Are schools required to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) during COVID-19?
Let’s start with the United States Departments of Education and IDEA.
§ 300.17 of IDEA states: “Free appropriate public education or FAPE means special education and related services that—(a) Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (b) Meet the standards of the SEA, including the requirements of this part; (c) Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and (d) Are provided in conformity with an individualized education program (IEP) that meets the requirements of §§300.320 through 300.324.”
Sections §§300.320 through 300.324 specifically address meeting the needs of the child, not the needs of the school.
COVID-19 did not change the needs of the child. It changed the location at which those needs are addressed.