ALBANY – New legislation looks to ensure New York students with disabilities won’t “age-out” of public education and can return to school to get the services they were unable to receive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill now allows special education students to return to school until completing their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or turning 23 years old – whichever is sooner.
In New York State, students are entitled to attend public school until the end of the school year in which they turn 21. Although most students graduate within four years, often students with disabilities need this additional time to acquire the skills they need to be successful.
Most schools were able to adapt to online education during the pandemic, however many special education students were unable to engage in remote learning or to adapt to online lessons, essentially losing education. This includes students who are deaf or hard of hearing, students who have visual impairments, students who have multiple disabilities and some that cannot use computers independently.
Consequently, these students were unable to receive many of the important services defined in their IEPs. This bill ensures school districts can continue providing educational services to students who did not receive services included in their IEP during the pandemic.
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