MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, donated almost $200 million to Easterseals, Goodwill and affiliates across the country. Scott’s donations to these organizations come as part of a December donation blitz that saw her give $4.1 billion to 384 organizations responding to the Covid crisis. Scott said she targeted for support organizations providing basic survival needs and those working to redress systemic inequalities.
A study by an educational nonprofit focusing on underserved student populations estimates that as many as 3 million students may have dropped out of school since the pandemic forced a switch to remote learning. The study cites limited internet access, housing insecurity, disability and language barriers as primary reasons students might stop attending school.
An op-ed co-authored by staff at Delaware Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. – which contains the Disabilities Law Program – stresses that children with disabilities are still entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) by state and federal law. While Covid has disrupted some of the services schools provide for students with disabilities, the authors argue that collaboration between parents and educators will ensure students receive the best possible education in the circumstances.
A Columbia University study found that students from racial minorities, students from low-income households and English language learners – populations with disproportionate numbers of individuals with disabilities – are far more likely to be receiving remote instruction. The study’s authors warn that, given recent studies indicating that remote instruction is less effective than in-person instruction, this trend could worsen educational disparities.
The Navy has hired two special education lawyers as part of a three-year pilot program to expand support for service members enrolled in its Exceptional Family Member Program. Navy families can find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to special education because frequent moves mean they are regularly entering new school districts with different rules and resources.