Shortcomings in both the quality and oversight of special education in Virginia put the commonwealth at odds with federal law and make it difficult — if not impossible — to determine how well students with disabilities are supported by their local school systems.
Those findings by the state’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, presented at a meeting Monday, buttress long-held concerns from parents and special education advocates across Virginia. The lengthy report also mirrors many of the failures outlined in a June letter from the U.S. Department of Education, which found serious deficiencies in how the Virginia Department of Education monitored and responded to special education complaints.
Shortly after the agency issued its report, VDOE announced it was implementing a new model for monitoring and investigating special education compliance.
State Superintendent James Lane said the department “is looking forward to working alongside schools, teachers and families” to implement the new approach.