Changes Proposed in New York State Special Education Laws

The New York State Education Department is pushing for legislation that would make significant changes in the state’s special education laws. The bill, A-7060 in the Assembly and S-5557 in the Senate, has been referred to the education committee.

  • Private School Students: The proposed legislation would make changes in the law that requires school districts to provide services to special needs students who attend nonpublic schools. The deadline to request such services would be moved from June 1 to April 1 for students who already have an Individualized Education Program. An Extended School Year would be available for these students, but they would not be entitled to a special class or Integrated Co-Teaching.

The bill would also make changes to membership in the Committees on Special Education. The position of school physician would be eliminated, and there would be a parent member only on request of the parent. Subcommittees would also be eliminated. Note that NYS regulations have already

  • Pre-School Evaluations: In regard to preschool, parents would no longer have the right to choose the evaluator for Preschool Special Education Evaluations. All school districts would be considered approved evaluators.
  • Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for special education due process hearings would be reduced from two years to one year, except in regard to reimbursement for private school tuition, in which case the statute of limitations would be six months from the student’s placement in the private school.
  • Transportation: Finally, CSE Composition confirmed students receiving transportation services up to a distance of 50 miles to and from a nonpublic school, to receive services similar to those available in the district of residence, would not be entitled to special education services from the district of location.

This proposed legislation will have a significant impact on the services to students with disabilities.

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