Amanda Glass

  • Hosted by Arizona Center For Disability Law
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Phoenix, Arizona
  • Law school Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Amanda is improving access to special education and mental health services for children affected by Arizona’s foster care system.

Though entitled to special education, Arizona foster youth with disabilities are routinely denied services and supports and experience inferior learning environments because they lack consistent educational advocates. Foster youth in Arizona are twice as likely as children in the general population to attend a failing school, as defined by the state’s school accountability system. The dropout rate for foster youth is triple that of students statewide. When foster youth become adults, 25% spend time homeless, 25% experience incarceration, and 50% face unemployment. Many of these negative outcomes can be prevented or ameliorated by the implementation of appropriate and timely educational and mental health services.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past year, Amanda has:

  • Provided special education legal representation to 25 students impacted by the foster care system
  • Conducted 20 trainings around the state on the laws impacting children at the intersection of foster care and special education, reaching over 500 individuals
  • Wrote and published a letter to the Arizona Department of Education regarding inappropriate graduation practices for students with disabilities, and was interviewed about the issue by the local National Public Radio affiliate station
  • Engaged in structured negotiations with schools on behalf of foster youth with disabilities that resulted in significant pecuniary and injunctive relief for student clients

Next Steps

In the next year, Amanda plans to:

  • Provide direct legal services to at least 15 additional clients
  • Continue to provide trainings to a variety of stakeholders on laws and advocacy techniques to advance the rights of children at the intersection of special education and foster care
  • Conduct data analysis to identify targets for systemic advocacy efforts and begin engaging in those efforts

Media

Arizona Attorneys Question Guidance For Students With Disabilities And Graduation

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Matthew Bedrick

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Current Fellow