Jewish parents are suing the California Department of Education for allegedly barring them from using federal funds to send their disabled children to religious schools, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act allows free public education for children with certain disabilities, as well as ensures special access and services.
Chaya and Jonathan Loffman; Fedora Nick and Morris Taxon; and Sarah and Ariel Perets say they have a religious obligation to provide their children with Jewish schooling. The parents sought to send their children to Shalhevet High School and Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles, but were allegedly told they could not use IDEA funds to do so. (RELATED: States Have Become The New Battleground For Religious Liberty)
“The State will not allow a private school to access otherwise generally available funds for special education if the private school is religious,” the lawsuit reads. “It is thus impossible for a child with a disability to be placed at a religious school and receive the same funding that he would otherwise be entitled to had his parents sent him to a nonreligious school.”
Becket will be hosting a press call to discuss our latest lawsuit that asks California to stop punishing children with disabilities.
Join us at 12 pm PDT: https://t.co/WP6iOI1Yst
More details: https://t.co/krOjVxv5RN
— BECKET (@BECKETlaw) March 13, 2023
“Since parents often cannot afford to pay for disability services themselves, California forces them to choose between accessing those services and giving their children a Jewish education,” the suit continues.
The parents are represented by Becket Law. Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at the firm, argued the case was a matter of discrimination.
“California politicians can end this unlawful discrimination the easy way or the hard way. Either they change the law that is hurting children with disabilities, or they can shamefully fight in court for the right to discriminate,” he said.
The California Department of Education did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.