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Must California special ed students be vaccinated to get services?

As noted in a recent media article, federal law mandates that every school district in the country "provide special needs students with all of the services outlined in their individualized programs."

The commonly used shorthand form employed to reference such a program is IEP.

Here's a question: Notwithstanding that law, what if officials in a California school district refuse certain IEP services to a disabled student in a classroom setting when that child is not in compliance with all state requirements concerning vaccinations?

Their refusal -- albeit supported by state law -- would run counter to federal legislation regarding IEPS. That's a problem, right?

California officials have sought to skirt any potential challenges by recently updating the FAQ section of the state law addressing IEPS. That statutory edict does not make reference to vaccination, and various school districts are interpreting it a manner that is inconsistent.

The FAQ language explicitly states this: Disabled California students with IEPs "should continue to receive all necessary services identified in their IEP regardless of their vaccination status."

School districts will reportedly have plenary discretion in determining how to provide IEP services to an unvaccinated student. In some instances, instruction or therapy might be provided outside the classroom. Undoubtedly, some cases and legal challenges will arise in the event that officials essentially remove an unvaccinated student from the classroom entirely.

The above-cited media report notes that nearly 720,000 California students have individualized education programs, with it being unclear how many of them are lacking vaccinations urged by state authorities.

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