- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A national civil rights group has expanded a lawsuit to challenge New Mexico’s financing of special education programs for disabled students in public schools.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, filed its broader lawsuit Thursday in state district court in Santa Fe.

The group initially sued the state and the Public Education Department in April alleging that New Mexico inadequately funds schools, violating the constitutional rights of students who are at risk of failing academically such as low-income children and Spanish-speaking students.

The revised lawsuit contends that New Mexico also fails to provide a sufficient education to students with disabilities.

In the 2012-2013 school year, there were about 42,000 students with disabilities. That’s nearly 14 percent of total school enrollment, according to the lawsuit.

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