State OKs more education at Eldora juvenile home

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 18, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.



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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state has agreed to provide additional educational services to current students and recent graduates of a juvenile home in Eldora that previously was under investigation.

The Iowa Department of Human Services, which runs the Boys' State Training School, is providing the additional services as part of a corrective-action plan following two investigations, The Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/1iGTcP3 ). However, the state won't have to offer remedial services to youths who have left the program in the last few years, just graduates of the past two months.

Investigations into the school, which were verified by the state Department of Education, concluded DHS violated federal law by failing to provide the minimum level of educational services to special education students.

Similar federal violations were uncovered at the state-run Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo, which was ordered to be closed in January. But in that instance, the state agreed to set aside $1 million for "compensatory education" for dozens of youths who had left the Toledo facility in recent years.

Nonprofit group Disability Rights Iowa has been credited with uncovering many of the violations at the Eldora facility. The organization recently submitted a report to the state expressing confusion over why the same violations at two DHS-run facilities for juveniles "do not warrant the same remedy."

The Eldora school provides housing, education and treatment to about 125 boys on a daily basis. The boys, ages 13 to 18, have a history of trouble with the law. About half of them require special education instruction.

The corrective-action plan will include DHS working with a national expert on improving services to students. The department said it will hire an expert to help youths who are graduating or leaving the facility in the next 90 days.

"We are committed to meeting our students' special education needs," said Charles Palmer, director of the Department of Human Services. "Along with supervision and rehabilitation, education is a critical component of the services provided to the seriously delinquent youth served by the state training school."

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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