For parents of special needs children, they know how hard it can be navigating the educational institutions within our state to ensure those children get the education they need, deserve and are entitled. To that end, the U.S. Department of Education recently released a letter to public education institutions reaffirming the importance of fulling implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, even during these trying times.
The letter was sent from the DOE’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. It goes over several topics that reinforce the needs to fully support special needs student, even now. This includes the need for at least some, in-person, instruction, and that children with disabilities must receive a free and appropriate public education in accordance with IDEA. It also explains that families must receive early intervention services for toddlers and infants with disabilities.
IDEA mandates that every state have an effective special education system, ensuring that FAPE is available to all disabled children. This includes meeting timelines to hit milestones, implementing procedures to evaluate and reevaluate students, making eligibility requirements available to parents, and many other obligations.
Back to school
For Cedarhurst, New York, residents (and residents throughout the state), DOE gave local jurisdictions a roadmap on how to transition students back to school, which can be extremely important for special needs children. This is because these students often have a much harder time with remote education. That roadmap even includes potential federal funding and additional support that school districts can utilize to help safely return kids back to school.