Gaskin v. Pennsylvania Class Action Suit
The Gaskin settlement affects over 280,000 students in Pennsylvania who receive special education. The lawsuit, which was settled in 2005, had 12 named plaintiffs and 11 disabilities advocacy organizations. Lydia Gaskin was the lead plaintiff in the case represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
The main focus of the settlement is to ensure that school districts comply with existing federal laws, specifically around issues of “Least Restrictive Environment” (LRE). Schools will be monitored on how well they are providing services to students with disabilities beginning first with the general education classes. Greater technical assistance and on-site training will be provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. New policies require IEP teams to consider and school districts to provide a full range of supplementary aids and services in regular ed classrooms to all students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities who can benefit from education in regular ed classes. A Special Education Advisory Panel on LRE was formed, and all complaints regarding LRE will be investigated.
Full text of the Gaskin Settlement Agreement
Pennsylvania agrees to changes in special education to increase the inclusion of students with disabilities in the regular education classes.