Rob Manning/OPB

Beaverton School District officials have settled a civil rights complaint involving lost instructional time for special needs students.

Parents of two students with autism filed the complaint last year after documenting a pattern at many Beaverton schools. They found that schools were putting students on special education buses several minutes early, every day.  

Federal law prohibits public schools from discriminating on the basis of disability. The complaint argued that sending disabled kids home early is a violation.  

Beaverton officials aren’t admitting wrongdoing. But Beaverton schools spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler said they’re offering extra instruction to about 1,000 students who spent time in separated classrooms.  

“Students that are in our self-contained classrooms will be eligible to receive 15 hours of compensatory special education services this summer,” Wheeler pledged.   

Wheeler said the district has changed dismissal procedures so that special needs students get full instructional days.

The attorney behind the civil rights complaint, Diane Wiscarson, applauded the Beaverton School District’s decision to settle the matter, but said she’s disappointed it took a legal challenge.

“More than 1,000 students within the district will be positively affected by this resolution,” Wiscarson said. “We are, however, saddened that it required an Office of Civil Rights complaint in order for the district to uphold the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).”