Children with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—both in and out of school—and the enormous challenge of adapting to the new normal has placed schools and districts under financial strain. In light of these facts, the Center is proud to support the Supporting Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act (H.R. 8523).
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life standing up—and speaking up—for just and equal treatment for all. She was the author of one of this country’s most impactful Supreme Court decisions on disability rights, Olmstead v. L.C., where she stood up against the systematic institutionalization of people with disabilities, holding that “unjustified institutional isolation is a form of discrimination” that “perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life.”
The Center’s Statement in Response to the Education Department’s Decision to Uphold Accountability Testing
We are deeply appreciative of the important clarification provided by Secretary DeVos to states ensuring states must plan to administer statewide summative assessments during the 2020-2021 school year. This is consistent with the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which the Center worked collaboratively to support with charter school leaders as well as civil rights and special education advocates.
Today and every day, the Center stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues and friends and with the entire Black community as it mourns yet another senseless series of losses.
The Center applauds the drafters of the HEROES Act for prioritizing education funding in this latest relief package and for ensuring that states receiving relief funds guarantee that the rights of students with disabilities remain intact.
It’s National Charter Schools Week — and in the midst of a particularly challenging period in American public education, the innovative, nimble approach epitomized by charters is more valuable than ever.
States need additional education funding now—and the Center applauds a new federal funding request from a group of Democratic senators led by Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire that would specifically provide additional funding for the provision special education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, the Center became aware that some New Jersey school districts were asking parents to sign away the rights of their children in order to access special education services during COVID-19 closures—an outrageous and illegal practice. We applaud the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for moving swiftly to block this violation of students’ civil rights.
The Center’s Response to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s Recommendation Against IDEA Waivers During COVID-19
The Center applauds Secretary DeVos for recommending a very narrow set of waiver requests that do not infringe upon the key civil rights protections and rights to an education for students with disabilities contained in the IDEA. With so many schools and districts across the country embracing the challenge of educating all students, including those with disabilities, in these turbulent times, we believe her decision is the right one for students, schools, and communities.
On April 3, 2020, the Center submitted a letter to Congress urging against issuing any waivers under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act) through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and requesting that Congress consider additional support for schools.