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Public Education Takes Page from Public Health And Asks for Liability Exemption

School budgetA worrisome article from Disability Scoop. Schools want protection from special education services lawsuits. Gee, we're sorry our kids have autism and other diagnoses, but could you please find a way to educate them?  Our children deserve and we demand a Free and Appropriate Public Education and enforcement of IDEA. We are not second class citizens. Isn't education essential to our nation's health?  My youngest daughter's private school closed its doors with 9 days' notice to staff and families. 9 days (!)  claiming they could not provide an education during the Pandemic. Hey schools, you have one job. Ask the government for funding to find ways to meet students' needs despite the shut down. Don't pad yourself with a liability shield so you can walk away from your duties. Most every parent I know has been accommodating and understanding that we aren't getting full services right now. That doesn't mean we like it or will tolerate it for an entire school year. We used to be a nation of problem solvers. Where are the Teachers' Unions on this development. The teachers I know are working like dogs to provide services.

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by Michelle Diament | July 20, 2020

Schools Want IDEA Liability Protections From Congress

Concerned that the pandemic will prompt an onslaught of special education litigation, school leaders want federal lawmakers to grant them liability protections related to their obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, as well as the National School Boards Association and the Association of Educational Service Agencies are calling on Congress to include the protections in the next COVID-19 response legislation.

In a 21-page report, the three groups said that surveys of school leaders across the nation show growing concern about “unparalleled rates of litigation” as schools struggle to follow through with students’ individualized education programs during the pandemic.

“Congress must act swiftly to provide liability protection to districts around IDEA,” reads a statement from Daniel Domenech, executive director of AASA, in the report. “District leaders need to be focused on addressing learning loss, not preventing litigation. This is not a free pass for districts to stop serving students with disabilities appropriately. Instead, this is an opportunity to provide reasonable, temporary, litigation protection for the vast majority of districts that are doing everything feasible to meet IDEA during the pandemic, but simply cannot meet every requirement exactly as intended for every single child.”

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