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06/25/2024 02:36 PM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 18, 2024 01:43 PM
From: Senator David G. Argall
To: All Senate members
Subject: Roman’s Law - Delayed School Enrollment for Children with Autism, Developmental Delays, or Intellectual Disabilities
In the near future, I will introduce companion legislation to HB 2124 sponsored by Representatives Watro and Cabell.  Our legislation will allow parents or guardians of a child who has reached the compulsory school age of six to request a waiver from the Department of Education to delay compulsory attendance if the child has been diagnosed with autism, developmental delays or intellectual disabilities.
These exceptional children often require individualized learning and specialized approaches.  A delayed start would allow for early intervention programs to provide the necessary supports for these students to develop the social and emotional skills necessary for future success, and to be better prepared when they enter the classroom.
Currently, the Public School Code requires all children to begin compulsory education at age six. This bill would provide a limited exception to allow parents or guardians to request a waiver for up to one-year from the compulsory attendance requirement if:
  1. The child has been diagnosed by a qualified health professional with autism spectrum disorder or has been identified by the State as having developmental delays or intellectual disabilities.
  2. The child has been evaluated by a qualified health professional in the last six months and has been recommended for continued intensive early intervention services.
  3. The parent or guardian provides evidence of alternative services being provided or documentation of their efforts to obtain such services.
I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1157