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Lancaster, PA school district didn’t cave to ACLU, appealed refugee students case to higher court

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 2, 2017

In my previous post I noted that the media (the New York Times) is working overtime to sell the public on the notion that everything is just peachy in Lancaster with the decades-old refugee program there.  Then we see stories like this one that indicate at least some segments of the community are not thrilled at all—namely the school system.

BTW, see my Ten Things your town needs to know when ‘welcoming’ refugees and see that the first great impact on your community will most likely be in the school system.

Look how much this lawsuit filed by the ACLU is costing Lancaster taxpayers! If your town becomes a new ‘welcoming’ site, be prepared for unanticipated costs like these!

From Keystone Crossroads (hat tip: Joanne):

About 17,000 of the refugees arriving each year in the U.S. are children, yet their education — in particular, how public schools might accommodate them — plays a surprisingly minor role in placing families.

Federal law says public schools have to adjust to meet any number of students’ varying needs, including overcoming language barriers.

But that doesn’t always happen.

A few lawsuits have been filed in recent years on behalf of student refugees suffering the consequences of systematic shortcomings.

Schools have settled out of court in most cases.

Not Lancaster.


Lawyers for the Pennsylvania ACLU and Philadelphia-based Education Law Center sued the School District of Lancaster last summer.

The lawsuit claims that, despite the city’s robust tradition of resettlement, several teenage refugees waited months to enroll in public school. Ultimately, they were denied outright or diverted to magnet school Phoenix Academy, which has less support for nonnative English speakers than mainstream McCaskey High School.


In the meantime, a judicial panel in Philadelphia is considering Lancaster’s appeal. (See that story here)


Whether the district’s on the hook for any expenses depends on how the case turns out.

Defense attorneys’ bills are at about $150,000 so far, according to the district’s business administrator Matthew Przywara. The ACLU’s costs are approaching $2 million.

But Lancaster’s insurer has indicated it won’t pay out more than $100,000 for this lawsuit, district officials say.

There is more, continue reading here.

If the ACLU prevails be forewarned for refugee resettlement to your town to become even more expensive!

Click here for more on Lancaster, PA.  Someone should do a study of the negative impact on this longtime resettlement site.

4 Responses to “Lancaster, PA school district didn’t cave to ACLU, appealed refugee students case to higher court”

  1. While my rant has nothing to do with the article per se, it offers a glimpse of the madness people have to go through in our red tape school district.


  2. My experience with the Lancaster and Hempfield School Districts, both as a parent and a Russian language interpreter for refugees in the early 2000s tells me that this is a broken system. I feel for those refugees who are at the mercy of what has become a sick and twisted social experiment. Lacking English, they have no idea how they are being manipulated. Let me explain. I worked with children who had autism or other behavior problems in class…due in large part to mental retardation and no English at home. The parent comes to meetings, where I have to translate from whatever the hell jargon the educrats are speaking, into sensible and simple language they can understand. Well, most English speaking parents don’t understand this nonsense, either. One of the biggest scams going is making every kid a friggin’ mental defect (yes, there are those, but there are many who are quite normal and unmedicated). Why? Because money. It always comes down to money. Parents are given forms with ‘goals’ for the child to accomplish, and that is put in percentage points. HOW DOES THIS REFLECT ANY KIND OF SANITY OR REALITY TO THEM? It doesn’t. I was angry that these experimenters put my own child through this, and she graduated college and is serving in the US Army as an IT tech in the Signal corps. She’s fluent in German. Not a head case. But her whole life was dogged by the labels hung upon her by the speds.
    The one translation firm in Lancaster Country, where I worked for nearly 15 years, went belly up. It simply couldn’t keep up with the government demands for translators. We now have a large population of Cambodians, Laotians, Nepalese, Haitians, Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalians. The Russians and Ukrainians have fared far better than these groups because most of them coming here were skilled at professions like nursing, sewing, baking, translating and teaching. They were all exasperated by the jargon and bureaucracy of the typical American school district. As am I.


  3. Part of the reason why the school district can’t accommodate the foreigners the government keeps dumping on them is because they are going broke trying to accommodate all of the other little leechlets they have dumped in the past. Leave it to the ACLU to make matters worse by costing them even more money.


  4. GUESS WHO WAS INVOLVED in HELPING bringing the lawsuit by the ACLU….

    OUR ‘FRIEND’ FROM CWS Sheila Mastropietro !

    When hundreds of refugees enter Lancaster, Pa. every year from countries all over the world, their first contact is often Sheila Mastropietro.

    Mastropietro is the director of the immigration and refugee program at the Lancaster branch of the Church World Service. Her work involves finding housing, food, clothing and shelter for refugees — people who have fled war and adversity in their home countries, and landed in the Keystone State.

    It also often involves finding them educational opportunities.

    View story at


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