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Sweeney Welcomes Enactment of Bill to Extend Special Education Services

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement today welcoming enactment of legislation (S-3434) he cosponsored to protect students with disabilities from “aging out” of eligibility for the education services that were lost to the pandemic:

“Enactment of this measure is a tremendous victory for advocates and families who worked tirelessly for its passage, and who fight every day to ensure their children have access to vital resources and services. The extension is a crucial lifeline to students on the brink of aging out who lost educational services to the pandemic at a critical time for them and their families. Because of COVID-19, they experienced real hardships that made it difficult for them to participate in the services and activities that will enable them to realize their potential. This measure will provide a bridge to independence so these students can regain the skill-based training that was stolen by COVID-19.

“Every student deserves a fair and equitable opportunity to a quality education, including young people with disabilities. They lost more than others when the classrooms and community programs closed their doors for most of the year. These programs and services are vital to their development. They provide the training and skills that enable them to realize their potential and live full and rewarding lives.”