PDE amends policy for continued education for students receiving special education services

Steel Valley logo with interlocking S and V

On August 30, 2023, a memo was sent to all LEAs titled "Change in Age of Eligibility for Free and Appropriate Public Education" from Dr. Carole L. Clancy, Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education. The memo states that "[t]he Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is writing to communicate an important policy change that will provide continued education services to special education students. This policy change will ensure students can access Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as they are entitled under federal law.

"Effective no later than September 5, 2023, all students entitled to FAPE and all of the rights and procedural safeguards under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapter 14 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code may remain enrolled in public school until they turn 22 years of age. This includes students who turned 21 and exited during or after the 2022-2023 school term."

In order to inform families of this change, PDE will be contacting students with disabilities who turned 21 and exited school during or after the 2022-23 school term. School districts are also to reach out to these students to offer the option to re-enroll and access FAPE until their 22nd birthday. Please access the following links to obtain additional information regarding this PDE policy change: 

IDEA-B Policies and Procedure (Amended August 31, 2023)

Parent/Guardian Notice

PennLink August 30, 2023

For additional information about this policy change or to discuss your student's eligibility, please contact Renee Kozusko, Director of Pupil Services, at 412-464-3600, extension 1905.