Learning Rights Law Center

Because All Children Have A Right To Learn

Los Angeles, CA   |  www.learningrights.org

Mission

Learning Rights Law Center seeks to ensure that all students are provided with equitable access to the public education system and focuses on low-income students who have disabilities, face discrimination or are involved in the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

Ruling year info

2006

Executive Director

Ms. Janeen Steel

Main address

1625 W. Olympic Blvd Suite 500

Los Angeles, CA 90015 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

83-0434929

NTEE code info

Children's Rights (R28)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learning Rights Law Center (LRLC) is the only legal-services nonprofit in Southern California focused exclusively on education access. helps disadvantaged children get adequate access to a public education. Out of 100,000 in LA County's low-income children with disabilities, only 40% will graduate from high school, but as many as 80% of them are estimated to be capable of it. The need for what we do is great: compared with children with greater income, poor children complete two fewer years of school, earn less than half as much money, and are nearly three times as likely to have poor health. In the juvenile-corrections system alone, it is estimated that between 30 to 70 % of young people have disabilities that are never assessed or diagnosed, shutting them off from crucial educational supports and interventions. LRLC changes lives of these students through grassroots training, advocacy and legal assistance.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

TIGER (Training Individuals for Grassroots Education Reform) Program

The TIGER Program offers hands-on training to help low-income parents better navigate the special education system for their children with disabilities. The Program was developed and launched by Learning Rights Law Center co-founders Janeen Steel and Inés Kuperschmit in late 2005 after they observed a gap in effective know-your-rights trainings in the area of education law. Since then, TIGER has served more than 3,000 parents and children, and introduced ongoing community groups to spearhead change in their local school districts.

TIGER Program is available to parents whose PreK-12th grade children, aged 3-22, have a variety of disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, specific learning disabilities, emotional disorder, speech or language impairments and intellectual disabilities. TIGER parents reside in low-income communities in Los Angeles County including South Los Angeles, Watts, East Los Angeles, Montebello, Downey, Whittier and downtown Los Angeles. Because of the high incidence of monolingual Spanish speakers, Learning Rights offers interpreters at all TIGER activities. In 2015, an average of 210 parents are served monthly (or, a total of 410 parents, unduplicated) representing an increase of 27% over service levels in 2014 (an average of 156 parents were served monthly in 2014, or a total of 295 parents unduplicated) and a remarkable 100% increase over service levels in 2013. In 2014, it cost Learning Rights just $553 to put each parent through the training program. As the TIGER Program expands, we expect the cost to decrease. All TIGER activities are offered free to participants.

The TIGER Program is comprised of the following components: Beginning TIGER ( five training groups - held in Watts, East Los Angeles, Whittier, Long Beach and Pacoima) immerses parents in the basics of education advocacy via a series of 11 monthly interactive trainings; Intermediate TIGER (two training groups – held in Watts and East LA) offers Beginning TIGER graduates deeper exposure to key special education concepts through a six-month-long training series; Advanced TIGER (one training group – held in downtown LA) provides Intermediate TIGER graduates with monthly trainings that go into even greater depth on specific topics; parent-led TIGER Community Groups (in Downey, Long Beach, Highland Park and West Los Angeles) meet each month to support local parents whose children with disabilities have education-access issues; and the Annual TIGER Town Hall, which offers parents a day of interactive workshops led by special education attorneys and advocates. Parents who graduate from the Advanced TIGER continue to be part of the Program by becoming Parent Group Leaders. In 2015, Learning Rights launched its e-TIGER Pilot Project, which is designed to widen the TIGER Program reach via digital media.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

TIGER (Training Individuals for Grassroots Education Reform) Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

TIGER (Training Individuals for Grassroots Education Reform) Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Parents who attend at least 9 of 11 monthly classes graduate from the program in December.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Learning Rights adopted a new volunteer tracking system in 2019, which improved our in-office volunteer tracking,, but as a result our 2019 total reflects a narrower definition of "volunteer".

Number of children who received increased education services as a result of our representation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Learning Rights settles Due Process filings and secures compensatory academic services and assessments for students who need them.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Learning Rights Law Center seeks to achieve education equity for low-income and disadvantaged students in the public education system in the greater Los Angeles area. We change the lives of at-risk students who have disabilities, face discrimination or are involved in the dependency or juvenile justice systems by providing free legal services, education advocacy, and community training. We believe that every child has a right to learn. The focus of our direct legal representation and education advocacy is to get low income and disadvantaged children the education services and support they need to succeed in school. The purpose of our education training and community outreach programs is to empower families and provide a basis for true grassroots education reform. Our vision is a world in which all children may pursue a meaningful and equitable education that provides them with a brighter future and the means to become successful adults.

