Virtual Schools Must Comply With IDEA Children with disabilities who receive education through virtual public schools—defined as a school that offers only online courses—must receive a free appropriate public education that complies with the requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In a “dear colleague” letter, the Office of Special Education Programs of the ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   November 01, 2016
Virtual Schools Must Comply With IDEA
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School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   November 01, 2016
Virtual Schools Must Comply With IDEA
The ASHA Leader, November 2016, Vol. 21, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB6.21112016.10
The ASHA Leader, November 2016, Vol. 21, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB6.21112016.10
Children with disabilities who receive education through virtual public schools—defined as a school that offers only online courses—must receive a free appropriate public education that complies with the requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
In a “dear colleague” letter, the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education clarifies some of the critical IDEA Part B requirements that apply to virtual schools.
The letter specifies that:
  • Children with disabilities who attend virtual schools and their parents have all IDEA educational rights and protections.

  • States are responsible for ensuring that all school districts, including virtual schools that operate as school districts, implement IDEA requirements.

  • To ensure a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities in virtual schools, each school district must implement IDEA’s evaluation, eligibility, IEP and least-restrictive environment requirements.

  • Each state must ensure that children with disabilities who attend virtual schools are included in all state- and district-wide assessment programs.

For more information, contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA director of education and regulatory advocacy, at cclarke@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.
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November 2016
Volume 21, Issue 11