Capitol Correspondence - 07.08.19

House Chairman Pressures Education Secretary on Schooling for Detained Migrant Children with Disabilities

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ANCOR is sharing this story by Politico Pro because of its general relevance to the disability community.

As shared by Politico Pro:

“The chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee is fighting with the Department of Education over whether states have a legal responsibility under the law to locate and provide educational services to migrant children with disabilities who are in federal custody.

The Department’s position that states do not is ‘unsupported by both the case law and the legislative history’ of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) wrote in a July 2 letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.


Based on case law and legislative history, Scott wrote that IDEA’s ‘child find’ requirement applies to minors with disabilities in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement or the Department of Homeland Security. ‘Child find’ requires states to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities in need of early intervention or special education services.

Scott was responding to an April 9 letter from the Department of Education stating that the Department’s ‘longstanding position’ is that IDEA ‘places no obligations on states and school districts to conduct child find and provide special education and related services to children with disabilities in the custody of federal agencies.’


A spokesperson for the Department of Education did not respond immediately to a request for comment.