The abrupt shift to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken K-12 education across the country, especially for people with developmental disabilities, and a state official of Boston on Tuesday presented a strategy to repair part of the damage: allow any student who soon graduates to stay in school for an additional year.
Legislation tabled by Democratic Representative Edward Coppinger would allow any Massachusetts student who graduated in 2021 or is expected to graduate in 2022, their parent or guardian to “enroll” in another year of education. studies before moving on to the next step. life.
It would also allow any student receiving special education services who reach the age of 22 – the age at which they are no longer eligible for transition services from public school districts – in the 2020-2021 or 2021 school years. -2022 to stay in school until they are 23.
“Due to COVID, many students with disabilities were out of class for 14 to 16 months,” Coppinger told the education committee. “The students who are now due to graduate in 2022 have sorely missed these very important lessons that would prepare them to leave school and in some cases move on to an independent life. the families of these students. ”
Other bills from Senator Michael Barrett of Lexington and Representative Carmine Gentile of Sudbury would allow municipalities to seek reimbursement for providing compensatory special education services to students who aged during the pandemic.
“Without this bill, districts would have to rely solely on local and federal funding,” Gentile said. “This legislation is vitally important to ensure equitable access to these critical compensatory special education services to mitigate the damage suffered by students who turn 22 during the pandemic.”