COVID-19 Stimulus Act and Special Education

March 31, 2020

Legislation to provide more than $2 trillion of relief due to the current and projected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As many of you are aware, on Friday, March 27, President Trump signed a $2 trillion legislative package, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 748). This bill will provide more than substantial relief due to the current and projected impact that COVID-19 will have on the country.

Potential Effect on Special Education Regulations 

While this bill will provide a needed infusion of money into key sectors of our economy, it also allows government agencies to potentially waive standards and regulations in order to navigate the economic burden of such a crisis. The most concerning to the autism community is a provision that directs the Secretary of Education to report back to Congress within 30 days of the bill enactment on any waivers needed under the IDEA and other existing educational laws (page 330 of the bill).

Preserving your Rights 

Along with so many in the special education community, Autism New Jersey is concerned about the potential changes to the IDEA that this provision could cause. We will be monitoring the actions of the Secretary of Education over the coming weeks and update the community. Autism New Jersey will continue our work with federal and state legislators and Department of Education officials to preserve special education rights and facilitate our community’s response in a coordinated manner.

Experience Our Power of Connection

Autism New Jersey is following recommendations from the CDC and state Department of Health, and is implementing telework and remote meetings for its employees to help reduce the community spread of the coronavirus.

During this time, our 800.4.AUTISM Helpline will remain open. Please leave a message with specific dates and times you are available for a call-back, or email  You can also message us via our website, and we’ll aim to reply promptly.

We remain focused on our mission to be a resource for the autism community. With a fluid situation and great uncertainty, we’ll share relevant, accurate information as it becomes available. We encourage you to regularly visit our central hub of coronavirus resources for the autism community.