7 Things Parents Should Know About Compensatory Educational Services

teacher in mask kneeling and speaking to a young girl student with mask at desk

What are compensatory educational services? Compensatory educational services are designed to put a special education student back to the place they would have been had schools not closed. At this time, some schools may be referring to this as COVID recovery services.

Why is this such a big deal right now? COVID-19 school closures may have caused the loss of special education services or kept some students from making adequate progress on their IEP goals. That may entitle them to compensatory services.

Who is eligible? Students who did not receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) or experienced regression during school closures are entitled to compensatory services. Students who made adequate progress during school closures might not be eligible.

How do I know if my child is eligible? The consideration of whether or not a student needs compensatory services does NOT have to be made by the full IEP team. It can be done by staff within the school who are knowledgeable about the child. The parent MUST be consulted and provided the opportunity to give input. If the student is eligible, the school will make an offer of compensatory educational services.

What amount of compensatory educational services will be awarded to my child? An individual decision will be made for each student. Compensatory services are NOT minute for minute and they may look different than the services in the IEP.

When and where will the services be provided? The student’s Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) cannot be altered. Compensatory services may be provided during the regular school day; over school breaks; in intensive, targeted, individualized programs; or by outside service providers.

I have more questions. Who can I ask for help? The family support specialists at Raising Special Kids are available to assist families with understanding their rights and identifying next steps based on their individual situations.


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