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Robert J. Borrelle, Jr.

2013, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Robert J. Borrelle, Jr.

Robert J. Borrelle, Jr.

Name of Host Organization: Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
City, State: Berkeley, California
Issue area: Education/Special Education
Sponsors: Anonymous

The Project

Robert investigated San Francisco Bay Area school districts for racial bias in special education referrals and advocated for inte¬grated educational services for students of color with disabilities.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Data show that African-American students are disproportionately represented in special education at many schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now there is disturbing evidence that “disproportionality” is driving school districts to exclude African-American students from special education in order to achieve statistical balance. Addressing these discriminatory practices is important because special education rights are some of the most powerful protections available to keep students out of the “school-to-prison pipeline.”