Schools Must Still Identify Students with Disabilities Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, Says U.S. Department of Education

By Jeffrey L. Forte, Esq. | Forte Law Group LLC

On August 24, 2021, the United States Department of Education issued new guidance for all schools across the United States to follow for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Despite all the challenges that are faced by the COVID-19 virus, schools are still legally obligated under the Child Find provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to identify, evaluate and serve all children with disabilities.  “Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, or the mode of instruction,” children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education, the U.S. Department of Education’s office of special education and rehabilitative services wrote in a letter to state and local educational administrators. The attached guidance highlights the Child Find provision of the IDEA and schools’ obligation to follow it. To review the latest guidance issued the U.S. Dept. of Ed., click here.