After passing unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly, a three-year extension to the New York Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on June 30, effective immediately.

First introduced and referred to the Senate Education Committee in early May, the NY IDEA extension (SB 5150/AB 7671) ensures the changes made to NYS Education Law in compliance with the 2004 federal IDEA continue to be upheld through the 2017-2018 school year.

The federal IDEA requires public schools make a free and appropriate education available to eligible disabled children, in the least restrictive environment that their individual needs allow. Additionally, appropriate Individualized Education Programs, or IEPs, are developed for each student.

Federal funding for students with disabilities is contingent upon the state meeting these conditions. Had the extension not passed, state concessions to the federal law would have ceased at the end of June and jeopardized the allocation of funds under IDEA in New York.

Diane Cahill and Brad Gerstman of Gotham Government Relations thank Senate President and Majority Leader John Flanagan for sponsoring the bill in the Senate, as well as Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Assemblyman Sean Ryan for their sponsorship in the Assembly.

“Flanagan’s hard work in the Senate and Nolan and Ryan’s efforts in the Assembly have not gone unnoticed,” said Gerstman. “They have showed their support for disabled students in the state by promoting this law that provides them with a fair education.”

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