January 27, 2022

News

News Network

Justice Department Settles with Indiana School District to Resolve Disability Discrimination Investigation into School Seclusion and Restraint Practices

10 min read
<div>The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement with the North Gibson School Corporation in Princeton, Indiana, to address and prevent the discriminatory secluding and restraining of students with disabilities.</div>

The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement with the North Gibson School Corporation in Princeton, Indiana, to address and prevent the discriminatory secluding and restraining of students with disabilities. 

The agreement follows an investigation conducted under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into a complaint that the school district inappropriately secluded and restrained students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in the district’s self-contained classrooms. The department’s investigation confirmed that students as young as five years old were secluded and restrained improperly and repeatedly, resulting in days, and sometimes weeks, of lost instructional time. The department also investigated allegations that the school district regularly and inappropriately sent these students home early from school, placed them on abbreviated school days, and assigned them to homebound instruction.

“Students with disabilities, like all students, belong in classrooms where they can learn — not locked away or otherwise segregated from their peers. When school districts improperly seclude or restrain students with disabilities, they inflict grievous harm on some of America’s most vulnerable children,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Students with emotional and behavioral disabilities need additional supports in the classroom, not practices that keep them out or subject them to isolation and trauma. We look forward to working with the North Gibson School Corporation as it implements this settlement agreement to provide students with disabilities equal access to education — a right guaranteed to them by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

“We are better as a community when our schools serve all of our students,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress for the Southern District of Indiana. “Our schools should be places where all children have the best chance to learn and grow and this agreement is a significant step toward achieving that goal.”

The school district cooperated fully throughout the investigation, voluntarily suspended its use of seclusion rooms before the investigation was completed and agreed to take the steps outlined in today’s settlement agreement.

Under the settlement agreement, the school district will take proactive steps to ensure that its practices do not discriminate against students with disabilities. The district will, among other things: change its policies to prohibit use of seclusion rooms; report all instances of restraint and review whether they were justified; take steps to avoid placing students with emotional and behavioral disabilities on an abbreviated school day or homebound instruction and document those steps; create and implement a procedure for handling complaints of disability discrimination; provide appropriate training and resources to help schools implement the agreement; and appoint an Intervention Coordinator to ensure the district’s compliance with the agreement and Title II of the ADA.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ADA. Enforcement of Title II of the ADA in schools is a priority of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt, and additional information about the work of the Educational Opportunities Section is available at https://www.justice.gov/crt/educational-opportunities-section. Members of the public may report possible civil rights violations at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/.

