Education Needs Students with Disabilities Must Be Met during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 9, 2020
Education Needs Students with Disabilities Must Be Met during the COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – National Association of State Directors of Special Education
(NASDSE) and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) stand unified in the belief that the educational needs of students with disabilities in all settings can be met through a combination of creativity, communication, cooperation, and perseverance.

The U.S. Department of Education has been clear that the IDEA remains in full effect and that rights and protections for students with disabilities under the law have not diminished during COVID-19. NDRN and NASDSE applaud the hard work of school districts throughout the nation as they have worked with families successfully to make school possible for all students, including students with disabilities.

As we consider the 2020-21 school year (SY 2020-21), the cooperation seen in communities as they prepare for this coming school year must extend to include all agencies and departments charged with educating students with disabilities, including education schools, psychiatric hospitals, alternative programs, and residential treatment facilities, among others. NASDSE and NDRN recognize this kind of interagency work can be challenging, especially in the current environment; however, school plans that do not include an appropriate educational program for all students with disabilities at the start of the school year are incomplete, and this work must be prioritized.

We call on:

  • Congress to appropriate dedicated IDEA funds in the next COVID -19 relief package.
  • Congress to appropriate increased funding in the next COVID – 19 relief package for educational services in every state, for every child.
  • State departments of juvenile justice, child welfare, and mental health to work cooperatively with state departments of education toward an effective return to school for all students with disabilities.
  • School districts to ensure that all children for whom the district is responsible for providing public education are included in district level re-opening plans.

National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) is a premier membership organization that supports state leaders of special education throughout the United States and its Territories. Our mission and vision are to improve individual and organizational success for state leaders of special education by providing relevant services that guide positive systemic change and results, thereby ensuring students with disabilities will live, learn, work and participate in their communities.

Contact: [email protected], Senior Director of Government Relations & External Affairs, (703) 519-1504

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

Contact: [email protected], David Card, Communication Manager, (202) 408-9514 x122