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Arizona Teacher Strike Could Impact Students With Special Needs

Teachers across Arizona are planning a walkout Thursday, and some parents, especially those who have children with disabilities, are worried about the impact on their kids.

Christopher Tiffany, executive director of Raising Special Kids, said children may lose progress they’ve made if the walkout lasts nine days like recent strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma.

“A walkout would be a change in the educational routine for students that may have the similar result we would see over a holiday break," Tiffany said. "Skills that students are developing in school, both academic and functional, could be lost or could take time for them to relearn."

Tiffany said students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are protected to make up any work missed under a work stoppage. 

“School districts and charter schools would need to plan to work with parents, and IEP teams, to ensure that the child receives the services and supports entitled to them under the federal law," Tiffany said.

While some organizations are offering child care during the strike, such programs may not have appropriate accessibility for children with disabilities.

"Skills that students are developing in school, both academic and functional, could be lost or could take time for them to relearn."