Pending COVID-19 Legislation and Virtual Learning Requirements

by: Kasi M. Gifford

To Our School Board Community:

We have been trying to anticipate and quickly respond to your questions during this time, given the unprecedented challenges presented to our Boards with COVID-19 and the school closure to students.  We have been providing guidance on how best to meet the needs of your students, staff, and community. We have received questions concerning remote instruction of students generally, as well as the legality of providing related services to special education students via remote instruction. While no law on the subject has been signed into legislation thus far, we anticipate legislation to be signed into law by the Governor sometime in the near future. We anticipate the bill will provide in part:

  • If a program of virtual or remote instruction is implemented for the general education students the same educational opportunities shall be provided to the special education students, to the extent appropriate  and practicable.
  • Speech language services and counseling services may be delivered to special education students through the use of electronic communication or a virtual or online platform, as appropriate.
  • Anticipated requiring the Commissioner to create further guidance on all virtual home instruction.

As of 5:00 p.m. on March 24, 2020, THIS BILL HAS NOT BEEN SIGNED. We will alert you when this legislation is signed!

Our e-mails about recent developments are not intended to substitute for our legal advice to our clients based on your specific needs or requests.  In addition, our guidance is subject to, and can be superseded by new laws, rules, regulations, or orders.  Moreover, some directives from the Federal and State authorities can appear, and can be, contradictory or in conflict, so please contact us for assistance.

As always, please contact us with any questions. We will continue to do our best to keep you updated in the coming days and weeks.

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