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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 19, 2021 03:16 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Patty Kim
To: All House members
Subject: Special Education Eligibility Extension
The COVID-19 emergency has had a dramatic impact on all students' educational programming, but the effects have arguably been even greater for students with an IEP. Indeed, for those special education students who continue their education and receive transition assistance until the age of 21, the impact on many has been devastating. Too many of those students have been forced to “age out” of services with inadequate transition services due to the limitations and impact of COVID. This bill, which is essentially a re-introduction of House Bill 2611 of 2019-2020, is intended to address the needs of all such students.

Across Pennsylvania, approximately 1,300 students are currently in their final year of eligibility for school services. Many of these students have significant needs, and their additional time and instruction is essential. Unfortunately, for many, this key program has been derailed.

In order to ensure that these students are not deprived of this critical instructional time, I am introducing legislation that will ensure that no student who was enrolled in school with an active IEP when the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared by Governor shall lose their eligibility for services under Section 1301 of the School Code until twelve months after the expiration of the emergency declaration. 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.     

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Introduced as HB640