Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Serving Students With Special Needs During Coronavirus: ‘No Easy Solutions’

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

In California, more than 795,000 children qualify for special education services in school because of an identified disability. In many ways, these are the state’s most vulnerable learners.

But the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the ability of many public schools to fully deliver on fundamental guarantees made to these students, whose disabilities range from dyslexia to hearing loss to autism.

One month after schools first closed their campuses, many parents report basic special education services still aren't happening. Services that have resumed look very different from what anyone originally planned. Even some experts say tracking students’ progress will be extraordinarily difficult.

Here’s how one LAUSD speech and language therapy teacher, who asked not to be identified by name, put it:

Support for LAist comes from
There are no easy solutions here. I don't know how I am going to overcome the structural challenges of providing virtual support to that student. I don't think LAUSD does either. I don't think anybody truly does.

I wrote a story breaking down four of the biggest issues facing special education during the coronavirus crisis. There aren’t many definitive answers, but I wanted to outline a few of the questions.


Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.