Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s plan to close 15 District schools will improve education across the city and does not discriminate against poor and minority students, D.C. officials said in response to a lawsuit filed by activists seeking to halt the closures.
In a brief filed Wednesday in federal court, attorneys for the city raised objections to the lawsuit, which contends that the school closures violate civil rights laws because of their disproportionate effect on poor, African American and disabled children.
The city’s attorneys disputed the idea that having children change schools is a violation of their rights. “Plaintiffs have no grounds to argue that [D.C. public schools] must continue to educate their children in precisely the exact same schools they currently attend,” their brief says.
Empower D.C. filed the school-closure suit in March in U.S. District Court on behalf of two advisory neighborhood commissioners and three parents of children who attend schools that are slated to close.