PLATINUM2023

Learning Rights Law Center

Because All Children Have A Right To Learn

Los Angeles, CA   |  www.learningrights.org

Mission

Learning Rights Law Center fights to achieve education equity for underserved families in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. We provide free legal representation, advice, advocacy and training to families and communities whose children, as a consequence of disability or discrimination, have been denied equal access to a public education.

Ruling year info

2006

Executive Director

Ms. Randi Sunshine

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

Impoverished students face lost instructional time to teacher absences and additional testing, and are more likely to be impacted by community violence, unstable housing, or food insecurity. Without proper support, these traumas impact every aspect of a child's time in the classroom. Low-income students with disabilities experience additional barriers, including restraint or seclusion in their classroom and subsequent disciplinary action which begins a cycle of interactions with the justice system referred to as the “school to prison pipeline”. These inequities have been exacerbated during the pandemic. Learning gaps widened as low-income students with disabilities suffered from disruption to their routines and socialization as schooling and services were paused. To address these gaps, parents must navigate a special education system filled with systemic barriers: complex administrative procedures with scant information in their native language or at their reading level.

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 Program

The TIGER Program is a free “Know Your Rights” training for families of students with disabilities, covering education law and the special education system through monthly classes over the course of the academic year. The program’s goal is to provide the knowledge and skills that parents need to advocate on behalf of their student and secure the services their children need to thrive in school. The program covers a students’ civil right to an appropriate public education, special education assessments, services, and therapies, as well as strategies for working with their school and district to ensure the success of their student. TIGER transforms a family’s relationship with their school and their student’s education. Program graduates take an active role in ensuring their student receives services while gaining confidence in navigating the complex education system. In 2022, 598 parents applied to participate in the 2022-2023 program.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Parents
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities

The Education Advocacy Program provides brief and extended legal representation to families whose children have been denied an equitable education. Through the program’s Education Rights Clinic, families receive brief legal advice as well as resources and tools to self-advocate for special education services that their student needs. 253 students received an intake from the Education Rights Clinic in 2022. If parents’ self-advocacy is unsuccessful, the program provides direct advocacy to ensure students receive services in accordance with their civil right to an appropriate education. The goal of the program is to utilize parental self-advocacy and direct advocacy to secure educational equity for students within the education system. LRLC closed 109 cases in 2022 for families who had received extended representation. As a result of LRLC's representation, these students received $4.7 million worth of free education services in 2023.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities
Parents
Children and youth

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

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities

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.

Number of applicants to the program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Parents, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

TIGER Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

The goal of the Education Rights Clinic is to provide parents with the resources and tools to self-advocate for the special education services that their student needs. The Clinic is the entry point for parents to receive legal aid from LRLC. Families connect with the Clinic citing an education access issue that their student is experiencing. The Clinic, staffed by bilingual Spanish/English trained advocates, counsels families one-on-one to develop individualized action plans which parents follow to address their child’s education issue.
In situations where self-advocacy is not sufficient to address a student’s education access issues, families are referred by the Clinic to the Education Advocacy Program. The Program conducts direct advocacy on behalf of parents in order to secure appropriate education placements and services for their children. Direct advocacy includes representation at meetings with school personnel and administrative legal filings to ensure students receive services in accordance with their rights under state and federal law.
The goal of the TIGER Program is to prepare parents to advocate on behalf of their children and ensure that their students receive an equitable education that empowers them to meet their fullest potential. The TIGER Parent Training Program empowers families by teaching them about education law, special education procedures, and the rights of parents and students within the special education system. TIGER trainings are conducted in English, Spanish and Korean with plans to expand to Mandarin and Vietnamese.

Today, the TIGER Program consists of three curricula:
TIGER Beginner – Parents develop an understanding of the importance of parent participation in special education laws and procedures, as well as how to advocate on behalf of their child.
TIGER Transitions – Parents review concepts related to special education advocacy and are introduced to other systems and programs serving individuals with disabilities. Parents develop a broader understanding of general systems affecting individuals with disabilities and how to maneuver them effectively.
TIGER Plus – Parents learn about special education law with the broader context of disability justice and education rights, empowering parents with an informed, global sense of justice for their children and the larger disability community.

Parents apply to participate in these trainings. Classes are held once per month alongside the academic calendar (September to June) with a graduation ceremony at the end of the year to celebrate parents’ commitment and achievement. The ceremony is a partnership with the Loyola Marymount School of Education, whose future special education teachers attend and do crafts with students of TIGER parents.

The Education Rights Clinic has both a warm-line for parents to request appointments and an online registration process. The timeline for each family’s participation in the program is unique to their needs. Typically parents connect with the program, receive an intake, and proceed to self-advocate independently in a span of 2-4 weeks. However many families bring follow-up issues to the clinic, ask for brief advice, or require a referral to the Education Advocacy Program well beyond that timeline. As example, a parent might request an intake to review their student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP – the outline for how a school will implement special education programming for a student), meet with the Clinic to review it, and leave the Clinic with an action plan outlining how the parent can request changes to their IEP. If these changes are not made, the parent could reach out to the Clinic for further advice. Depending on the issues at hand, the Clinic may suggest additional self-advocacy or make a referral to the Education Advocacy Program for direct legal representation.

