal court

State regulations stand in the way of federal protections

Austin, Texas. November 11, 2021.


Executive Director - The Southern Center for Child Advocacy

Last spring, The Southern Center provided resource support, like non-attorney special education advocacy, paralegal and interpretation services, to a Houston-area Limited English Proficient (LEP) mother of a child with Autism. Eventually, she filed a complaint against her son's school district at the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings alleging she did not receive appropriate language assistance services, making it virtually impossible for her to effectively advocate for her son's special education needs and to meaningfully participate in the special education process over the years. She also asked the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education to consider investigating allegations of national origin - native language discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

By late summer, her complaint against the local district was resolved and OCR suggested a different course of action. Ultimately, two more mothers from two different Texas public school districts joined Sra. Lopez in a federal suit filed yesterday against the Texas Education Agency and TEA Commissioner Mike Morath alleging that agency regulations determining if and how LEP parents receive language assistance services, like translations and interpreters, violate IDEA and other federal laws designed to protect the parents of children with disabilities.

A PDF of the suit is linked to the picture to the left (a Spanish translation of the complaint will be posted at SCCA's website soon).