Education Law Center has released the second edition of COVID-19 and Students with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions to address the many new questions that have arisen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the delivery of educational services to New Jersey students. This FAQ focuses on special education issues because educational disruptions caused by the pandemic have caused particular hardship for many students with disabilities and their families.
The revised and expanded FAQ updates essential information to help parents, caregivers and advocates understand the educational rights of students with disabilities during the 2020-21 school year and the impact of remote, hybrid, or in-person learning options on the implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). As before, children’s core rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have not been modified, and compensatory education services must be considered for students whose IEPs cannot be appropriately implemented while school buildings remain fully or partially closed.
In addition to updating the original questions, the second edition FAQ covers many new areas, including the required length of the school day, the fully remote option available to parents, transitional services, student privacy, and stay-put rights during mediation or due process. The FAQ again includes links to relevant federal and state guidance and attaches a sample log sheet that parents and guardians can use to track the educational services their children are receiving while at home.
This publication joins a series of ELC “Know Your Rights” guides published to provide comprehensive information and tools for advocates to use in efforts to safeguard and protect the education rights of public school students.
In addition to the new FAQ, ELC’s Advocacy Guide Series includes: Understanding Public School Residency Requirements: A Guide for Advocates, The Right to Special Education, Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities, Student Discipline Rights and Procedures, Education Rights of Homeless Students, and Education Rights of Children in Foster Care.
The FAQ and other publications in ELC’s Advocacy Guide Series can be accessed on ELC’s website, or a printed copy may be obtained by contacting Diane Gayoso at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-624-1815, ext. 10.
Attorneys Linda Sweet Marks, ELC consultant, and Rebecca Spar, ELC Trustee, worked with ELC Senior Attorney Elizabeth Athos in preparing the FAQ. The IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey provides support for ELC’s Advocacy Guide Series, and special support for COVID-19 information has been provided by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation.
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