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Education Advocacy Services

These agencies offer services to children subject to zero-tolerance policies or other school discipline-related problems. Check individual agencies for the exact services offered and eligibility requirements.


Before contacting an agency, please collect the following information if applicable to your situation:

  • Your child’s last IEP (Individualized education program), if any.
  • Your child’s last report card.
  • Progress Reports and correspondence with your child’s school.
  • Important addresses and phone numbers.
  • Proof of income (check stubs).
  • Proof of government benefits (i.e. receipts for CalWorks, Food Stamps).


Agency Services and Eligibility
Fees and Hours
Community Asset Development
Re-defining Education (CADRE)

8510 ½ South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90003
(323) 752-9997, x317

Local. Will help parents understand their situations and works closely with Public Counsel to see if they can assist.

There are no eligibility requirements. But CADRE is best equipped to assist parents in LAUSD, and especially in Local District 7. Parents could also be South LA residents with children in other local districts, but it is a little bit harder. Best to call first to carry on numerous strategies and activities.

Appointment only. 
9am-5pm, Monday – Friday.

Advocates for Children

51 West 30th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 947-9779
Advocates for Children of New York works on behalf of children who are at greatest risk for school-based discrimination and/or academic failure due to poverty, disability, race, ethnicity, immigrant or English Language Learner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, or involvement in the foster care or juvenile justice systems.
Helpline available between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm EST, Monday through Thursday, at 1-866-427-6033 or message via website.

Fix School Discipline

Sarah Omojola
(510) 529-3472. 
National. FixSchoolDiscipline is a project of 
Public Counsel. The site contains resources for educators and community members, including a toolkit designed to demonstrate alternatives to zero-tolerance policies.

Public Counsel Law Center
Children’s Rights Division

610 S. Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 385-2977

Free to low income families as long as they meet income eligibility that they screen during intake call. Several different projects exist that specialize in different areas of law.
Appointment only.  9am-5:15pm, Monday – Friday.
Children’s Rights Clinic
Southwestern Law School

3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Ph: (213) 738-6621

Local. Represent children who have disciplinary issues such as suspension appeals, opportunity transfer appeals, correction of records or representation at expulsion hearings.

Also represent students with special needs from initial requests for assessments, representation at IEPs, through representation in due process

Eligibility: low to middle-income families, but no specific restrictions.

Child must reside in Los Angeles County to be eligible and who would not otherwise be able to obtain legal representation and an age range between 3 and 22. Clinic offers direct client representation, which includes advocacy, negotiating with school personnel, representation at discipline hearings, IEP’s, and at mediation or due process hearings.
Appointment only. 9am-5pm, Monday - Friday.

Free service is limited. Also based on specific income levels.  
Los Angeles Center
for Law and Justice

1241 S. Soto Street, Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90023
(323) 980-3500

Local. Only handles Family, U Visa, housing, VAWA cases. 
Appointment only.
1pm-4pm, Monday-Friday .
Alliance for Children’s Rights

3333 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Ph: (213) 368-6010

Local. Does NOT typically handle disciplinary issues. Mission is to assist children in out of home or foster care though programs (Special Education, Healthcare, Adoptions, Benefits and Guardianships).

Child is eligible only if in foster care. Address issues such as open dependency cases, special education (no general education discipline issues).
Appointment and walk-in’s welcome. 9am-5:30pm, Monday - Friday.
Mental Health Advocacy Services

3255 Wilshire Blvd. #902
Los Angeles, California 90010
Ph: (213) 389-2077
Fax: (213) 389-2595

 Local. Mainly takes cases for children with special education needs/issues pertaining to special education.

Eligibility requirements: mainly low income, but it is recommended to call since cases are passed on to advocates who decide to take the case.

Child is potentially eligible if has mental health and/or education issues, is low-income (on average, 200% or below the federal poverty line; family of four, no more than $24,000), and lives within LA County. May also be eligible if the child has mental health and/or education issues, lives in county supervisor Gloria Molina’s district (east LA down to Southgate and certain areas between the I-10 and I-60 freeways out to Pomona, plus Baldwin Park and Azusa_, and is extremely poor (family of four, no more than $18,000). Not accepting any expulsion cases that are not special education –related. Also, contact Ruth S. Cusick, ext. 22, (for discipline issues).
Appointment only.
9am-5pm, Monday - Friday.
Disability Rights Legal Center

Education Advocacy Project
Loyola Law School
919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 736-8366

Local. Center will more likely represent clients facing discrimination due to disabilities (i.e. learning disability), but will consult with and refer anyone. Clients must be low-income. It is recommended that callers mention that they were referred by Public Counsel.
Appointment only.
9am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday.

