Breaking News: New GAO Report: More Needs to be Done to Provide Physical Education Opportunities for Children with Disabilities

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The General Accountability Office of the federal government has released a new report on the limited opportunity for physical education for students with disabilities. By way of background, it should be noted that IDEA, the federal special education law, specifically includes physical education within the definition of special education. IDEA § 601(29)(B). Moreover, the federal regulations clarify that the school district must provide PE, if provides it to students without disabilities. 34 C.F.R. §300.108.

The GAO report found that students with disabilities participate in physical education but at a lower rate than their non-disabled peers. the report recommends that the Secretary of Education promote ways of sharing information among states and school districts concerning ways to provide additional physical education opportunities for children with disabilities. In addition, GAO recommended that the department of education clarify the legal responsibilities of the schools under federal law. The Department of Education agreed with both recommendations. You can read the report here.

Here is a one page synopsis of the report.

This could be a possible hot button issue in special education law. Stay tuned.

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