Special Education Action is a 501(c)3 nonprofit publisher covering special education.

Its mission is to ensure parents, educators, and students have the information and tools necessary to fully understand, address, and safeguard the unique needs of all students who require special education.

Recent Articles

Office of 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.

Virginia Dept. of Education’s Noncompliance Continues; Blows Through U.S. Dept. of Education’s 90-Day Compliance Deadlines

November 11, 2022: Article first published. November 19, 2022: Article updated to include items 1a, b, c, and d, which are cited on page four of USDOE’s September 1, 2022, letter to VDOE.

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) remains in noncompliance of federal regulations.

September 1, 2022, United States Department of Education issued another a letter to VDOE that addresses VDOE’s continued failures. This letter was not provided to the public, nor were the similarly critical letters USDOE sent on February 8, 2022, and March 16, 2022. All three letters were obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Special Education Action received the September 1, 2022, letter yesterday, November 10, 2022.

Ending the “Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations” and Cyclical Ignorance and Forgetfulness

I forgot about President George W. Bush’s focus on ending the “soft bigotry of low expectations” until I read this week’s Washington Post obituary for Michael Gerson, the speechwriter who crafted that phrase. That minimalistic phrase remains powerful, making a point that pierces the assumptions and failures of an entire nation.

I’m embarrassed I forgot his words in the years that followed. I know that such forgetfulness is common and can beget ignorance—and that forgetfulness and ignorance combined beget noncompliance and stagnation in regard to special education. Since special education is a topic politicians and journalists—and even some educators—struggle to understand, it is easier to ignore it and/or move to the millions of other issues competing for their time.

Assistive Technology

IEP Teams Must Consider Assistive Technology Devices and Services

Pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(v), IEP teams must consider assistive technology devices and services when they are developing a child’s IEP.

34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(v) specifically states:

(a) Development of IEP—

(2) Consideration of special factors.

The IEP Team must—

(v) Consider whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services.

Only 59 Fairfax County Public Schools Students Have Recovery Services in Their IEPs

There are “59 students with recovery services on their current IEP” in Fairfax County Public Schools.

That’s not a typo.

Fifty-nine (59) students out of FCPS’s over one hundred eighty thousand (180,000+) students have recovery services in their IEPs.

That’s it. Not 59% or 590, or any other variation one’s mind might jump to after reading the number “59” and thinking it must be a typo.

Nope. It’s real.