Keenan Briefings

Briefings

COVID-19 Update: New Developments in Special Education

March 24, 2020

There have been a number of federal developments in special education in the last ten days.

On March 12, 2020, the United States Department of Education released a COVID-19-related Q&A on compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). “In order to ensure that students with disabilities continue to receive the services guaranteed by IDEA and Section 504, the Department has published a Q&A document for state and local educational authorities,” the department said in a press release. “This information answers the most common questions schools have about when and how they must provide instruction, including when to consider use of online or virtual instruction and other curriculum-based instructional activities.”

https://sites.ed.gov/idea/department-releases-covid-19-idea-related-q/

On March 16, 2020, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a webinar and a fact sheet reviewing compliant procedures and reminding schools to consider assistive devices as needed for students with disabilities to access online learning.

Fact Sheet

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/ocr-coronavirus-fact-sheet.pdf

Webinar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCMLk4cES6A

And on March 21, 2020, OCR updated its guidance.

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/frontpage/faq/rr/policyguidance/Supple%20Fact%20Sheet%203.21.20%20FINAL.pdf

Meantime, as Congress debates a third COVID-19 federal aid package, one of the provisions being considered for inclusion would give U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos thirty days to propose a plan to Congress for waiving portions of the IDEA. When a deal on the federal aid package emerges, we will update you if there are IDEA provisions in the final version of the bill.

For more information, please contact your Keenan Representative.


Keenan & Associates is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Clients are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the clients’ business activities.