WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), M.D., both members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, on Tuesday released a statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s recommendation that essential rights of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act remain intact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s good news that Secretary DeVos heeded our call to protect the core rights and tenets of the Individuals and Disabilities Education Act. Students with disabilities and their families have been pushed to the brink by COVID-19, and we need to ensure they still receive support during distance learning and additional services after schools reopen,” said Murphy. “The next step is making sure states and school districts have the resources they need to deliver on these recommendations. That’s why Senator Cassidy and I will be fighting for $10 billion in additional funding to make sure that students have what they need to learn at home, and are able to get back on track when schools reopen.”

I commend Secretary DeVos for her commitment to uphold the core tenets of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Her sound recommendations are welcomed,” said Dr. Cassidy.

Last week, Murphy and Cassidy released bipartisan principles to support students with disabilities to ensure they receive full and equitable educational services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They included these principles in a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to ask for clear guidance to protect the needs of students with disabilities during and following nationwide school closures.