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News Update

Few students in special education receiving extra services they need to catch up, survey finds

Only 18% of students in special education have been offered extra services as a result of the pandemic, even though most suffered some degree of learning loss while campuses were closed, according to a national parent survey released this week.

The survey of 254 parents, by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, found that 86% felt their child had regressed or suffered learning loss during distance learning. Under federal law, students enrolled in special education are entitled to extra services, known as compensatory services, if schools don’t fulfill their obligations outlined in a student’s individual learning plan. Many special education services, such as occupational or behavioral therapy, were postponed during distance learning because those services are nearly impossible to deliver virtually.

The survey also found that only 25% of parents even knew their child was eligible for compensatory services.

The organization recommends that parents request compensatory services from their child’s school, and schools and states do a better job of communication with parents and updating students’ learning plans. The survey follows an October report outlining the status of compensatory services in each state.