As reported by the Seattle Times, the United States Department of Education (DOE) is commencing a civil rights investigation of special education in Seattle Public Schools based on “disturbing reports” about the provision of services during the pandemic. In addition to Seattle, the federal agency has notified school districts in Los Angeles and Fairfield County, Virginia, and the Indiana Department of Education that it is opening investigations into how special education services were provided in 2020.
We know that many families want more information about the investigations and some may be interested in talking about their experiences. We do not yet have information on how to reach investigators however we have created an email address to receive stories. We will respect and honor privacy concerns for any information sent to Investigation@SeattleSpecialEducationPTSA.org. For more news and updates, check this page frequently, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
The PTSA has been working to elevate community voices (Testimony to school board Jan. 13) and advocate for inclusive classrooms and safe schools where our children will not be at risk due to their disabilities. We know that the pandemic has magnified systemic problems in our District that need solutions so that our children can receive the education they are entitled to in safe environments. We hope that the DOE investigation will help to spur the greater community in SPS to make sure that our children are fully recognized and supported.