Torres v. Torlakson
This Petition for Writ of Mandate was filed against the state Department of Education (CDE) as well as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) because of their failure to protect students with disabilities from unnecessary segregation.
The Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 requires the state, prior to approving construction of a non-integrated special education site, to ensure maximum interaction between students with disabilities and their nondisabled peers.
KCSOS in requesting permission to build a segregated site was required by the statute to submit: (1) a transition plan for moving students with disabilities to regular campuses; (2) a verification study that shows there is no room on regular campuses for these special education students; and (3) justification for the need for such segregation. Not only did KCOS’s application to build a segregated school fail to include this important supporting documentation, CDE approved the request without them. Plaintiffs allege that CDE bears the ultimate responsibility to students to ensure a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The writ was filed to obtain a court order mandating CDE and KCOS to perform their respective ministerial duties to approve and construct segregated sites only when the necessity for such a site has been shown.
Case Name: Christina Torres v. Tom Torlakson; California Department of Education; and Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Court and Case Number: Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento, 34-2017-00217559
Judge: Hon. Judge Allen H. Sumner