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The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently found the Los Angeles Unified School District failed its students with disabilities during the pandemic.

The OCR found the district – the nation’s second-largest – did not provide students with disabilities access to the education they are legally entitled to receive. 

Specifically, the OCR’s investigation concluded that LAUSD failed to provide needed services to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and Section 504 plans during remote learning periods amid the pandemic. According to the OCR, the school district failed to implement a plan to support its students with disabilities during remote learning and even told staff the district was not responsible for providing students with disabilities with appropriate public education during remote learning. 

In a new resolution, the OCR is requiring LAUSD to assess their failures and provide these students with compensatory education. The district is also required to report these compensatory education measures to the OCR. 

“Today’s resolution will ensure that the more than 66,000 Los Angeles Unified students with disabilities will receive the equal access to education to which federal civil rights law entitles them, including compensatory education for any services the district did not provide during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “I am deeply grateful for the district’s commitment now to meet the needs of its students with disabilities.”

As a civil rights firm committed to representing students with disabilities, we are grateful that OCR is holding LAUSD accountable. If you or someone you know has been a victim of discrimination on the basis of disability, our skilled attorneys at Kennedy Hunt, P.C. may be able to help you. Fill out a questionnaire so we can understand your claim.