More from: December 31, 2020

News Network

  • Department Renews Charter of Overseas Schools Advisory Council
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Syndemics and the Commitment to Quitting Equitably
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    May 27, 2021 By: Leith [Read More…]
  • Man Sentenced to More Than 16 Years’ Imprisonment for Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorists
    In Crime News
    A New York man was sentenced today to 200 months, more than 16 years, in prison for attempting to provide material support and resources to the designated foreign terrorist organizations the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the al-Nusrah Front.
    [Read More…]
  • Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Call with Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Federal Court Bars Florida Tax Preparation Businesses and Their Tax Return Preparers From Preparing Tax Returns
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Orlando, Florida, permanently enjoined Advanced Tax Services Inc. and Genson Financial Group LLC from preparing federal tax returns for others and ordered the businesses to disgorge $710,191.55, jointly and severally, representing the ill-gotten gains that they received for the preparation of tax returns. The court also entered permanent injunctions and disgorgement judgments against defendants Lenorris Lamoute and Dosuld Pierre, whom the court found prepared tax returns for compensation at Advanced Tax Services. The order was entered on default because the defendants failed to defend against the government’s allegations.
    [Read More…]
  • Areas with High Poverty: Changing How the 10-20-30 Funding Formula Is Applied Could Increase Impact in Persistent-Poverty Counties
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Some federal agencies have been statutorily required to use the “10-20-30 formula” when allocating funding for certain programs. That is, agencies must allocate at least 10 percent of designated funds to counties with poverty rates of at least 20 percent over the last 30 years (persistent-poverty counties). However, GAO found the formula has not always increased the proportion of funding awarded to those counties. The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund both awarded at least 10 percent of designated funds to persistent-poverty counties in fiscal years 2017–2020, but generally had done so before 2017. Most of their programs subject to the formula already were required to target funds to economically distressed areas. The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development awarded less than 10 percent of designated funds to persistent-poverty counties in at least one fiscal year for six out of 10 appropriations accounts. Rural Development set aside 10 percent of designated funds for use in those counties, which officials said met the statutory requirement to allocate these funds. Officials said some programs had not received a sufficient number of applications from these counties to meet the threshold because the programs are not well-suited to areas with severe poverty. For example, it may not be financially prudent for local governments in persistent-poverty counties to participate in a loan program to finance community facilities if the governments cannot service the debt. The purpose of the 10-20-30 formula—to increase the proportion of funding awarded to persistent-poverty counties—could be better achieved by focusing its application on programs that do not already target such areas and which can provide meaningful assistance to economically distressed communities. The three agencies GAO reviewed used different datasets and methodologies to identify persistent-poverty counties for the 10-20-30 formula. Appropriations laws for 2017–2020 required the agencies to use data from different years and sources, some outdated, to identify the counties. EDA also used a methodology that identified more than 100 additional persistent-poverty counties, than the other two agencies. Requiring each agency to identify persistent-poverty counties in this way is inefficient, and the inconsistency limits the ability to compare targeted funding across agencies. Using a uniform list of persistent-poverty counties, updated each year, would reduce administrative costs and facilitate assessments of the formula's impact across agencies. Such a measure also could help ensure more consistent investment in areas with current poverty rates of at least 20 percent. USDA's Economic Research Service has the technical capabilities to produce such a list and officials said that doing so each year would not be resource intensive because the agency already publishes other related work using the same data. Why GAO Did This Study Since 2009, the 10-20-30 formula has been applied to appropriations for certain federal programs and accounts. This includes programs and accounts administered by USDA's Rural Development, Treasury's CDFI Fund, and Commerce's EDA that averaged more than $10 billion in each fiscal year from 2017 to 2020. GAO was asked to review certain issues related to the 10-20-30 formula. This report examines (1) the proportion of funds subject to the 10-20-30 formula that these agencies awarded in persistent-poverty counties in 2017–2020 and the effects on funding levels to these areas, and (2) how agencies identify persistent-poverty counties. GAO analyzed agency budget and administrative data for fiscal years 2017—2020. GAO also reviewed documentation, such as program descriptions and funding notices, and interviewed agency officials.
    [Read More…]
  • Chinese National Sentenced to More than Three Years in Federal Prison for Attempting to Illegally Export Maritime Raiding Craft and Engines to China
    In Crime News
    A Chinese national was sentenced Wednesday to three years and six months in in federal prison for conspiring to submit false export information through the federal government’s Automated Export System and to fraudulently export to China maritime raiding craft and engines, and attempting to fraudulently export that equipment in violation of U.S. law.
    [Read More…]
  • Chief Justice Roberts Issues 2021 Year-End Report
    In U.S Courts
    Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., has issued his 2021 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.
    [Read More…]
  • G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Arrest and Detention of Alexey Navalny
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Former Mexican police officer gets 30 years for sexually exploiting child
    In Justice News
    A 38-year-old resident [Read More…]
  • Romania Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Veterans Affairs: Systems Modernization, Cybersecurity, and IT Management Issues Need to Be Addressed
