Expanding Equity for Illinois Students with Disabilities

Students who recently turned 22 remain eligible until the end of the regular 2021-2022 school year.

Thanks to two new laws, HB 40 and HB 2748, special education students can stay in school through the end of the school year in which they turn 22, allowing them to celebrate all the rites of passage of a final year of school. Previously, they had to leave school as soon as they turned 22, potentially missing out on a full-year experience, vital services and the chance to say goodbye to friends and teachers.

“I strongly believe that a core principle of governance is ensuring that our laws are kind to the people they are meant to serve. And there’s nothing kind about taking a student with disabilities out of the classroom on Oct. 16, or Jan. 5 or April 19 just because they turned another day older,” Gov. JB Pritzker says in a news release. 

State Sen. Bill Cunningham said the laws right a long-standing wrong.

In addition, students who recently turned 22 and were impacted by COVID-19 remain eligible for educational services until the end of the regular 2021-2022 school year. Pritzker says it gives students an opportunity to regain critical in-person classroom instruction time lost during COVID and transition to adult special needs services.

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