States are getting federal guidance to make sure students with disabilities attending public virtual schools receive the special education and supports they deserve.

In a letter to states, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) focuses on specific requirements in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for public virtual schools.

“Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of The guidance addresses the supervision responsibilities of states and the applicability of IDEA’s child find provisions to children attending public virtual schools,” according to the letter. The letter also clarifies states’ responsibility to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities attending public virtual schools.

“Children with disabilities attending virtual schools have the same right to a free appropriate public education as children attending brick and mortar schools,” said OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Sue Swenson. “States and school districts must ensure that children with disabilities are getting the special education and supports that they need to be successful in school.”

Next page: The letter’s key points 

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura