Child in a mask gets her temperature taken

Ensuring FAPE for Students with Disabilities During COVID-19: A Resource for Educators

The COVID-19 global health crisis has upended the continuity of learning for students with disabilities. Despite these ongoing challenges, the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities remains in place. As schools shift to more distance learning, teams of educators are left to redesign what FAPE looks like when they cannot be physically present with their students. This guide offers a decision-making model that aims to balance individual student needs within a virtual learning context, as well as a range of exemplars showing how this model can be applied.

The Impact of LEA Status on Special Education in Charter Schools Infographic

Infographic: Understanding Charter School LEA Status

A charter school’s legal status as part of a larger local education agency (LEA) independent LEA affects the autonomy, funding, and programming of the school—and is essential to understanding what entity is responsible for educating students with disabilities. Nevertheless, LEA status can be confusing, especially since approaches vary by state and even by school. This infographic outlines the different approaches and their implications for students with disabilities.

Hopscotch Chalk Outline

Top Tips for School Leaders during COVID-19

Eight months after COVID-19 first shut down schools across the country, the state of education in the United States remains in flux. Students with disabilities, in particular, continue to be disproportionately impacted by school closures and lack of access to services. As cases tick upward once again, school leaders and administrators are likely to face tough decisions in the coming months. Despite the immense difficulty of the situation, we have identified several key strategies that will set school leaders up for success.

Child in a mask gets her temperature taken

Disproportionate Discipline and COVID-19: A Call for Change

Disproportionate discipline of students with disabilities is a long-running crisis—and with the new rules and considerations around COVID-19, the stakes are even higher. Instead of simply reacting as incidents come up, however, schools have the opportunity to develop proactive discipline policies that serve students during the pandemic and also provide positive structures for the future.

Teacher in Classroom

Research Synthesis: Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Educating Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools in the State of Connecticut

In February 2020, the Center completed an analysis of the challenges associated with educating students with disabilities in Connecticut charter schools. We found that these challenges are symptoms of two broader issues—the state’s inequitable public education funding system and problematic ambiguity in the state charter law.