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Utah News

NEA: Gorsuch No Ally Of Students With Disabilities

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Education advocates are raising concerns over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s judicial record on students with disabilities.

According to a report from the National Education Association, Gorsuch has repeatedly ruled against claims made by students with disabilities while serving as a federal appellate judge.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia taught students with disabilities in Utah for 20 years before becoming president of the NEA. She said that everyone should be concerned with Gorsuch’s record.

“He’s endorsed the lowest expectations for students with disabilities, and he’s allowed schools to provide our highest need students with the bare minimum of an educational benefit,” Garcia said.

In the 2010 case of Chavez v. New Mexico Public Education Department, Gorsuch joined a decision that the state was not obligated to remedy a school district’s violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, even if such violations had been going on for some time.

Garcia said that Gorsuch has shown opposition toward government agencies that are set up to protect students with disabilities.

“Why wouldn’t you want to be on a parent’s side when they say, ‘We know what benefits our children because we saw it in this school, and we’re not getting in the second school,’” Garcia added. “Why wouldn’t you be on the side of parents?”

Gorsuch began testifying before members of the Senate on Monday.