Jan 29

Education Justice Goes Digital

Legal Services Creates New App to Help Students & Parents

ST. LOUIS – The pandemic has drastically changed how students “attend” school, whether they are in-person, remote, or in a hybrid combination. Unfortunately, for some students and families, it is now even harder to access the education they are legally entitled to.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, through its Education Justice Program, has introduced the EdRights App to provide students and parents with easy-to-use information about their legal rights for school and education services.

In 2016, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri formed the Education Justice Program to assist families and students who were denied equal access to quality education as outlined by the law. This program helps families deal with school enrollments, special education assistance, suspensions, expulsions, and other issues that limit access to learning.

Nationwide, students of color are suspended and expelled at inordinately higher rates than white students. A 2017 ProPublica report found that Black Missouri public school students were 4.4 times more likely to be suspended than white students even though Black students comprise only 16 percent of all students enrolled in Missouri public schools.

“We found that parents and students need basic information about student rights,” stated Amanda Schneider, Managing Attorney of the Education Justice Program. “The easiest and quickest way to get information to people is through their smart phones and tablets,” she noted.  “Thanks to support from the Deaconess Foundation, we created the EdRights Appthat parents and students can access for free from our website,” said Schneider. The App can be used on a web browser or downloaded to a phone or tablet home screen for easy reference.

The EdRights App is free and can be found at lsem.org/edrights-app. For more information about the Education Justice Program, contact Amanda Schneider at ajschneider@lsem.org.

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About Legal Services of Eastern Missouri: Celebrating 65 years of providing equal access to justice for individuals and families. Since 1956, more than 1 million people in 21 eastern Missouri counties have been helped. For more information or to get help, please visit www.lsem.org. Offices in St. Louis, Clayton, Union and Hannibal, Missouri.