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‘Disturbing reports’ about Seattle schools spark civil-rights probe by U.S. Department of Education

Hannah Furfaro, Dahlia Bazzaz, Seattle Times |

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating Seattle Public Schools after “disturbing reports” about how the district handled special education during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter sent to Superintendent Denise Juneau this week, department officials cite concerns that some students went without specialized instruction — and some teachers weren’t allowed to provide it.

Like many urban districts throughout the country, the district has a turbulent history with special education, with problems spanning decades. In 2014, the state withheld 28% of the district’s federal funding, about $3 million, until it could show it was complying with federal law.

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