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced long-standing challenges in its efforts to deploy information technology (IT) initiatives in two critical areas needing modernization: the department's aging health information system, known as the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA); and VA's outdated, non-integrated financial and acquisition management systems requiring complex manual work processes that have contributed to the department reporting financial management system functionality as a material weakness. Specifically, GAO has reported on the challenges that the department has faced with its three previous unsuccessful attempts to modernize VistA over the past 20 years. In February 2021, GAO reported that VA had made progress toward implementing its fourth effort—a modernized electronic health record system. However, GAO stressed that the department needed to address all critical severity test findings (that could result in system failure) and high severity test findings (that could result in system failure, but have acceptable workarounds) before deploying the system at future locations. In March 2021, GAO reported on the department's Financial Management Business Transformation, a program intended to modernize financial and acquisition systems. GAO found that VA had generally adhered to best practices in the areas of program governance, project management, and testing. However, the department had not fully met best practices for developing and managing cost and schedule estimates. GAO recommended that VA follow such practices to help minimize the risks of cost overruns and schedule delays. GAO has also reported that VA has struggled to secure information systems and associated data; implement information security controls and mitigate known security deficiencies; establish key elements of a cybersecurity risk management program; and identify, assess, and mitigate the risks of information and communications technology supply chains. GAO has made numerous recommendations to VA to address these areas. Many of those recommendations have been addressed, but others have not been fully implemented. VA has demonstrated mixed results in implementing key provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (commonly referred to as FITARA). Specifically, VA has made substantial progress in improving its licensing of software, which led it to identify $65 million in cost savings. Further, it has made some progress in consolidating its data centers and achieving cost savings and avoidances. However, it has made limited progress in addressing requirements related to managing IT investment risk and enhancing the authority of its Chief Information Officer. Fully implementing the act's provisions would position the department to deliver better service to our veterans through modern, secure technology. Why GAO Did This Study The use of IT is crucial to helping VA effectively serve the nation's veterans. The department annually spends billions of dollars on its information systems and assets. Its fiscal year 2022 budget request is about $4.8 billion for its Office of Information and Technology and $2.7 billion for electronic health record modernization. GAO was asked to testify on its prior IT work at VA. Specifically, this testimony summarizes results and recommendations from GAO's issued reports that examined VA's efforts in (1) modernizing VistA and its financial and acquisition management systems; (2) addressing cybersecurity issues; and (3) implementing FITARA. GAO reviewed its recently issued reports that addressed IT and cybersecurity issues at VA and followed up on the department's actions in response to recommendations.
    [Read More…]
  • Statement from Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Regarding Settlement between U.S. Postal Service and NAACP
    In Crime News
    Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta issued the following statement regarding the settlement reached between the U.S. Postal Service and the NAACP:
    [Read More…]
  • Military Training: DOD Met Annual Reporting Requirements and Continued to Improve Its Sustainable Ranges Report
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO FoundThe 2013 Sustainable Ranges Report of the Department of Defense (DOD) met the annual statutory reporting requirements for the department to describe its progress in implementing its sustainable ranges plan and any additional actions taken or planned for addressing training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, or airspace. DOD's 2013 report provides updates to several elements of the plan that the act required it to include in its annual progress reports, including (1) proposals to enhance training range capabilities and address any shortfalls; (2) goals and milestones for tracking progress in the implementation of its sustainment plan; and (3) projected funding requirements for each of the military services to implement their planned actions. DOD reported that there were no significant changes in range capability or encroachment since 2012. It identified emerging challenges to training range sustainability, and reported on actions being taken to mitigate them. It used goals and milestones in its progress updates, and reported its projected funding requirements for implementing planned actions. Together these elements describe DOD's progress in implementing its comprehensive plan and addressing training constraints at its ranges, thus meeting the annual reporting requirements of the act.DOD has now implemented all prior GAO recommendations focused on meeting the requirements of the act and improving report submissions. GAO reported in 2012 that DOD had implemented all but 2 of 13 prior recommendations. DOD has subsequently addressed these 2 recommendations by developing and launching the range assessment module within the Defense Readiness Reporting System. Additionally, DOD created a range visibility tool within its range scheduler system to enable a user to query and identify the availability of training ranges across the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy to optimize utilization of training resources. Future improvements include plans to provide a link to the Air Force range scheduling system. Through the changes DOD has implemented in its annual reporting over the past several years, the department has continually improved reporting on the sustainability of its ranges.Why GAO Did This StudyAs U.S. forces draw down from Afghanistan and home training is expanded, the competition for training ranges may also increase. Section 366 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (as amended) required DOD to submit a comprehensive plan to address training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace available in the United States and overseas for training, and provide annual progress reports on these efforts through 2018. The act also requires GAO to submit annual evaluations of DOD’s reports to Congress within 90 days of receiving them from DOD. In this report, GAO examined (1) whether DOD’s 2013 Sustainable Ranges Report met the legislative requirements; and (2) whether DOD acted on GAO previous recommendations to improve its submissions.GAO is not making any recommendations in this report. In commenting on this report, DOD stated that it agrees in general with the report.For more information, contact Brian Lepore at (202) 512-4523 or leporeb@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Highway Bridges: Federal Highway Administration Could Better Assist States with Information on Corrosion Practices
