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LAUSD unsuccessfully disability students during pandemic, finds probe

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LAUSD unsuccessfully disability students during pandemic, finds probe

Los Angeles Unified has failed to provide adequate education to students with disabilities during the pandemic, as required by federal law, and must provide additional services to help some of the most vulnerable students recover from significant learning gaps, the U.S. Department of Education said Thursday.

The consequencesconducted by the Office of Civil Rights Office, confirms that many parents argued since schools were closed first – that they were mostly forced to manage themselves during distance learning, as their children were left with little education and special assistance. The county has entered into a voluntary agreement with the federal agency to address its shortcomings.

“Today’s resolution ensures that more than 66,000 Los Angeles Unified students with disabilities will have equal access to education under federal federal rights law, including compensatory education for any services the county did not provide during the COVID pandemic. 19, ”Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon said in a statement.

Federal law requires counties to provide students with disabilities with free relevant public education – that is, they must receive regular or special education, aids, and services designed to meet their individual needs.

The investigation found that the district did not provide the services specified in the educational plans of students required for study, could not accurately or sufficiently track services, and informed staff that the district is not responsible for providing so-called “compensation services” aimed at then to help students do for what they lost because the district was not to blame for closing the campus.

The agreement stipulates that the district offer makeup services “to eliminate any educational or other deficiencies that arise as a result of a student with a disability not receiving the grades or services to which they are entitled.

When schools closed in March 2020, many families of students with disabilities began describing checkpoints and delays when trying to get help. They felt isolated and frustrated as their children were suddenly left without the therapy, caregivers and specialized services they had hoped for. As the months went by, many said their children were regressing after years of school success.

In October 2020 Poll the Speak Up advocacy group reported that more than a third of parents of students with individualized education plans said their children were not receiving all the help the district agreed to provide. More than half said services were not tailored to the needs of their children.

This school year, parents of students with disabilities enrolled in the City of Angeles District Independent Learning Program said they have problems with non-existent or deferred services, including assistants and therapists. This was reported by The Times.

And in November, federal judge ordered the state to force the county to meet the needs of 15 disabled students, including seven from LA Unified, after their families filed a lawsuit alleging that their children had been denied the right to education.

“For many special education students, this failure will affect them for years,” said Alicia Montgomery, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Powerful Public Schools. “It’s not that we can create a small intervention program and fix it. … It will take more than that. “

At a press conference before discuss recommended changes to the district vaccination mandate on Thursday, supr. Alberto Carvalho said the county is still reviewing information it recently received from the Department of Education related to the investigation.

But, he said, the district should “continue to improve our delivery system [and] ensure that students are provided with the services they deserve [individualized education plans] and the most appropriate environment specific to their IEP ”.

“It is the commitment of this council,” Carvalho said. “It’s my personal commitment.”

The agreement also stipulates that the county appoints an administrator to implement the compensatory education plan, convenes groups to assess whether students have received appropriate education, and to determine the services needed to address the deficit. And, LAUSD should bring the plan to the attention of families, students and others.

School Board President Kelly Gonez said she had not yet read the federal report, but acknowledged that the county “is committed to doing more and better for our children with disabilities and all vulnerable students.

“As a leader in the district, it’s really about correcting any mistakes that have existed in the past and waiting ahead, especially when we’re thinking about coming out of a pandemic,” she said.

Lawyer Valeria Vanaman, who was critical of the district’s treatment of disabled students throughout the pandemic, said she was pleased with the agreement but remained concerned about the district’s ability to comply.

“It’s nice to see the result. That will lead us to it, ”she said.

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