What is Comp Ed?

Federal and state laws remain in effect during the pandemic

Parents who have concerns about a child’s access to educational services including compensatory education can contact us to speak with an attorney free of charge.

What is Compensatory Education?

When a student with a disability has not received a free appropriate public education (FAPE), the school district may be required to provide the student with compensatory education services or “comp ed.”  The purpose of comp ed services is to place the student in the same position they would have been in had the student received a FAPE.

Just like all education services, the type and amount of comp ed services that will be provided is determined based on the student’s individual needs.  School Districts and parents must work together to determine whether their students require comp ed and what compensatory services are needed.

Comp ed is NOT a one-to-one make-up of missed services.

It may take more (or less) time for a student to catch up than it took for the student to fall behind.  For example, a student who missed eight months of effective accommodations or services may need more (or less) than eight months of comp ed services to catch up.

If your student requires compensatory education services, request an IEP team meeting to discuss what services, instruction, or other educational opportunities your student requires to receive a FAPE. The school district should provide a written decision in response to your request (called a written prior notice). If you disagree with the decision, you have options like filing a complaint. You can learn more about these options at drcnh.org/issue-areas/childrens-issues/ education/special-education.

Additional Information


We provide information, advice, and legal representation in several areas involving children’s education including special education, school discipline and the unlawful use of restraint and seclusion.


Federal and state law require school districts to provide education and related services for children with certain types of disabilities who, due to their disability, need specialized instruction and related services to receive an appropriate education. 

Pursuant to Emergency Order #48 issued by the Governor in May 2020, school districts throughout the state had 30 days from the start of their school year to hold IEP Team meetings for all students who receive services to discuss what compensatory education services they may require. Remember, federal and state education laws remain in place during the pandemic, including the right to a FAPE.  Children who did not receive all of their education services during the spring or summer or who were not able to access or benefit from remote services may be entitled to compensatory education services.

Learn more about Education & COVID-19 at drcnh.org/issue-areas/childrens-issues/education/special-education-covid-19

Learn more about Comp Ed & COVID-19 at drcnh.org/covid-19-and-special-ed/comp-ed

Related Resource:


Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers for people with disabilities across New Hampshire. DRC is the federally designated protection and advocacy agency for New Hampshire and has authority under federal law to conduct investigations in cases of probable abuse or neglect.

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