VIDEO: What Does Compensatory Education Look Like During Distance Learning?

While the argument can be made that all students (with and without disabilities) have experienced some form of learning loss due to school closures, is that a valid reason for districts to deny compensatory education services to students with disabilities? In our recent Distance Learning 2.0 panel, special education attorney and Undivided legal consultant Grace Clark explained that compensatory education and FAPE may “look a little different right now”— and the filing process may be more complicated — but your rights to compensatory education have not changed. 

Key takeaways:

  • Compensatory education awards help students progress in their coursework to where they would have been had they not been deprived of a free, appropriate public education. FAPE still applies to their studies, but with the entire education system functioning differently due to the pandemic and distance learning, Grace “doesn’t have an [exact] answer” for how compensatory education will be offered.
  • Students who experienced regression will still have a claim for compensatory education services. However, for now, you should think less about how many services your child didn’t get compared to previous school years, and think more about whether or not you can document that your child has fallen behind.
  • If you can show through data tracking that your child is falling behind after not meeting IEP goals, and you believe this regression is because your child was not provided with FAPE during distance learning, then you can request compensatory education services.

Watch this short clip to learn more, and check out our full video of the panel here!


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