« Virtual Schools Must Follow Special Education Rules, Ed. Department Says | Main | Federal Lawsuit Against Georgia School Network Alleges Disability-Law Violations »

Report: Justice Department to Sue Georgia Over Special Education School Network

The U.S. Department of Justice plans to sue Georgia after failing to come to an agreement over a state-run school network for students with behavior disabilities, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports

A year ago, the Justice Department notified the state that the Georgia Network for Therapeutic and Educational Support, or GNETS, was illegally segregating students with disabilities and providing them an inferior education. Georgia did eventually shut down nine dilapidated buildings, the newspaper reported, but after eight months of negotiations, the state and federal officials weren't able to agree on whether the system itself was a segregated placement.

Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, wrote to Gov. Nathan Deal that "we have determined that we must pursue the United States' claims in federal court to vindicate the rights of thousands of affected students with behavior-related disabilities across Georgia." 

GNETS is the only statewide network of "psychoeducational" schools for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities. In a three-part series published in May, the Journal-Constitution found that black students are assigned at "vastly disproportionate rates" to the network. GNETS schools also use restraint and seclusion far more often than the state's other schools—the newspaper found more than 10,000 incidents of restraint since 2014. 

Don't miss another On Special Education post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.


Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • sdc teach: I agree with the previous post regarding the high cost read more
  • Jason: That alert is from 2001. Is there anything more recent read more
  • Vikki Mahaffy: I worked as a special education teacher for 18 years read more
  • paulina rickards: As it relates to this research I am in total read more
  • Anonymous: Fully fund the RTI process. We are providing special education read more