Special Education

- June 11, 2021
Can it be reshaped to fulfill its original promise?
Photo of students and their families protesting COVID school restrictions in Boston on December 13, 2020. (Getty Images/The Boston Globe/Jessica Rinaldi)
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended schooling for all children, but students with disabilities have been hit particularly hard. These children often face the most challenges in remote education and the biggest hurdles in making up for the time away from in-person learning. There has been confusion among educators about how to deliver special education services and whether the services should be provided to the same degree that they would be in-person.

Why do many parents of children in special education classes say the system does not work well for them?

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect special education programs? Why do experts say the impact of the pandemic was greater on special education students than on the general student population?

1954–1975Legal action paves the way for special education laws.
1976–2004Protections are added to the landmark special education laws.
2020–PresentThe COVID-19 pandemic alters the landscape for special education.


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