Last week the U.S. Department of Education issued a 13-page set of guidelines regarding school districts’ obligations to provide equitable athletic and extra-curricular opportunities to kids with disabilities. (See earlier coverage here.) The guidelines are in response to a series of complaints filed with the Civil Rights Commission.
New Jersey School Boards Association has just released a memo on the subject, summed up here:
While New Jersey has made strides toward providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in school athletic programs, this latest guidance from the federal government would appear to be broader in scope than the existing New Jersey legislation.
The OCR guidance is reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for girls and women some four decades ago, and it will have significant implications for school districts in the areas of student participation, program staffing, facilities needs, transportation, and overall extracurricular costs.