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Disability Advocates Claim Victory In Portland Schools Settlement


Advocates for disabled people in Oregon say they’ve won a significant settlement from the state’s largest school district. It’s aimed at improving academic services for young people leaving high school.

Under federal and state laws, disabled people between the ages of 18 and 21 are eligible for full-time academic services. Oregon lawmakers beefed up its disabled student law last year.

Two groups threatened to sue Portland Public Schools, arguing it provided services that weren’t academically rigorous enough and weren’t offered for enough hours.

Mark McKechnie is director of one of the groups, called Youth, Rights & Justice. He says the district has agreed to improve services. But he says specific changes will depend on the student and the instructional team.

“While the expectation is that they get 27 and a half hours total of services and instruction per week, it can look quite differently for each student,” McKechnie says. “For some students, it may change very quickly. For others, it may require the teams to get together and decide what the best plan for a student is.”

Officials at Portland Public Schools didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.


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