The Right to Learn
LCCR defends the right of every New Orleans child to real educational equity.
Every child has the right to an excellent education, and commitment to school is one of the best protections against involvement in the juvenile justice system. But, in New Orleans’ virtually all-charter school system, some schools have enrollment policies that do not welcome the most vulnerable children. Some schools don’t help every child learn by providing high-quality supports, including special education services. And too many schools use exclusionary discipline too freely, suspending and expelling students rather than committing to teaching every child.
Real educational equity means that every child has an equal opportunity to enroll in high-performing schools and equal access to high-quality special education services. Educational equity also means the replacement of unnecessary exclusionary discipline with restorative approaches and positive behavioral supports.
Here’s are some of the things that LCCR is doing to promote educational equity:
- We are working with system stakeholders to reform exclusionary discipline policies. And we’ve had some success. After we collaborated with New Orleans’ Recovery School District on new expulsion policies in 2014, expulsion rates started falling significantly in the 2014-2015 school year. Read about it in this Times Picayune Op-Ed.
- We advocate directly on behalf of the education rights of children in New Orleans’ juvenile justice system — helping them to enroll, representing them at expulsion hearings, and ensuring that they have the right special education services. We also provide support and supervision for Stand Up for Each Other (SUFEO), an organization at students Tulane and Loyola Law Schools who advocate for youth at expulsion hearings and in suspension appeals.
- We provide public education and training for the stakeholders—educators, parents, social workers, and youth advocates—who can keep children in school and out of the justice system.