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Valenzuela v. Torlakson; Court finds the California Department of Education must do more to correct systemic problems in Oakland Unified School District

Disability Rights California filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court, alleging that the State for its failure to monitor and correct systemic problems with Oakland Unified School District’s special education program. This case was filed in response to California Department of Education’s handling of a 2015 administrative complaint filed by Oakland students and families alleging that the District’s policies, procedures, and practices resulted in widespread and longstanding noncompliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. California Department of Education found Oakland Unified School District was out of compliance on a number of federal and state requirements. Plaintiffs alleged that California Department of Education had failed to order effective corrective actions. The state judge found that the California Department of Education had abused its discretion by ordering corrective actions that had historically been ineffective.


Case Name: Valenzuela v. Torlakson

Court and Case Number: RG16805941

Judge:Hon. Kimberly E. Colwell

Significant Court Documents

Order Granting Writ


News Release

Court rules the state is not doing enough to fix Oakland’s special education problems