Because there is a one-year deadline to file complaints with the Texas Education Agency to get compensatory education services, parents who believe their child needs these services due to school closures last year because of the pandemic should first send a request letter immediately to your child’s school. Please see our sample letter below that you can copy and paste into a document, complete with your information, and then send to the appropriate person at your school. Or you can use our auto letter generator to create a customized request to send to the school.
For a variety of reasons, some special education students lost progress in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year. This may have been due to being moved to remote learning, late evaluations, and more. Passed in 2021, Senate Bill 89 requires schools to add a written supplement to a student’s IEP to address needed compensatory services for special education service reductions and lost progress resulting from school closures because of the pandemic.
If after sending a request letter, the school does not respond or provide the services in a prompt manner, parents can use our sample letter to send a complaint to TEA. Or you can use our auto letter generator that will create a customized letter to TEA.
Languages: this sample letter is available in English and Spanish. Be aware that DRTx recommends that you provide your letter in a language understandable to the party or entity receiving it, which in most circumstances will be English.
Sample Letter to School Requesting Compensatory Services
[City, State, Zip)
[Name of School]
[School Street Address]
[School City, State, Zip]
Dear [Name of Director of Special Education or Case Manager]:
My child, [Student’s Name], was a student at [Campus Name] during the 2019-2020 school year, including the time in the spring of 2020 when schools were ordered closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am writing to request:
- the COVID-19 supplement to my child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) required under new state law because I believe my student lost progress due to closures during the pandemic, or
- the provision of compensatory education services to make up for the following missed special education and related services [Name of Student] experienced when schools were closed
[Choose however many are applicable and add the date]
- My child received no special education services from [date to date].
- My child only received partial special education services from [date to date].
- My child received no related services from [date to date].
- My child only received partial related services from [date to date].
[Add any specific problems with technology access, instruction, accommodations, modifications that further explain the four choices above. For example: “In the beginning of the shut down and switch to remote learning, the district only provided packets of work once a week that did not include student’s appropriate and agreed upon modifications reflected in his IEP. In late April, the district finally provided laptop, but there were access problems that took multiple days to identify and troubleshoot and then inappropriate packets were sent electronically through email with no scheduled direct instruction. This was drastically different than the services that general education students were provided during this time which included pre-recorded videos on YouTube and synchronous learning options.”]
An ARD committee is required to determine whether the lack of special education and related services requires the provision of compensatory education services and if so, to make an individualized determination as to what type of compensatory services are needed. Whether an interruption in services constitutes a denial of FAPE is an individual determination that must be made on a case-by-case basis.
Although I appreciate the district’s efforts to provide some of my child’s special education and related services during the difficult period when schools were closed, the failure to provide the special education services contained in my child’s IEP has led to a failure of my child to achieve their IEP goals and objectives. For these reasons, I am requesting an ARD Committee meeting to discuss the compensatory services my child needs. Please contact me as soon as possible to discuss this request.
Published: February 24, 2021
Last updated: October 14, 2021
Publication Code: ED29
Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.
The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.
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