This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
The Philadelphia School District has at least 20,000 students designated as having special needs.
Each year, the District pays millions in legal fees and lawsuit settlements based on its failure, both proven and alleged, to meet their needs.
This year, due to budget cuts, the District shed close to 3,000 staff members.
With a skeletal support staff serving the city’s traditional public schools, many worry that the District has opened itself up to an onslaught of legal claims from families struggling to ensure that their children get the education that they deserve.
This is the story of one such family.