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On Anniversary of COVID-19 School Closures, Molinaro Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Address Learning Loss Among Students With Disabilities

Binghamton, NY – Ahead of the four year anniversary of Upstate New York schools shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemicU.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) is introducing the Think DIFFERENTLY About Ending Learning Loss Act. The bipartisan bill, which builds on Rep. Molinaro’s successful ‘Think DIFFERENTLY’ initiative, was introduced alongside U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-3).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Upstate New York and across the nation experienced prolonged closures, mask mandates, and various restrictions. Students with disabilities were particularly affected, with limited or no access to essential therapies and extensive time away from the classroom, leading to Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals becoming no longer attainable.

Rep. Molinaro’s bill directs the Department of Education to conduct a study on the effects of learning loss for students with disabilities during the pandemic. The study will highlight the unique needs of these students so educators, parents, and lawmakers can develop informed solutions to address learning loss.  

Rep. Molinaro said, "Very little attention has been given to the educational needs of students with disabilities and the setbacks they endured during the pandemic. As a father of a child on the autism spectrum, I saw learning loss firsthand. We can’t allow students with disabilities to just be left behind. This bipartisan effort will work to ensure students with disabilities get additional support to address the learning loss that occurred.”