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found According to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) database of information on bridges' condition, the percentage of deck area, a measure that accounts for the size of a bridge, for National Highway System (NHS) bridges in poor condition has decreased since 2012. However, since 2016, the percentage of deck area for NHS bridges in good condition has also decreased, while the percentage of deck area for bridges in fair condition has increased. Although these data do not indicate the extent to which corrosion affects bridges' condition, studies GAO reviewed and stakeholders GAO spoke with—including FHWA, five selected states, and six associations—indicate a significant relationship between corrosion and bridge condition. (See figure.) Examples of Bridge Corrosion State practices to prevent and manage corrosion vary based on environmental factors and bridge condition. For example, states exposed to sea water and deicing chemicals may clean bridges to remove materials that could accelerate corrosion. Four of the five selected states prioritized rehabilitating and replacing poor condition bridges, while the fifth state said it took steps to address corrosion to preserve and maintain bridges in good and fair condition. States are transitioning to asset management practices that emphasize bridge preservation strategies. However, officials from the selected states said limited information about specific corrosion practices' effectiveness is a challenge to implementing asset management practices. For example, officials from some selected states said they use sealant on bridge decks to prevent corrosion while officials from another said they do not because they do not know how effective it is. FHWA, within the Department of Transportation, helps states address corrosion through research and technical assistance. However, FHWA efforts have generally focused on overall bridge condition and may not meet states' needs to determine the circumstances in which to use specific practices. For example, FHWA's Bridge Preservation Guide identifies practices that can be part of a bridge preservation approach but does not indicate under what circumstances they are most effective. Although FHWA does not endorse specific practices, officials recognize their role in helping states make well-informed decisions regarding bridge corrosion. As states continue transitioning to an asset management approach, providing information about the circumstances under which different corrosion practices are most effective could help states make best use of their resources. Why GAO Did This Study In 2021, U.S. bridges, including those on the NHS, were estimated to need billions of dollars in repairs, including efforts to mitigate the effects of corrosion. House Report 116-106 included a provision for GAO to review the status of states' bridge corrosion-control planning. This report examines: (1) trends in the condition of bridges on the NHS and what is known about how corrosion affects bridge condition, (2) practices states use to address corrosion on NHS bridges and how selected states prioritize efforts to address corrosion, and (3) how FHWA assists states in addressing bridge corrosion. GAO reviewed applicable statutes, regulations, guidance, and studies related to corrosion prevention and management, and analyzed data on NHS bridges. GAO selected five states—Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Rhode Island, and Wyoming—based on factors, such as the percentage of bridge deck area in good and poor condition and geographic diversity. Finally, GAO interviewed FHWA, state transportation, and various association officials and assessed FHWA's actions against internal controls for using quality information.
    [Read More…]
  • Mali Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Do not travel to Mali [Read More…]
  • Global War on Terrorism: Observations on Funding, Costs, and Future Commitments
    In U.S GAO News
    After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the President announced a Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), requiring the collective instruments of the entire federal government to counter the threat of terrorism. Ongoing military and diplomatic operations overseas, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, constitute a key part of GWOT. These operations involve a wide variety of activities such as combating insurgents, civil affairs, capacity building, infrastructure reconstruction, and training military forces of other nations. The U.S. has reported substantial costs to date for GWOT related activities and can expect to incur significant costs for an unspecified time in the future, requiring decision makers to consider difficult trade-offs as the nation faces increasing long-range fiscal challenges. GAO has issued several reports on current and future financial commitments required to support GWOT military operations, as well as diplomatic efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq. This testimony discusses (1) the funding Congress has appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD) and other U.S. government agencies for GWOT-related military operations and reconstruction activities since 2001; (2) costs reported for these operations and activities and the reliability of DOD's reported costs, and (3) issues with estimating future U.S. financial commitments associated with continued involvement in GWOT.Since 2001, Congress has appropriated about $430 billion to DOD and other government agencies for military and diplomatic efforts in support of GWOT. This funding has been provided through regular appropriations as well as supplemental appropriations, which are provided outside of the normal budget process. Since September 2001, DOD has received about $386 billion for GWOT military operations. In addition, agencies including the Department of State, DOD, and the Agency for International Development have received since 2001 about $44 billion to fund reconstruction and stabilization programs in Iraq ($34.5 billion) and Afghanistan ($9 billion) and an additional $400 million to be used in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2001, U.S. government agencies have reported significant costs associated with GWOT, but GAO has concerns with the reliability of DOD's reported cost data. Through April 2006, DOD has reported about $273 billion in incremental costs for GWOT-related operations overseas--costs that would not otherwise have been incurred. DOD's reported GWOT costs and appropriated amounts differ generally