Disabilities Rights California

(formerly known as Protection and Advocacy Inc.)
3580 Wilshire Blvd, Ste. 902
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 427-8747

Local. Individual students with behavior issues may be eligible for behavior support if the behavior is a result of their disability, as provided in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) AND the IEP specifies as such.
Appointment only.
9am-5pm, Monday - Friday.

Division of Special Education
LAUSD Parent Resource Network

333 South Beaudry, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Ph: (800) 933-8133
Fax: (213) 241-8915

Local. Individual students with behavior issues may be eligible for behavior support if the behavior is a result of their disability, as provided in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) AND the IEP specifies as such.
Appointment only.
9am-5pm, Monday - Friday.

Templeton Children, Youth, and Family Collaborative

United Methodist Church
1200 W. 37th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(323) 730-9400
Fax: (323) 730-9403

Local. They do not provide services for school discipline. The group provides mentoring, employment assistance, CAHSEE help, and support regarding school transition, academic probation, foster care youth, and transition youth.
Phone calls only. 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday

New Visions Foundation

3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 829-9877 
Child must be in foster care. Foundation provides funding for capable students struggling in currently inadequate educational environment to attend private school or college.

Contact Executive Director Paul Comin.

Fiesta Educativa

163 South Avenue 24, Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90031
(323) 221-6696

Local. The only eligibility requirement is that the child have an IEP and be a student of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Agency informs and assists Latino families in obtaining services and in caring for their children with special needs. Provides parent training, community outreach, advocacy for children with special needs, and parent support groups.  
Walk-in, appointments. 8:30am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Special Education Clinic/ Children’s Rights Clinic

Whittier Law School
3333 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 444-4141, ext. 303

Local. The Clinic provides civil legal services in matters involving the care and support of minor children, such as guardianship, post-foster care adoption, non-marital child support and custody matters, and special education advocacy. Contact clinic director Bill Patton.   
Appointments only.
9am-5pm, Monday - Friday.

Learning Rights Law Center (LRLC)

Randi Sunshine (she/her)
Executive Director
1625 West Olympic Blvd.
Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Phone: 213-315-5409


Services are available to low-income students and their families. The following free services are provided to students who are 3 to 22 years old with education issues: (1) consultations; (2) direct representation; and (3) parent training.

At diagnostic intake clinics, parents and/or students meet one-on-one with a Learning Rights advocate to discuss the student’s education issues. Parents are advised by an attorney as to the student’s rights and are given actionable steps to remedy the issues at hand.  When appropriate, students and their families are provided with legal representation to resolve the student’s education issues.
Call for a diagnostics intake session. 9am-5pm, Monday - Friday.

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)

1550 W. 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(800) 399-4529

Local. Provides legal assistance /representation for school discipline issues. Eligibility requirements include living in the Los Angeles Area and low income.    
Appointment only. 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

631 Howard Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105-3907
(415) 777-2752

State. Serves variety of individuals while maintaining focused programs for farm worker populations. Clients include individuals with disabilities, immigrants, school children, LGBT populations, seniors, and individuals with limited English proficiency. Serves mainly low-income individuals residing in over 22 California counties.

High quality legal services provided at no cost.   
Many offices exist.

The W. Haywood Burns Institute

180 Howard St. Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94105
Ph: (415) 321-4100
Fax: (415) 321-4140

State. No direct assistance, but will provide referrals if parents call. Appointment only. 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.


National. Website provides “parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys with accurate, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy so they can be effective catalysts.”  Many different topics re covered, including Behavior & Discipline, which encompasses Zero Tolerance Policies.

Specific topics and links are available on the left column.  A great resource to get a working knowledge of the law and read related articles, for free.    
Many free resources, but consultation cost$ 395.00.

Advocacy training in different states. Either a $49.95 program or a $89.95 program available.

National Disability Rights Network

900 Second Street, NE, Suite 211
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 408-9514

National. NDRN is a nonprofit organization that provides legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. Coordination for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) and Client Assistance Programs (CAP).

Deals with educational issues for persons with disabilities, at the national level.

Schools for All Campaign

ACLU of Northern California
39 Drumm Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
The Schools for All Campaign is a multidisciplinary campaign aimed at keeping students in comprehensive schools that are supportive, safe, and equitable. Schools have an obligation to provide an educational environment free from bias, harassment, and discrimination and to address issues of student misbehavior in a manner that teaches appropriate behavior, limits the use of exclusionary discipline, and achieves educational opportunity while still ensuring school safety.

Please view the publication: Discipline in California Schools: Legal Requirements and Positive School Environments.

No fees.
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