June 2021

It is important for parents and students to understand when the entitlement to special education ends. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that states must provide a free appropriate public education to all students with disabilities residing in the state between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive. While many states, such as Massachusetts, have interpreted this to mean that eligibility should continue until at least the student’s 22nd birthday, others, including New York, have interpreted the requirement to mean that entitlement ends when a student turns 21. New York Education Law specifies the following timeline to end eligibility for students who turn 21:
  • Students with birthdays between September 1 and June 30, age out on June 30 at the end of the school year in which the student turns 21.
  • Students with July and August birthdays retain their eligibility through the summer, aging out on August 31 of their graduation year, just beyond their 21st
  • Students with birthdays between September 1 and December 31 are entitled to an additional school year relative to those whose birthdays fall earlier in the calendar year, and do not age out until June 30 at the end of the school year of the school year they turn 21.

Consider the following examples of students with IEPs:  If Alex turns 21 on May 15, 2021, he will age out of special education on June 30, 2021. If Alanna turns 21 on August 28, 2021, she will age of special education on August 31, 2021. But Aiden who turns 21 on September 2, 2021, will not age out of special education until June 30, 2022.

Regular Diploma Ends Eligibility
Earning a regular diploma from a public or private high school will also end eligibility for special education services. In this regard, if your school district lets you know that your child is ready to graduate before 21 with a Regents or Local Diploma and you dispute this or do not believe he or she is ready, keep in mind that you do have legal remedies and the option to seek pendency in services if you file for due process before graduation. You should speak with a special education attorney as soon as possible.

Get to Know the Littman Krooks Team

Meet Nicole Garcia, Special Education Case Manager and Executive Assistant

Q: What is the best career advice you have received?
A: "Aim for the top, never settle. If you want to achieve success you have to work hard for it. Nothing is ever given to you."

Q: If you weren't working at Littman Krooks, what would you be doing?
A: Teaching or corporate attorney

Q: What hobby did you devote more time to in the last year?
A: Reading

Q: What is the ideal way to spend a Saturday?
A: At the winery with my best friend and daughter.

Q: What are you reading?
A: I’m about to start reading Peaceful on Purpose by Joel Osteen

Q: Who is your most admired historical figure?
A: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Nicole's Favorites:

  • Food: Pizza
  • Movie: Lost Boys
  • TV Show: All American
  • Vacation Destination: Mexico

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