Attorney general's office dismisses parent complaint

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state attorney general's office has declined to investigate a civil-rights complaint a group of parents filed over Seattle Public School's gifted-education program.

The group filed the complaint in December alleging that the district is violating state law by not making a “concerted effort” to address the racial imbalance of its advanced-learning program, The Seattle Times reported Friday.

The program enrolls mostly white and Asian students and that proposed changes by the district would also be in violation, the parents said.

The complaint comes after the district proposed phasing out its Highly Capable Cohort Program which allows students to complete accelerated coursework after testing into the program, district officials said.

The attorney general's office sent the response Friday to district officials and parents, dismissing the complaints and redirecting further complaints to the Washington State Human Rights Commission and the federal education department's civil rights division.

The program created a legacy of racially segregated classrooms and proposed integrating gifted students into classes with their peers, District superintendent Denise Juneau said.

The school board rejected Juneau's proposal in September, but a modified plan is expected, officials said.

Democratic state Sen. Jamie Pedersen filed a bill this week that would intervene with the district's planned changes.