Lulu Ramadan

ProPublica Distinguished Fellow

A Washington Special Education School Accused of Abusing Students Is Closing Amid Scrutiny

The state’s investigation of Northwest SOIL, a private program serving public school students, was prompted by reporting from The Seattle Times and ProPublica that uncovered accusations about staff restraining and injuring vulnerable students.

The Cleanup of Seattle’s Only River Could Cost Boeing and Taxpayers $1 Billion. Talks Over Who Will Pay Most Are Secret.

The company once described the Duwamish, one of the country’s most contaminated waterways, as “a natural collector” for its wastes. The Port of Seattle and Boeing accuse each other of failing to pay their fair shares for the cleanup.

A Washington Special Education School That Was Accused of Harming Kids Is Now Barred From Taking New Students

A state investigation into Northwest SOIL, launched following a Seattle Times and ProPublica series that highlighted problems at the school, found “unacceptably high” use of physical restraints and isolation rooms.

Washington State Legislature Strengthens Oversight of Private Special Education Schools

In response to a Seattle Times and ProPublica series, the state is getting more power to regulate schools for students with disabilities.

How One Mom Fought Washington’s Special Education System — and Won

The state’s failure to monitor private special education schools forces parents to take extraordinary and sometimes expensive measures to get their kids into the best programs— or keep them out of the worst.

Judge Orders Washington State Private Special Education School to Turn Over Records

A recent Seattle Times and ProPublica investigation of the Northwest School of Innovative Learning found complaints of abuse and minimal instruction. The school argued it wasn’t subject to public records laws. A King County judge disagrees.

Washington State Launches Investigation of Private Special Education Schools

The inquiry and a sweeping reform bill follow a Seattle Times and ProPublica investigation that found allegations of abuse, overuse of isolation rooms and pressure to skimp on staffing and resources at the Northwest School of Innovative Learning.

Washington State Proposes Reforms for Special Education Schools

Education officials cite Seattle Times/ProPublica investigation that showed state failed to address complaints about abuse, lack of academics.

“Kids Seem to Be a Paycheck”: How a Billion-Dollar Corporation Exploits Washington’s Special Education System

Universal Health Services collected more than $38 million in tax dollars for special education services that families and former teachers say it largely didn’t provide.

At Washington State Special Education Schools, Years of Abuse Complaints and Lack of Academics

Northwest SOIL promised to help students with serious disabilities. But when school districts urged action, the state let the private school stay open and receive millions in tax dollars.

Washington State Budgets $1.6 Million for Study and Removal of Toxic Lights

Responding to a Seattle Times and ProPublica investigation, state lawmakers set aside funds after fluorescent lights leaked PCBs at a Seattle-area school for several years. But legislators say it’s only a first step.

School District Where Toxic Chemicals Lingered for Years Offers $34 Million Settlement to Families

The settlement would go to nearly 200 students and parents at a Seattle-area school where PCBs are still being cleaned up eight years after they were discovered.

Toxic PCBs Festered at This Public School for Eight Years as Students and Teachers Grew Sicker

The EPA and others warned about potential contamination as far back as 2014. But Washington state law does not require schools or health departments to act on those findings.

“A Complete Failure of the State”: Authorities Didn’t Heed Researchers’ Calls to Study Health Effects of Burning Sugar Cane

Health officials in Florida’s sugar belt failed to act on recommendations to study the health impact of cane burning, despite decades of internal research and complaints from residents.

We Reported on Pollution From Sugar Cane Burning. Now Federal Lawmakers Want the EPA to Take Action.

Citing a Palm Beach Post/ProPublica report on the burning of cane fields, leading members of Congress have called for the EPA to investigate air monitoring in Florida and to change national pollution standards.

Hay humo todos los años. Las compañías azucareras dicen que el aire es saludable.

Para cosechar más de la mitad de la caña de azúcar de Estados Unidos, empresas multimillonarias prenden fuego a los cañaverales, una práctica para ahorrar dinero que está prohibida por otros países. Algunos residentes dicen que les cuesta respirar, así que comenzamos a estudiar la calidad del aire.

The Smoke Comes Every Year. Sugar Companies Say the Air Is Safe.

To harvest more than half of America’s cane sugar, billion-dollar companies set fire to fields, a money-saving practice that’s being banned by other countries. Some residents say they struggle to breathe, so we started tracking air quality.

Sugar Companies Said Our Investigation Is Flawed and Biased. Let’s Dive Into Why That’s Not the Case.

ProPublica and The Palm Beach Post published an investigation into the air quality in Florida’s heartland, where more than half the country’s cane sugar is harvested, often by burning the fields. Sugar companies challenged our reporting. We respond.

“They’re Trying to Make It So We Walk Away”: It’s About to Get Harder to File Lawsuits Saying Sugar Harvesters Poisoned the Air

Some residents in a rural farming community say sugar harvesting is poisoning the air. The Florida Legislature just passed a bill that would make it harder to sue.

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