Breaking News:  Judge denies Berkeley Unified School District’s motion to dismiss dyslexia case!

Breaking News:  Judge denies Berkeley Unified School District’s motion to dismiss dyslexia case!

October 12, 2017 – BUSD (“Defendants”) had previously filed a motion, in part, to have this federal dyslexia case (Student A, et al v. Berkeley Unified School District – Case No. 17-cv-02510-JST) dismissed arguing that the individual families involved had failed to “exhaust their administrative remedies before bringing suit” (i.e. each individual family going through due process hearings first).  Plaintiffs successfully argued that they should “be excused from exhausting their administrative remedies because it was futile and inadequate to do so”.  Judge ruled, in part, in favor of the Plaintiffs.

Many of you have been closely following the complaint filed in federal court on May 2, 2017 against Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD), the BUSD Superintendent, the BUSD Board of Education, and the Directors of the BUSD Board of Education, for systemically failing to educate students with reading disorders, and students who are suspected to have reading disorders.

It should be noted that complaints regarding the systemic and unlawful practices and policies at BUSD had been previously filed with the CA Department of Education and that BUSD did not sufficiently change its policies in response to these complaints.

Plaintiffs successfully argued that the issue regarding BUSD failing to educate students with dyslexia was a systemic one and not limited to the students involved in this federal lawsuit and that they are seeking relief on behalf of all similarly situated students at BUSD.

The judge did grant the Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss claims against individual BUSD board members. This dismissal has no real impact on the case.

Thanks to all DDCA volunteers who attended the Motion to Dismiss hearing on August 24, 2017!

Click here to read the original complaint filed on May 2, 2017.

Click here to read the May 2, 2017 press release issued by Plaintiff’s co-counsel: Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), Jacobson Education Law, Inc. & Goodwin.

Click here to read the “Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss” filed on October 12, 2017.



You Asked! Question 2

Download a PDF version of this You Asked question and answer here.

Q2:  My student is dyslexic.  The IEP team recommendation was for my student to “read more at home” but no evidence-based reading intervention was offered through school.  Will having my student read more at home help his dyslexia?

A:  It depends on what areas your dyslexic child is struggling and what they are reading.  For example, if your dyslexic child is struggling with phonemic awareness and decoding issues, they need to receive an evidence-based multisensorydirect, explicit, structured and sequential approach to reading intervention. Some reading interventions will have a student read “controlled text” passages.  These passages would only include words for decoding skills the student is currently learning. “Controlled text” reading is helpful as it is closely aligned to the evidence-based reading intervention.  Having your child do independent reading that is not aligned with their evidence-based program can cause added confusion for your child and may actually delay their reading progress. “Read more at home” will not teach a dyslexic child how to read.

It should be noted that reading out loud to your child (or providing access to audiobooks) at grade level (or above) is helpful as it exposes your child to grade level content and vocabulary that they would not be exposed to if they are unable to read at grade level.

For more YOU ASKED questions and answers click HERE