Students in special education—already among the nation’s most-vulnerable learners—were especially hard hit during the pandemic. Years of lost or diminished learning have been compounded by case backlogs and widespread inability to identify and provide specialized services to those in need during extended periods of remote schooling.
The academic and social-emotional toll has been especially hard on students with disabilities at both ends of the K-12 spectrum: the youngest children, who are only now entering kindergarten and the early grades in need of catch-up and services they might never have received, and older learners on the cusp of post-high school and the working world with specialized needs for support and preparation.
This Education Week special report looks at how schools and districts are finding ways to meet those needs at a time when special education caseloads and diagnoses are rising amid acute staffing pressures and limited resources, all complicated by COVID-19’s long shadow.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2022 edition of Education Week as Getting Specialized Services to Students Who Need Them Most