Parents around the country are facing similar pushback as they try to recoup services lost to the pandemic. It is the latest battle in one of the most litigated arenas in education. In a 2020 survey, just 20% of parents of students with disabilities said their children were receiving required services, and a 2021 report said the pandemic was exacerbating learning gaps for those students.
The frustration among parents is just one of the myriad ways school closures have cast a long shadow over the nation’s education system more than two years after the pandemic began. Recent national test scores show historic declines in reading and math achievement, and experts say it could be another three to five years before performance rebounds to pre-Covid levels.
While Congress allocated $122bn in recovery funds for schools over a year ago, districts are struggling to spend that money, plagued by staff shortages, especially in hard-to-fill positions, like special education.