Special-needs students to receive more education opportunities under new laws

Students with special needs now have some help to complete their education. Many special-needs students attend school at a different pace than their peers, with prior law allowing them to attend school up until the age of 22. For students who reached the age of 22 during the school year, they were forced to leave school on the day of their birthday. Not only did that law abruptly end their schooling, but the students also lost access to numerous special education services that were available through their schools.

House Bill 40 allows special-needs students to continue their education until the end of the school year in which they turn 22. The change will also enable students to celebrate the completion of school by graduating with their classmates.

To help special-needs students who were adversely impacted by school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, House Bill 2748 allows them to remain eligible for education services through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, even if they turned 22 during the previous year.

Both bills passed the Illinois Senate unanimously and were signed into law during the week.

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