Feds investigate Fairfax Co. Public Schools over potential lack of access for children with disabilities

The Fairfax County Public Schools system is under investigation by federal education officials amid accusations that the school district unfairly limited access for children with disabilities.

Emphasizing that the investigation in no way indicates a violation exists, a letter sent to Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand says that the district declined to provide in-person instruction to students with disabilities, while opening schools to in-person child care for general education students.

The example cited in the letter was from September 2020.

The investigation is being carried out by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The letter said the investigation was triggered “due to disturbing reports involving the District’s provision of educational services to children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Department of Education letter dated Jan. 12, 2021 indicated an intention to contact FCPS within a week to outline next steps in the investigation.

On Feb. 11,  an FCPS spokesperson responded to a WTOP inquiry, saying: “We received the letter — but have not received any further information since that date.”

WTOP is awaiting response from the Department of Education about whether the investigation is proceeding or if there’s been a change in timeline or intentions.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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