LA Agrees to Do More After Failing on Special Education. Could Other Districts Be Next? – EdWeek

by | Apr 29, 2022 | Education

Hours after federal officials released findings that the nation’s second-largest school district had failed to meet the needs of students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the document lit up the email lists of advocates who’ve sounded the alarm about such concerns since schools first shut down in March 2020.The U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights found that the Los Angeles Unified School District failed: to provide services required by students’ individualized education programs during remote learning, to adequately track special education services, and to deliver adequate compensatory services, such as additional physical therapy or reading interventions, to address those gaps.In an April 27 resolution agreement, the district agreed to a plan to remedy those issues and to further assess the needs of individual students with disabilities moving forward.The findings echoed what some parents around the country have said since the earliest days of the national crisis: Left without the supports, accommodations, and services promised to their students under the nation’s special education and disability rights laws, they were forced to largely go it alone, fearing lost academic and developmental progress for their children as a result.“If I’m going to be hopeful, I would be hopeful that there will be less of these agreements coming out because districts are doing the right thing on the front end,” said Wendy Tucker, the senior director of policy at the Center for Learner Equity, a national advocacy organization for students with disabilities in districts and charter schools.“If I’m being realistic, I would expect that we would see more of these,” she added. “I think the Department of Educ …

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