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Special Education Ombudsman

Laura SavageTo address the needs of families whose students receive Special Education Services, families can contact the Special Education Ombudsperson.

Laura Savage joined SFUSD in July 2014 as the Special Education Ombudperson. In this role she works as the family, community and staff liaison for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).   In addition to being the Family and Community Engagement lead for Special Education Services, her office can:


  • Assist parents and guardians when they have disagreements or complaints regarding special education services for their children at school sites or districtwide. 
  • Provide training to SFUSD and San Francisco community stakeholders, such as Navigating Special Education Services, IEP 101, Engaging and Empowering SFUSD Families, The Realities of Being Black (in collaboration with SFUSD Family Partnerships, African American Achievement and Leadership Initiative and the African American Parent Advisory Council), Effective Communication between Special Education Families and Educators,  and other issues related to special education services and families.   
  • Address the need for educational surrogate assignment (Ms. Savage is the educational surrogate coordinator for the district, which matches students in need of representation with volunteers to help advocate for their educational needs.)

Ms. Savage states that she desires to “help SFUSD parents successfully communicate with special education and general education staff on behalf of their students, while celebrating the hard work that SFUSD administrators and staff do daily to educate all students.”   She feels there is no better type of parent than an informed parent who is prepared and well-equipped to communicate with others on behalf of their loved ones.  Her help is confidential, free of charge to all SFUSD families and often leads to resolutions before legal action is needed.  If needed, translation/interpretation can be provided,.  Additionally, she often accompanies families to IEP meetings, if they desire and she feels it is needed.

Ms. Savage chairs the Inclusive Schools Week committee for San Francisco Unified School Distirct in celebration of inclusive schools.

If you have a question or concern regarding Special Education Services and need to get in contact with her, visit her at the Office of Family and Community Engagement at 555 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 or call her at 415-447-7802.  She can be emailed at