|Posted:||May 29, 2020 02:15 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan L. Miller|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Special Education Eligibility Extension|
|The COVID-19 emergency has had a dramatic impact on all students' educational programming, causing a suspension of in-person learning and other alterations in the landscape of "school," but the effects have arguably been even greater for students with special needs. Among this group of students, the changes may be most devastating for those who will "age out" of services during the 2019-2020 school year.
Across Pennsylvania, approximately 1300 students with special needs are currently in their final year of eligibility for school services. The majority of these students have significant needs, and their instruction is the final piece of transition programming that has been taking place over several years.
Typically, these students are eligible for services throughout the school term during which they turn 21. With the disruption to education caused by COVID-19, the transition programming that was aimed at helping these students successfully move from school into adult life has, in many cases, been derailed.
In order to ensure that these students are not deprived of this critical instruction, I am introducing legislation that will offer a six-month extension of eligibility for school services to all students with special needs who were enrolled in a Pennsylvania school district per section 1301 and who were 20 or 21 years old before the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared by Governor Wolf. The decision to take part in this extended educational program will be left to the parents and the students.
I would urge all members to join me in Co-Sponsoring this legislation that will greatly improve the ability of students with significant special needs to successfully transition to post-school life.
Introduced as HB2611