This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a pivotal piece of national legislation that ensures “a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the [United States].” One core element of IDEA is the Individualized Education Program or “IEP,” a written plan detailing how a school will meet a child’s individual needs. While these plans are often the cornerstone to providing equitable education to children with disabilities, following through with the plans can be challenging during a pandemic, especially when school is moved to virtual instruction modes.
Number of Students with IEPs by County
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, CCD public school district data for the 2018-2019 school year, excluding International Charter Academy Of Gwinnett (IEP data missing)
Just how many students in the 10-County Atlanta Region would have their IEPs potentially impacted if all public schools were to switch to completely virtual instruction modes? Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we were able to map the total number of students with IEPs by county (above) and create a chart showing the percent of students with an IEP by county (below). Overall, approximately 93,561 students might be affected. Approximately 12% of students in public and public charter schools in the 10-County Atlanta Region have an IEP.