This information has been provided by Lorrie Davis, CAC chairperson
Lawsuit filed: nearly 25 years to build a mental health service for special education students and the Governor erases it overnight
October 21, 2010, LOS ANGELES—a class action lawsuit to preserve lifeline services for
more than 20,000 students was filed today in federal court by Public Counsel, Disability Rights
California, Mental Health Advocacy Services and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. For almost 25
years California has been providing critical “AB 3632” services through county mental health
departments to special education students who need mental health support to stay in school. The services include crisis counseling, case management, medication management and residential placement.
On October 8, Governor Schwarzenegger severed the system with his line-item veto, without
even bothering to offer perfunctory regrets.
Announcing the lawsuit, Laura Faer of Public Counsel said, “While the adults quibble about who
is responsible –for funding, for services, for this entire mess—it is the children who are harmed.
Inthe midst of this chaos, we are stepping up to fight for their continuity of care.” Mental Health Advocacy Services is a non-profit organization providing free legal services to more than 3000 children and adults annually (www.mhas-la.org)
Disability Rights California, founded in 1978, positively impacts at least 50,000 Californians a year through its advocacy, lawsuits, investigations and trainings (www.disabilityrightsca.org)
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a global law firm with more than 1000 lawyers working in 17
offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America (www.gibsondunn.com)
If you are working with families or providers who are being told that AB 3632 assessments or services are being denied, discontinued, or refused in any county and/or district in the state
related to the Governor's veto, contact Public Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 385-2977 x 113.
Similarly, if you are a parent of a child who needs or currently has AB 3632 services and they are being denied, discontinued or disrupted on account of the Governor's veto, please contact Public Counsel.
Laura Faer, Public Counsel 213.385.2977 x113
Candis Bowles, Disability Rights California 213.427.8747
Jim Preis, Mental Health Advocacy Services 213.389.2077
John Sharer, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher 213.229.7476