Update: The judge approved the proposed settlement; the case remains active during the monitoring period.

Citing “systemic failures to comply with federal law,” cooperating attorneys for the ACLU of Rhode Island and the R.I. Center for Justice have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Providence school district and the R.I. Department of Education, alleging that hundreds of children with disabilities between the ages of three and five are not receiving critical special education services they are entitled to. The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the state and school district to begin directly providing those services or else contract with other school districts and educational providers to do so.  


Ellen Saideman, Lynette Labinger (ACLU of RI Cooperating Attorneys); Jennifer Wood (RI Center for Justice)

Date filed

July 17, 2023


United States District Court, District of Rhode Island