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Special Education Law

IDEA. The Americans with Disabilities Act. Learn more about what laws govern special education and how they affect schools and students
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Special Education Letter to the Editor Schools Must Do Better to Meet IDEA Requirements
More states must follow through on this law.
September 19, 2023
1 min read
Image of a classroom under a magnifying glass.
Tarras79 and iStock/Getty
Special Education Do More to Ensure Schools Meet Obligations to Students With Disabilities, Feds Tell States
States must have "robust" systems to ensure schools obey federal special education law, new guidance says.
Evie Blad, July 27, 2023
4 min read
Special Education teacher Amy Kenyon goes over a reading assignment with her students at Harrison Elementary School in Twin Falls, Idaho, on March 8, 2018. All special education students follow individualized education programs, which are tailored to their special needs.
Special Education teacher Amy Kenyon goes over a reading assignment with her students at Harrison Elementary School in Twin Falls, Idaho, on March 8, 2018. All special education students follow individualized education programs, which are tailored to their special needs.
Pat Sutphin/The Times-News via AP
Special Education Explainer What Is an IEP? Individualized Education Programs, Explained
What IEPs are, what their purpose is, and which students are eligible.
Eesha Pendharkar, July 27, 2023
1 min read
Image of a student working with a teacher.
Canva
Special Education Quiz How Does Special Education Funding Work? Test Your Knowledge
What is IDEA? How much can the federal government contribute to special education funding? Take our quiz.
Mark Lieberman, May 4, 2023
1 min read
Illustration of a desk with a calculator and budget sheet.
vladwel/iStock/Getty
Special Education Explainer How Special Education Funding Actually Works
Special education is among the most complicated and misunderstood facets of America’s sprawling K-12 school landscape.
Mark Lieberman, April 27, 2023
6 min read
Miguel Perez
Miguel Luna Perez, who is deaf, attended schools in Michigan's Sturgis Public School District from ages 9 through 20.
Photo courtesy of Luna Perez family
Law & Courts Supreme Court Rules Deaf Student Can Sue School District Over Alleged Failures
The justices rule that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not bar the student's suit for money damages.
Mark Walsh, March 21, 2023
5 min read
Miguel Perez stands outside the Supreme Court after arguments in the case of Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools on Jan. 18, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Miguel Perez, right, along with lawyer Roman Martinez, stands outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday after arguments in his case against his former school district in Sturgis, Mich.
Mark Walsh/Education Week
Special Education Supreme Court Seems in Favor of Deaf Student's Right to Sue School District Under the ADA
Miguel Luna Perez was there as the justices weighed issues in his case over his district allegedly failing to provide trained interpreters.
Mark Walsh, January 18, 2023
7 min read
Miguel Perez
Miguel Luna Perez in a 2016 yearbook photo as a senior at Sturgis High School in Michigan. Luna Perez, who is deaf, went on to the Michigan School for the Deaf in a settlement with his district but is seeking to sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 for the district's alleged failures to provide him adequate assistance to communicate.
Photo courtesy of Luna Perez family
Special Education A Deaf Student Says His School District Failed Him. The Supreme Court Will Decide
Miguel Luna Perez received inadequate assistance for 12 years, his suit says. The high court will decide if he can pursue money damages.
Mark Walsh, January 17, 2023
10 min read
Special education teacher assisting a diverse group of elementary students in art class.
E+/Getty
Special Education States Are Desperate for Special Ed. Teachers. But They Can't Cut Corners to Get Them
The Education Department warns states not to lower standards, even as districts frantically search for skilled special educators.
Madeline Will, October 25, 2022
8 min read
A young woman wearing a pale purple headband and a matching t-shirt cuts a piece of pale blue paper into strips while she sits at a sunlit table.
Rebecca Newlon, 19, who has Down syndrome, participates in an internship job at her former elementary school in McHenry, Ill.
Taylor Glascock for Education Week
Special Education Older Students Face Time Crunch in Getting Crucial Special Education Services
Many students with disabilities missed out on key transition services during the pandemic. Advocates are pushing schools to make up for lost time.
Evie Blad, October 14, 2022
10 min read
People gather as the Supreme Court begins its new term and to hear the first arguments, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. Monday's session is also the first time new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court's first Black female justice, will participate. And it's the first time the public will be able to attend since the court closed in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
People gather for the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court's new term Oct. 3, the first time the public was able to attend since the court closed in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Special Education The Supreme Court Will Decide a Significant Special Education Case
The justices will decide whether families must exhaust special education proceedings when they seek money damages under other federal laws.
Mark Walsh, October 3, 2022
4 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on Aug. 5, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks at a White House briefing in August 2021. The U.S. Department of Education has just released guidance on protecting students with disabilities from discriminatory discipline practices.
Susan Walsh/AP
Special Education New Discipline Guidance Focuses on Discrimination Against Students With Disabilities
The Biden administration aims to clarify how federal law protects students with disabilities.
Libby Stanford, July 19, 2022
6 min read
Conceptual Illustration of Government taking a big chunk of the money
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Education Funding 7 Ways the Federal Government Shortchanges K-12 Schools
Districts haven't gotten the help they need and expect on infrastructure, high-need students, special education, school meals, and more.
Mark Lieberman, July 12, 2022
9 min read
A paraprofessional guides a student back to his gym class while participating in remote learning at his home in Wharton, N.J.
Paraprofessional Jessica Wein guides Josh Nazzaro back to his gym class while participating in remote learning at his home in Wharton, N.J., in 2020. New research adds to long-standing critiques of federal funding for special education.
Seth Wenig/AP
Special Education What the Research Says Federal Special Ed. Funding Is Woefully Inequitable, New Studies Show
Outdated funding formulas continue to widen gaps that shortchange students with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, researchers say.
Mark Lieberman, June 1, 2022
5 min read