SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Special education students will be eligible to stay enrolled in education programs longer under a new bill created by state Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago.
“Currently, special education students are only able to go to school through their 22nd birthday, no matter when that date falls during the school year,” said Hurley. “This leaves these students unable to finish the rest of the school year and puts a burden on the parents of these students who now have to find alternative educational options for their children.”
Hurley’s bill, House Bill 40, will allow all special education students to finish the school year of their 22nd birthday. Currently, special education students are allowed to go to school from ages 3 to 21. Once the student turns 22 years old, they are no longer eligible to attend school, even if their birthday is in the middle of a school year. Hurley’s bill passed out of the House Human Services Committee last week and now moves to the full House for consideration.
“Students and their parents depend on these educational programs, but it leaves them with very little options when they are abruptly taken out of the classroom with their friends and teachers in the middle of the year,” continued Hurley. “The current system isn’t fair to the students or their parents. A constituent of mine, Katie Hurley Kettering, and her son, Charlie, came to me with this bill idea in 2019 and I have been passionate about getting this passed since. I also invite any supporters of this bill to reach out to their family and friends and encourage them to reach out to their legislators to vote ‘yes’ on House Bill 40.”