Via a settlement agreement the Pennsylvania Department of Education has modified the current policies related to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for all students in the Commonwealth. As of September 5, 2023, all students are entitled to a public education until they reach the age of 22.
Prior to this, all students were entitled to a FAPE until the conclusion of the school year in which they turned 21 years old. Following that, students in need of ongoing services had to transition to adult community based services.
What does this mean for your 21 year old child?
If you have a child who aged out of public education because he or she turned 21 years old during the 2022 – 2023 school year, this means that your child can re-enroll in the district until his or her 22nd birthday. Even if you, as the parent, signed a Notice of Recommended Education Placement (NOREP) or a Prior Written Notice (PWN) regarding graduation and your student's exiting special education services, the student can still re-enroll in the District school.
What do I have to do for my child to continue his or her education?
In order for your child to continue his or her education, the child must be re-enrolled into the District. You must contact the school and ask to re-enroll your child as soon as possible to continue your child’s education. You will likely have to fill out re-enrollment paperwork because your child was un-enrolled as of the end of the 2022 – 2023 school year. All PA Districts have been advised to contact parents directly, but it is very possible that you have not yet been contacted, for these extra services. Should your district provide any resistance to these services or your re-enrollment, it may be helpful to include this letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. While you do have to re-enroll your child, as the agreement applies today, the District CANNOT deny your child the right to attend school until his or her 22nd birthday.
What does this mean for your child who did not age out in the 2022 – 2023 school year?
If you have a child who receives special education but did not yet age out of the system, this is still significant to you! Your child will be allowed to attend a public high school through his or her 22nd birthday. Moving forward, students will not have to re-enroll after they turn 21, but rather, they will automatically have the abilty to remain enrolled until their 22nd birthday.
If you have any questions about this process or if you need any assistance with any educational issue, contact Extraordinary Law for a consultation today!
412-438-3186 or email@example.com