CHICAGO – Continuing her efforts to advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities, state Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago, recently introduced legislation that would allow students eligible for special education services to remain in school through the end of the school year, even after their 22nd birthday.
“Public school educational experiences help students with developmental disabilities transition and integrate into adult life by teaching important skills to help them live as independently as possible,” said Hurley. “I have a neighbor whose child will no longer be eligible for special education services in mid-November because he will be turning 22. Making these students quit school in the middle of a school year is an unnecessary, abrupt change in routine.”
While in Springfield Hurley serves on the Illinois House Human Services Committee, and has prioritized legislation to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Hurley introduced House Bill 3897, which will allow students with disabilities, who turn 22, to remain eligible for special education services even if their birthday occurs during the school year, ensuring that the student can finish the school year. Under current law, when a student with developmental disabilities turns 22 they are no longer able to receive public education services from the state.
“Maintaining a stable environment is very important, so ensuring that students are able to finish their school year, rather than having to quit when they turn 22 would be beneficial,” continued Hurley. “I encourage the General Assembly to pass this legislation to expand educational opportunities for students with developmental disabilities, and help ensure that their transition to adult life is as smooth as possible.”
For more information, contact Hurley’s constituent service office at 773-445-8128 or RepFranHurley@gmail.com.