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Stephanie Horwitz

  • Hosted by National Center for Youth Law
  • Sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
  • Service location El Segundo, California
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Stephanie advocated for the rights of students of color with disabilities facing pushout to inferior alternative education settings through direct services, community advocacy, and impact litigation.

Separate and unequal schooling is the reality for too many students of color with disabilities. These students are disproportionately pushed out of traditional schools and into inferior alternative education settings, including continuation high schools and community day schools. Such settings enable the modern-day segregation of American schools, perpetuating a system where high-needs students of color are less likely to graduate and more likely to become involved with the criminal justice system.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Stephanie:
  • Represented students facing expulsion, pushout, or denial of special education services in alternative education settings
  • Helped lead the Education Justice Coalition’s efforts to hold the LA County Office of Education accountable for the quality of education in its court and community schools
  • Initiated a partnership with a Southern California County Office of Education to strengthen their support for students with disabilities in alternative education
  • Developed materials and trainings for parents and community organizations regarding student transfer and special education rights, including a Know-Your-Rights guide for CA’s new Independent Study law
  • Designed a research project to collect information on alternative education programs in CA’s five largest County Offices of Education
  • Engaged in impact litigation to end harmful practices of discrimination and pushout against Black students with disabilities

Next Steps

Stephanie will continue to serve as a zealous advocate for young people with disabilities and those involved with the criminal justice system in Los Angeles.


Morrison & Foerster Partners With Equal Justice Works To Support Recent Law School Graduates With A Passion For Public Service

In my eight years working as a special education teacher and administrator, one principle permeated every school setting: students with high needs were pushed out rather than supported. I decided to become a lawyer to fight to ensure that all children receive the just public education they deserve.

Stephanie Horwitz /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Host: Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP

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Host: Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice

Sponsor: Anonymous

Annie Kanzow

Host: Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc.

Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation

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Amelia Huckins

Host: Mississippi Center for Justice

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern