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If you have questions regarding IDEA in Connecticut, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

Changes in IDEA Eligibility

Back in 2023, the Connecticut Legislature extended the timeframe during which students are eligible to receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”). According to Public Act 23-137, students remain eligible for special education services under the IDEA:

  • Until the end of the school year in which the student turns 22; or
  • Until the student graduates from high school with a regular diploma, whichever occurs first.

CSDE Guidance

On July 14, 2023, the Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”) issued Guidance outlining considerations for school districts in light of these changes to IDEA eligibility in Connecticut:

  • School districts are not required to take action for students who were previously exited from special education due to reaching the maximum age of eligibility (the day before their 22nd birthday) or who received their regular high school diploma between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.
  • School districts must contact students and parents for whom Planning and Placement Team (“PPT”) meetings were held during the 2022–2023 school year, resulting in Individualized Education Plans (“IEPs”) that anticipated the student’s eligibility ending on their 22nd birthday during the 2023–2024 school year. These students and parents must be informed that they remain eligible for special education services until the end of the school year in which the student turns 22, and PPT meetings should be convened as needed to revise the student’s IEP.
  • For students with plans from the Department of Developmental Services (“DDS”) who turn 22 between July 1 and September 30, 2023, DDS will contact these students and families to explain the legislative change. DDS will accept these students if the adult student or parent agrees in writing to decline the student’s extended IDEA eligibility through the end of the 2023–2024 school year, with the decision documented in the student’s DDS Individual Plan.
  • School districts are obligated to implement students’ IEPs until the start date of their DDS placement and must issue prior written notices documenting any refusal by the adult student or parent to accept IDEA services offered until the end of the school year in which the student turns 22. These notices should include the date of exit from special education (the day before the student begins DDS placement).
  • If a student or parent declines the DDS placement, school districts must continue implementing the student’s IEP until the end of the school year or until the student receives a regular high school diploma.
  • Students who left high school without graduating with a regular diploma (e.g., due to discontinuation of schooling or transfer to a GED program) are still entitled to a free and appropriate public education. These students can re-enter public school and maintain eligibility for IDEA services under Public Act 23-137.
  • Through CT-SEDS, school districts must compile a summary of academic and functional performance for students exiting special education due to receiving a regular high school diploma or reaching the age of eligibility. These summaries should also include recommendations on how to support the student in achieving their postsecondary goals.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.