Special Education News in Brief

IDEA Guidance Issued for Virtual Schools

By Christina A. Samuels — August 22, 2016 1 min read
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Virtual schools that are operated by states and districts fall under the same mandates as brick-and-mortar schools when it comes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, says new guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

The “Dear Colleague Letter,” issued Aug. 11, lays out points that states and districts must adhere to for their schools that provide classes online.

Among them: States have to make sure that virtual school students with disabilities are included in state testing and are offered appropriate accommodations or alternate assessments when necessary; and the rights and protections of students and their families under the IDEA “must not be diminished or compromised” if those students attend virtual schools.

A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2016 edition of Education Week as IDEA Guidance Issued for Virtual Schools

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