Office for Civil Rights Finds Fairfax County Public Schools in Noncompliance; FCPS Must Provide Compensatory Education to Students

November 30, 2022, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is at fault for civil rights violations and OCR released the resolution reached following its investigation of FCPS.

This follows OCR's January 12, 2021, announcement that it would investigate FCPS, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and Seattle Public Schools.

In its November 30, 2022, letter of findings addressed to FCPS Superintendent Michelle Reid, OCR identified the following noncompliance found during its investigation:

  • FCPS failed or was unable to provide a FAPE to thousands of qualified students with disabilities and failed to conduct evaluations of students with disabilities prior to making significant changes to their placements and to ensure that placement decisions were made by a group of persons knowledgeable about the students and the meaning of the evaluation data, in violation of the Section 504 regulation at 34 C.F.R. §§ 104.33 and 104.35”.
  • “FCPS directed staff to apply an incorrect standard for FAPE that was not compliant with the Section 504 regulation, and categorically reduced and placed limits on services and special education instruction provided to students with disabilities based on considerations other than the students’ individual educational needs, in violation of 34 C.F.R. § 104.33”.
  • “FCPS failed to develop and implement a plan adequate to remedy the instances in which students with disabilities were not provided a FAPE as required by Section 504 during remote learning”.

In addition, FCPS found that “the evidence obtained to date raised compliance concerns that staffing shortages and other administrative obstacles resulted in non-provision of some FAPE services for students with disabilities; and that the Division did not accurately or sufficiently track services provided to students with disabilities to enable the Department to ascertain the Division’s compliance with 34 C.F.R. § 104.33, as required by 34 C.F.R. § 104.61 (incorporating 34 C.F.R. § 100.6(b)).”

Additional Reading:

(This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.)

Click on the image below to read OCR's full November 30, 2022, letter to FCPS.

Click on the image below to read FCPS's full resolution agreement with OCR.