Two sides in a landmark New Orleans special education lawsuit have agreed to settle the case, according to new legal filings. The Orleans Parish School Board will vote next week on a settlement "in principle," according to a report signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey.
The complaint was initially filed in 2010 by 10 students against the Louisiana Department of Education, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the education superintendent. The School Board later became a defendant as well.
The plaintiffs allege that children with disabilities were underserved and sometimes illegally disciplined in the fractured landscape of charter schools and multiple school systems that followed Hurricane Katrina. "The system for providing special education in New Orleans is thoroughly broken," Southern Poverty Law Center attorneys wrote in 2013.