The Education Rights Clinic is led by its Manager, who has spent 17 years with the Clinic and LRLC. She has the highest certification as a special education advocate offered by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). As a bilingual Spanish speaker and Los Angeles native, her experience connecting with parents and supporting their self-advocacy is invaluable to the program. The Education Rights Clinic is part of LRLC’s Education Advocacy Program, and as such its operations are under the supervision of the organization’s Legal Director. Staff attorneys consult on the intake process to provide legal advice on the issues at hand, and the Legal Director supervises the Clinic’s operations to ensure its legal services are up to date with current education law.

The TIGER Program Director has 16 years of experience as an attorney advocating on behalf of low-income children and those in the immigration system. She brings unique experience as a bilingual Spanish speaking attorney to this parent empowerment program.

Both programs are supported by partnerships with peer organizations who serve low-income parents of students with disabilities across Los Angeles County. The Education Advocacy Program conducts outreach to new clients through these ongoing connections. TIGER recruits new parents, outreaches to new populations, and adds outside expertise to its education law trainings through these valuable collaborations. The TIGER Program provides classes to the Tichenor Orthopedic Clinic for Children in Long Beach, Kaiser Permanente Watts Learning Center, Antelope Valley Partners for Health, Neighborhood Legal Services, Children’s Institute, and State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Education Rights Clinic conducts intakes for clients at these organizations. Both programs maintain relationships with Harbor and Westside Regional Centers to train and serve Regional Center clients and Regional Center service coordinators. Additionally, the TIGER program has built relationships with parent groups, including Padres Mentores, Living Inside, and Un Paso Mas, who provide a valuable insight to the most pressing needs of parents within the special education system. The TIGER Program is currently partnering with the Special Needs Network to provide training for African American families whose students have been diagnosed with Autism. These classes represent the power of new collaborations to expand the communities served by the program.
The TIGER Program also has a longstanding partnership with Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education, who assists in designing and assessing the impact of the program. Dr. Terese Aceves helped design the first program curriculum, and continues to assist in assessments of the program’s benefits and impact.

In addition to assessing TIGER’s impact on parent advocacy, Dr. Aceves’ studies of the program serve as an opportunity to collect feedback from parents on their training experiences. This qualitative data is collected via one-on-one interview and is used in revising the program’s format and curriculum. Additional qualitative feedback comes from the relationship between TIGER teachers and participants. TIGER teachers continually adapt their programming to the needs of current students, and bring their lessons from the prior year to meetings with TIGER staff as they develop the next year’s curriculum. This has been particularly crucial as the program adapts to the needs parents are expressing in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of school pauses and closures on their students’ learning.
LRLC also collects qualitative data to assess individual programs and the organization as a whole. The Education Rights Clinic and Education Advocacy Program share a client database that allows for demographic data to be tracked alongside client outcomes. This allows LRLC to determine areas of Los Angeles County that are underserved by the organization, as well as patterns of issues that are appearing repeatedly within the same districts. A recent example of this occurred in Long Beach, where our staff identified a pattern of students not receiving mental health services as part of their special education programming. Our staff responded by hosting a training on mental health service availability for parents in the area, and by directly advocating on behalf of students to secure mental health services in their IEP.
In 2023, LRLC is focused on completing multiple infrastructural projects which will improve its ability to serve clients in 2023 and beyond. The organization received funding for the Remote Work Project – an investment in LRLC’s capacity for employees to work remotely and for clients to interact with us online and through their smartphones. The project includes new laptops for each employee, accompanying technology including headsets, printers, and scanners, and a cloud server to support remote data storage. The organization is also in the midst of an Accounting Infrastructure Project, which has updated LRLC’s accounting software and the intersecting workflows that make up the accounting process. The completion of both the Accounting Infrastructure Project and the Remote Work Project will expand LRLC’s internal capacity. In turn, the organization will be prepared to reach new communities and geographic areas with its programs in coming years.
LRLC will begin a new strategic planning process in fall 2023. The organization will utilize its enhanced infrastructure to pursue increased services to Los Angeles-adjacent counties, as well as to vulnerable populations currently underserved by the organization – African American families, Indigenous families, and Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Korean-speaking families.

Financials

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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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Learning Rights Law Center

Board of directors
as of 06/26/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Libby McCarthy

European Investment Management Services

Term: 2022 - 2025

Alicia Miñana Lovelace

Law Offices of Alicia Miñana Lovelace

Erika Kruger White

No Affiliation

Stephanie Collins

Joseph Teltser

Coronal Group LLC

Ankita Patel

Eat Just, Inc

Jason Campbell

Winston & Strawn LLP

Erik Vayntrub

Capital Research Group

Tina Steck

No Affiliation

Angelica Valencia

Nixon Peabody LLP

Katharine Schwer

XPrize Foundation

Ann Simun

Simun Psychological Assessment Group

Navya Veeturi

NVIDIA

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