University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Salazar v. Edwards CW-IL-0001
Docket / Court No. 92 Ch 5703 ( State Court )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
In 1992, homeless children and their parents filed a class action lawsuit in Illinois State Court against the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Coordinator for Homeless Children and Youth, the State Superintendent of Education, the Chicago School Board, and the Chicago School Reform ... read more >
In 1992, homeless children and their parents filed a class action lawsuit in Illinois State Court against the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Coordinator for Homeless Children and Youth, the State Superintendent of Education, the Chicago School Board, and the Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees. A children class and parent class was created. The children class consisted of all children between the ages of three and twenty who were or would be living in Chicago, homeless, and not attending private or parochial schools. The parent class consisted of all parents or guardians of children in the children class, who were or would be homeless and living in Chicago. The Children's Rights Project of the Legal Assistance Foundation, the Homeless Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Northwest Office of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago represented the class. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants' practices and policies relating to the education of homeless children in Chicago violated due process, the Illinois State Constitution, and various Illinois statutes.

Plaintiffs claimed that defendants routinely denied homeless children the opportunity to remain in their school of origin, imposed burdensome transfer requirements, denied adequate and timely transportation service, disregarded the wishes of the parents, and left children sitting in shelters for days and weeks without schooling. Additionally, the defendants failed to adopt policies to ensure that homeless children were not isolated or stigmatized.

On November 21, 1996, the parties reached a settlement agreement which laid out specific policies and procedures for enrolling, transferring, and maintaining school attendance for homeless children. The agreement eliminates barriers to enrollment by creating new procedures for transfer, maintenance of medical records, transportation, and eligibility for free or low cost meals. The City agreed to cease its "de facto" policy of enrolling homeless children in the school closest to the shelter they happen to be in.

On August 3, 1999, the Court (Michael Brennan Getty), on motion to enforce by the plaintiffs, found the City in violation of the Consent decree and issued and Order appointing an independent monitor, requiring extensive reporting, issuance of notice to families of their rights and or the availability of a dispute resolution procedure, revision of existing written policies, designation of liasons in every school, and distribution of bus passes, among other things.

The Court's Order is the most recent documment we have available.

Sherrie Malone - 06/06/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Education
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Illinois State Board of Education
Plaintiff Description All children between the ages of three and twenty who were or would be living in Chicago, homeless, and not attending private or parochial schools, and their parents or guardians who would be homeless and living in Chicago
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1996 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Enforcing the Educational Rights of Homeless Children and Youth: Focus on Chicago
By: Laurene M. Heybach and Stacey E. Platt (Director of the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Loyola University Chicago School of Law)
Citation: 32 Clearinghouse R. 21 (1998)
[ Detail ]

  Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Making Child Welfare Work: How the R.C. Lawsuit Forged New Partnerships to Protect Children and Sustain Families
By: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (Bazelon Center)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 11/13/1995
CW-IL-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Settlement Stipulation and Stipulation to Dismiss 11/21/1996
CW-IL-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Opinion 08/03/1999
CW-IL-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Judges Getty, Michael Brennan (State Trial Court)
CW-IL-0001-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Biehl, Julie (Illinois)
CW-IL-0001-0001
Heybach, Laurene Marie (Illinois)
CW-IL-0001-0001 | CW-IL-0001-0002
Platt, Stacey (Illinois)
CW-IL-0001-0001
Whitcomb, John W. (Illinois)
CW-IL-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Blackburn, Harry (Illinois)
CW-IL-0001-0002
Johnson, Marilyn F. (Illinois)
CW-IL-0001-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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