The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but it has disproportionately impacted the 80,000+ students with special needs and disabilities in the Los Angeles Unified School District, virtually all of whom have not received a proper education since March. Despite the fact that schools have been continuously required to assess students’ need for special education services and continue to provide students who qualify with appropriate supports and services to benefit from their schooling, LAUSD has failed in this obligation.
For tens of thousands, individualized educational programs (IEPs) are not being developed or executed properly through small in-person cohorts, which LAUSD has failed to offer even though they are required by state and federal law and approved by public health officials almost 60 days ago.
For students with disabilities and special needs who require constant one-on-one supervision, distance learning is an oxymoron.
The Alliance has stepped up, along with 29 organization partners, seeking immediate action on behalf of these students—in accordance with public health guidance—to ensure that these students do not suffer irreparable damage. Although LAUSD has promised to begin providing these services, its announcements have lacked details and we want to help transform their goals from aspirational to operational.
The Alliance and its partners sent a letter to LAUSD Superintendent Beutner and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on November 5, requesting detailed information about how the District plans to provide (i) in-person assessments, (ii) in-person IEP services and (iii) in-person instruction in small cohorts, in compliance with the law and public health guidelines.
Make your voice heard.
Our goal is education for our students, not litigation. These students do not have time to spare and cannot wait any longer for meaningful action to support their learning needs. Please join us in insisting upon action for LAUSD’s students with disabilities and special needs.
Write to LAUSD board members at firstname.lastname@example.org before November 9th by 6PM to demand that students who cannot benefit from their education through distance learning alone receive the appropriate support and services to continue their learning.