This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks
Pennsylvania’s Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth programs are supposed to help turn around disorderly public school students, but they are academically inadequate and discriminatory, according to a complaint by the nonprofit Education Law Center.
The ELC alleges that a disproportionate number of African-Americans and students with disabilities are sent to them.
While African-Americans make up only 15 percent of the state’s public school students, they made up 35 percent of the pupils in the special programs in 2010-11.
Similarly, 16 percent of students identify as having disabilities; these students account for 44 percent of those in the alternative education programs.