LRLC has recently created its first Impact Statement which states: By 2026 Learning Rights Law Center will ensure equal access to the public education system for 10,000 low-income students at-risk of educational failure. By advocating for the education rights of these youth, Learning Rights will be a catalyst for healthier, more inclusive learning environments that are free of discrimination and prepare every child to succeed. To achieve this impact, Learning Rights will: a) Ensure students' access to an appropriate education; b) Inform and empower students and their families so that they are part of the solution and sustain change; c) Partner with stakeholders, legislators and educators to create more inclusive and healthier schools that are free from discrimination; d) Recruit, train, and retain the most talented staff, volunteers and Board to most effectively achieve our mission; and e) Increase, strengthen and diversify funding streams to ensure growth and sustainability.

Learning Rights is uniquely positioned to make a lasting change in the lives of students with education-access issues in Southern California. We are the only legal services nonprofit focused on securing the education rights of underserved youth. We employ some of California's most distinguished special education law experts working in the public interest field. Over the past five years, Learning Rights expanded its programming to include two additional counties in Southern California and doubled its revenues by heavily investing in its infrastructure, fundraising strategies, staffing benefits, training and compensation.

Learning Rights distinguishes itself from any other legal services nonprofit in Southern California through its unique approach to helping its clients:
• Learning Rights provides low-income students with quality legal representation for free - When parents with financial resources hire an education rights lawyer, they do so to receive help filing for Due Process with the Office of Administrative Hearings' Special Education Division (the body that hears disputes around special education services, supports and placements). As a result, Learning Rights focuses most of its direct legal representation on providing access to these administrative Due Process hearings for parents who otherwise could not afford them. Our number of these education-related Due Process filings is unequaled by any other legal services nonprofit in Southern California.
• Learning Rights' philosophy is sustainable and efficient - Learning Rights believes in the power of self-advocacy. Our TIGER Program teaches parents how to advocate for their child throughout the school year - at parent meetings and through written correspondence. Learning Rights supports parents as they try to secure an effective education on their own.

LRLC successfully completed the goals of its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan:
-Outreach and Communications – We reached over 22,000 individuals in 2017, and have expanded our reach to the Mandarin-speaking community by partnering with CPAD and Asian Youth Center.
-Fund Development – We continue to diversify our funding sources, and have met our goals for both government funding and event funding in 2017 and 2018. Additionally we have continued to forge more relationships with corporations and have received over ten times as many matching gifts as we did in 2016.
-Program Expansion and Effectiveness – We have taken our chief program – TIGER - online, serving additional parents of children with education-access issues and other stakeholders. This expansion has successfully broken down the geographic and scheduling barriers associated with in-person teaching. Additionally, LRLC has expanded its policy and special advocacy work by introducing the Environmental Justice Project. The Project will create healthier communities by eliminating known environmental pollutants that negatively affect child development, communicating those pollutants to communities, and by ensuring treatment for those affected. Our goal is to utilize impact litigation, supported by education and disability rights laws, to increase environmental compliance and change laws and local district/county policies to ensure that schools and places where children learn and play are safe from future contamination.
-Board Development – In 2017 and 2018, we had 100% participation in the Board's Give or Get Policy. Most recently, our staff and board participated in the Annenberg Foundation's Alchemy Plus (we previously completed the Alchemy Seminar as well).
-Organizational Dynamic – In 2016, we implemented comprehensive benefits and salary packages to better support our talented staff. In 2017, we expanded the package to cover spouses and dependents of our staff, as well as increased our staff training budget.
LRLC continues to address the challenges related to technology and aging infrastructure. As LRLC has grown in the past few years we have felt the limitations of our aging technological infrastructure. Where a computer purchased in 2008 would have lasted 5-7 years, one purchased today might only last 3-5 before it is being outpaced by the size and strength of the programs we wish to run on it. A significant realization we made as a member of the Annenberg Tech cohort was the need for financial investment in technology, and we are planning to factor this investment into our budget in years to come.

Learning Rights is currently developing its next Strategic Plan to establish goals for 2020-2022.

Financials

Learning Rights Law Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Learning Rights Law Center

Board of directors
as of 5/26/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Erika White

Alicia Miñana Lovelace

Law Offices of Alicia Miñana Lovelace

Erika White

No Affiliation

Jill Bickett

Loyola Marymount University

Joseph Teltser

Coronal Group LLC

Matt Cave

King Holes Paterno & Soriano LLP

Marc Pugsley

Golden Bear Consulting Group

Jason Campbell

Winston & Strawn LLP

Jane Lord

No Affiliation

Erik Vayntrub

Capital Research Group

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No