WASHINGTON, DC – In response to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) release of new guidance packages designed to clarify schools’ obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the use of disciplinary practices on students with disabilities, the Center for Learner Equity (CLE) issued the following statement:
“We appreciate ED providing this timely reminder -before the start of a new school year- that all public schools, including charter schools, should access available resources and make plans now to implement evidence-based practices to promote a safe school climate and protect the civil rights of all students with disabilities. Through the lens of established Section 504 and IDEA legal principles, the new guidance sheds light on common harsh practices, like informal removals, seclusion, and restraint, that are known to negatively impact students’ educational success. Importantly, the guidance emphasizes that such practices can constitute discrimination and/or a denial of a student’s right to a free appropriate public education. ED also reminds states and districts that funds are available, through COVID stimulus and traditional education dollars, to pay for the training and resources needed to implement the interventions known to set students up for success, promote safe and supportive schools, and protect the civil rights of all students with disabilities.”
The ED guidance package can be found here.
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