School districts will have to continue complying with the federal law requiring them to serve students with disabilities, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Monday.

Congress had asked DeVos if she wanted the power to waive the law’s requirements during the coronavirus crisis, given how hard it is for schools to serve these students. On Monday, she said no.

“There is no reason for Congress to waive any provision designed to keep students learning,” DeVos said in a statement. “With ingenuity, innovation, and grit, I know this nation’s educators and schools can continue to faithfully educate every one of its students.”

One of the toughest challenges in moving to online school has been figuring out how to serve children with disabilities. The law requires they be given an education appropriate to their needs. But how?

Many districts were so flummoxed by the question that, at least for a time, they decided they would not teach anybody, for fear of being accused of neglecting those with special needs. DeVos strongly discouraged that tactic.

Lawmakers considered giving the Education Department authority to waive the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but rumors of the move stirred opposition among disability rights advocates. Instead, as part of the recent $2 trillion economic stimulus package known as the Care Act, Congress asked DeVos to report back on whether she needs such authority.

DeVos said no. Instead, she asked for some minor legislative changes, such as a change to the timelines for evaluating toddlers with disabilities.