Results in refugee lawsuit to cost Lancaster schools more than $600K next year
The city of Lancaster, Pa., resettles a lot of refugees for a community of its size, and various stakeholders have long collaborated with the school district there in programs designed to help entire families who make up this vulnerable population.
So when the School District of Lancaster was sued one year ago, officials argued that they — not the courts — knew how best to deal with their own students.
But U.S. District Court udge Edward G. Smith found last year that the School District of Lancaster had violated the federal Equal Educational Opportunities Act by delaying or denying enrollment of older refugee students and by diverting them to a magnet school with less support for English language learners than the mainstream high school and its Newcomer Program, which is designed for first-year ELLs.
And now, the School District of Lancaster is looking at spending more than half a million dollars, less than 1 percent of its $208 million annual budget, as a result of the lawsuit, according to school officials.