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Supplemental Educational Services Under No Child Left Behind

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By Candace Cortiella, The Advocacy Institute

Q: May eligible students with disabilities receive supplemental educational services during the summer?

A: Generally, supplemental services should be provided during the school year as a way to increase the student's academic achievement and enhance the benefit of the instruction being received in both general and special education. However, states may include providers who deliver summer services among their "approved" list.

Such additional instruction, provided during the summer, may be of great benefit to students with disabilities, particularly learning disabilities. However, access to such programs should not be provided in lieu of the extended school year services required for eligible students under the IDEA.

Q: How long must schools provide supplemental educational services?

A: The opportunity for supplemental services for eligible students continues until the school has met AYP goals for two consecutive years. As stated earlier, Title I schools that have been designated as "in need of improvement" for two consecutive years must provide supplemental services to eligible students, including students with disabilities. While not required by NCLB, schools in their first year of "in need of improvement" are encouraged to offer supplemental services, particularly if school choice is not possible.

Find our how your state is doing on the issues of supplemental educational services:

  • Visit the No Child Left Behind database maintained by the Education Commission of the States.
  • Select your state to access detailed information on these and other important NCLB requirements!

Endnote: The author wishes to thank Suzanne Heath for her review of this article. Heath is co-author (with Peter and Pamela Wright) of the publication, Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind.

Reviewed January 2010

Candace Cortiella's work as Director of the nonprofit The Advocacy Institute focuses on improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, through public policy and other initiatives. The mother of a young adult with learning disabilities, she lives in the Washington, D.C., area.