Shira Baron

  • Hosted by Education Law Center
  • Sponsored by Norflet Progress Fund
  • Service location Newark, New Jersey
  • Law school Fordham University School of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Shira worked to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline now robbing thousands of Newark, New Jersey’s at-risk youth of educational opportunities and access through litigation, advocacy, and educational outreach.

In Newark, black and Hispanic students are five times and three times as likely to be suspended as their white peers. Such discipline is often not confined to severe conduct, but for minor misconduct, such as dress code infractions and swearing. Students who experience exclusionary discipline are more likely to have academic deficiencies, drop out of school, and be placed in the criminal justice system. The devastating consequences of the pipeline are particularly evident in Newark Public Schools. In 2012-13, Newark’s sixty-seven percent graduation rate, compared to New Jersey’s eighty-seven percent rate, gave Newark the ninth lowest graduation rate among New Jersey’s districts. This project will address the school-to-prison pipeline and utilize strategies to dismantle it, ensuring Newark’s at-risk students remain in classrooms.

Fellowship Highlights

During Shira’s Fellowship, Shira:

  • Meet with advocacy and stakeholder groups to learn about local issues and potential clients, encourage input, receive Newark student referrals, and begin building pipeline advocacy coalition
  • Plan pro bono lawyer training and solicit training assistance from lawyers experienced in relevant areas
  • Create intake process for educators and students to inform her about pipeline practices in their schools
  • Review statutes, regulations and district level policies to identify areas for policy reform

Meet Other Fellows Like Shira

View All

Margaret Wakelin

Host: Equip for Equality

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation

Photo of Amelia Huckins

Amelia Huckins

Host: Mississippi Center for Justice

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern

Tovah Pentelovitch

Host: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Teresita Ramos

Host: Disability Law Center

Sponsor: Equal Justice Works Text-to-Give