Michigan’s pandemic-era special education guidance under U.S. investigation

Federal officials are investigating a complaint alleging that Michigan provided illegal guidance to districts about serving students with disabilities during the pandemic.

The November 2020 guidance specifically concerned students who lost access to special education services – such as tutoring or physical therapy – during pandemic-caused school shutdowns, and the districts’ obligation to make up for those losses later through so-called compensatory services.

In its guidance, the Michigan Department of Education said compensatory services “may be awarded as a result of a finding from a state complaint, due process hearing, or monitoring activity.”

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