U.S. Department Of Education Releases Additional Resources For Elementary And Secondary Schools And Higher Education Institutions Regarding Students With Disabilities, Student Privacy, And Federal Student Aid During COVID-19 Response

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Mar 27, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education released additional resources to help public education institutions across the nation navigate changes during the national COVID-19 outbreak and response.

The resources for elementary and secondary schools include a fact sheet for serving students with disabilities, guidance on protecting student privacy, information on flexibilities that will allow students to access meal service during school closures, and recommendations for environmental cleaning.

The Office for Civil Rights also published a fact sheet for education leaders on how to protect students’ civil rights as school leaders take steps to keep students safe and secure. The fact sheet presents information on the rights of students with disabilities during school closures and includes tips for preventing incidents of discrimination. It also includes information on ensuring that no student is discriminated against based on race, color, or national origin. The document reminds schools of their legal obligation to comply with non-discrimination obligations under civil rights laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and provides tools to assist schools in facilitating distance learning for all students.

The resources for higher education institutions include guidance on accreditation flexibilities, guidance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding international students affected by COVID-19 closures, and information regarding interruptions of study related to COVID-19.

The Office of Federal Student Aid also issued guidance for students, borrowers, and parents. FSA announced that federal student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows the borrower to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments.

To view the resources, visit: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus.

LCW has also published many Special Bulletins regarding responding to the COVID-19 outbreak including FAQs on student and employee issues for community college districts and public K-12 school districts. Learn more here: https://www.lcwlegal.com/responding-to-COVID-19.