because DOD's cost reporting does not capture some items such as intelligence and Army modular force transformation. Also, DOD has not yet used funding made available for multiple years, such as procurement and military construction. GAO's prior work found numerous problems with DOD's processes for recording and reporting GWOT costs, including long-standing deficiencies in DOD's financial management systems and business processes, the use of estimates instead of actual cost data, and the lack of adequate supporting documentation. As a result, neither DOD nor the Congress reliably know how much the war is costing and how appropriated funds are being used or have historical data useful in considering future funding needs. GAO made several recommendations to improve the reliability and reporting of GWOT costs. In addition to reported costs for military operations, U.S. agencies have obligated about $23 billion of $30 billion received for Iraqi reconstruction and stabilization, as of January 2006. U.S commitments to GWOT will likely involve the continued investment of significant resources, requiring decision makers to consider difficult trade-offs as the nation faces increasing fiscal challenges in the years ahead; however, predicting future costs is difficult as they depend on several direct and indirect cost variables. For DOD, these include the extent and duration of military operations, force redeployment plans, and the amount of damaged or destroyed equipment needed to be repaired or replaced. Future cost variables for other U.S. government agencies include efforts to help form governments and build capable and loyal security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and meet the healthcare needs of veterans, including providing future disability payments and medical services.
    [Read More…]
  • Texas Man Arrested for Making Election-Related Threats to Government Officials
    In Crime News
    A Texas man was arrested today in Travis County, Texas, for allegedly sending threatening election-related communications to government officials on Jan. 5, 2021.
    [Read More…]
  • Iranian National Charged with Illegally Exporting Laboratory Equipment to Iran
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment today charging a Canadian national with the unlawful export of laboratory equipment from the United States to Iran, through Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    [Read More…]
  • Higher Education: IRS and Education Could Better Address Risks Associated with Some For-Profit College Conversions
    In U.S GAO News
    GAO identified 59 for-profit college conversions that occurred from January 2011 through August 2020, almost all of which involved the college's sale to a tax-exempt organization. In about one-third of the conversions, GAO found that former owners or other officials were insiders to the conversion—for example, by creating the tax-exempt organization that purchased the college or retaining the presidency of the college after its sale (see figure). While leadership continuity can benefit a college, insider involvement in a conversion poses a risk that insiders may improperly benefit—for example, by influencing the tax-exempt purchaser to pay more for the college than it is worth. Once a conversion has ended a college's for-profit ownership and transferred ownership to an organization the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes as tax-exempt, the college must seek Department of Education (Education) approval to participate in federal student aid programs as a nonprofit college. Since January 2011, Education has approved 35 colleges as nonprofit colleges and denied two; nine are under review and 13 closed prior to Education reaching a decision. Figure: Example of a For-Profit College Conversion with Officials in Insider Roles IRS guidance directs staff to closely scrutinize whether significant transactions with insiders reported by an applicant for tax-exempt status will exceed fair-market value and improperly benefit insiders. If an application contains insufficient information to make that assessment, guidance says that staff may need to request additional information. In two of 11 planned or final conversions involving insiders that were disclosed in an application, GAO found that IRS approved the application without certain information, such as the college's planned purchase price or an appraisal report estimating the college's value. Without such information, IRS staff could not assess whether the price was inflated to improperly benefit insiders, which would be grounds to deny the application. If IRS staff do not consistently apply guidance, they may miss indications of improper benefit. Education has strengthened its reviews of for-profit college applications for nonprofit status, but it does not monitor newly converted colleges to assess ongoing risk of improper benefit. In two of three cases GAO reviewed in depth, college financial statements disclosed transactions with insiders that could indicate the risk of improper benefit. Education officials agreed that they could assess this risk through its audited financial statement review process and could develop procedures to do so. Until Education develops and implements such procedures for new conversions, potential improper benefit may go undetected. A for-profit college may convert to nonprofit status for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to align its status and mission. However, in some cases, former owners or other insiders could improperly benefit from the conversion, which is impermissible under the Internal Revenue Code and Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. GAO was asked to examine for-profit college conversions. This report reviews what is known about insider involvement in conversions and to what extent IRS and Education identify and respond to the risk of improper benefit. GAO identified converted for-profit colleges and reviewed their public IRS filings. GAO also examined IRS and Education processes for overseeing conversions, interviewed agency officials, and reviewed federal laws, regulations and agency guidance. GAO selected five case study colleges based on certain risk factors, obtained information from college officials, and reviewed their audited financial statements. In three cases, GAO also reviewed Education case files. Because of the focus on IRS and Education oversight, GAO did not audit any college in this review to determine whether its conversion improperly benefitted insiders. GAO is making three recommendations, including that IRS assess and improve conversion application reviews and that Education develop and implement procedures to monitor newly converted colleges. IRS said it will assess its review process and will evaluate GAO's other recommendation, as discussed in the report. Education agreed with GAO's recommendation. For more information, contact Melissa Emrey-Arras at (617) 788-0534 or emreyarrasm@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.