The Berkeley Unified School District announced a proposed settlement Friday in a class action case on alleged discrimination against students with reading disabilities.
The case, brought by four former and current BUSD students May 2, 2017, in the federal court for the Northern District of California, includes claims that the district did not provide students a “Free Appropriate Public Education,” according to a district press release.
In response, BUSD denied that the plaintiffs had any factual or legal basis for their claims in the case, called Student A. et al. v. Berkeley Unified School District.
“The Action has been actively litigated. The students and BUSD (‘the Parties’) have also participated in extensive settlement negotiations,” the press release reads. “The Parties have entered into the Settlement to avoid the burden, expense, and uncertainties of continued litigation.”
Under the terms of the settlement, the district will work with consultants to develop and implement a “Literacy Improvement Plan” that will be put in place over three to five years.
As part of the plan, BUSD will review its core reading program, promote early and successful reading and provide increased supplementary aids and services to students. In addition, the district will review and monitor progress of new programs and encourage “targeted professional development” for teachers and staff.
“BUSD will retain an impartial outside Monitor to provide a Monitoring Plan to the School Board and Implementation Team, receive progress reports on compliance from BUSD, and submit semi-annual progress reports to the School Board and Implementation Team,” the press release reads.
The settlement will stay in effect for three years following its effective date but is subject to change if there are any objections to the settlement and appeals. According to the press release, the court has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 4 to determine whether the proposed settlement should be approved.
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