Federal Civil Rights Office Rules Against Fairfax County Schools

Finds the District “Failed to Provide” a Free, Appropriate Education to Thousands of Kids

Asra Nomani | Asra Investigates

Read the details:

  • U.S. Department of Education – Press Release
  • Fairfax County Public Schools – Resolution Letter PDF
  • Fairfax County Public Schools – Resolution Agreement PDF

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Tears of joy came to the eyes of special education advocates Callie Oettinger and Debra Tisler as they read a much-anticipated decision by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

For years, they have been advocating — to deaf ears in Fairfax County Public Schools and the entire state of Virginia — on behalf of students denied educational services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Today, the U.S. Department of Education ruled that they were indeed correct.

“This is a victory for every parent,” said Oettinger. “In 2020, we knew that the actions that FCPS was taking were in noncompliance with IDEA. We are now vindicated, and every parents should contact FCPS to make sure that every child receives COMPENSATORY EDUCATION and other services that meet their needs.”

The key words here are to ask for COMPENSATORY EDUCATION — for example, so many parents paid out of pocket and took on second jobs to pay for tutors and other services to meet educational needs that Fairfax County failed to provide. And so many parents couldn’t afford these extra services, and their children were left behind.

“It’s criminal that so many children went without services and appropriate education,” said Tisler, at her dining table, as she learned the news. “The investigation must not stop with Fairfax County. Governor Glenn Youngkin should now reconsider the leadership that he inherited that allowed such an atrocity to occur under their watch. The full weight of his office must be used to hold accountable those responsible for this failure.

The Department of Education concluded:

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights today announced a resolution agreement with Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia requiring the School Division to take steps necessary to ensure that students with disabilities receive educational services, including compensatory services, during and resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. OCR investigated the School Division’s provision during the pandemic of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities, as required by Federal civil rights law. OCR’s investigation found that the School Division inappropriately reduced and limited services provided to students with disabilities, based on considerations other than the students’ individual educational needs, and failed to adequately remedy these denials of FAPE. OCR also identified concerns with staffing shortages and other administrative obstacles that may have limited the School Division’s provision of FAPE, as well as its ability to sufficiently track its FAPE services.

The School Division agreed to resolve the compliance review by creating and implementing a comprehensive plan to address the compensatory education needs of students with disabilities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This article was first published on November 20, 2022 at Asra Investigates.

Share This Article:

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to be the first to receive news and events from Fairfax GOP!
Electing Republicans At Every Level


Powered by VOTEGTR

Early Voting is On!

Make a plan to vote!
Get your custom sample ballot and local precinct polling info here:
No thanks. Take me back to the Fairfax GOP home page.

2024 U.S. Senate & Congressional Primary

GOP Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 18

Election Calendar

  • Early voting opens 5/3
  • 5/28 – Deadline to register to vote (otherwise, same-day registration with provisional ballot)
  • 6/7 – Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot​
  • 6/8 - One of two Saturdays open for early voting, and additional early voting locations open.
  • Early Voting ends 6/15
  • 6/18 – Election Day

We need you on our team in '24.

Get active in the effort to take back Fairfax County from the progressives hellbent on raising taxes, coddling criminals, and socializing public schools.
First things first. Are you receiving info about local GOP events and elections?

No problem. We can fix that right now.

Thanks. We won’t overload your inbox, but we will keep you in the loop on important Fairfax GOP info and events.

Do you want to recieve news of events via text msg?
By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive recurring calls and SMS/MMS campaign and donation messages, including autodialed and automated calls and texts to that number from the Fairfax County Republican Committee. Msg & data rates may apply. You agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Text HELP for help and STOP to stop. Msg & data rates may apply.

The Fairfax GOP is recruiting new members who agree we need to draw a line in the sand and take our county back from the progressives.

Would you consider joining the Fairfax GOP as a voting member so you can have your say on committee business, candidates, and policy resolutions?*
No thanks. Take me back to the Fairfax GOP home page.