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Murphy Signs Schooling Extension Bill for Students with Disabilities

Today Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that will offer an additional year of special education and related services to three classes of students with disabilities.

The bill S-3434, which received a bipartisan vote in the chamber, offers an extra year for state residents with developmental disabilities to explore vital work and therapy programs, before they become ineligible for them when they turn 21.

“These students would otherwise be aging out of our education system, because they will turn 21 years old during the 2020-21, 2021-22, or 2022-23 school years,” Murphy said.

Working with the Department of Education, Murphy said federal funds made available through the American Rescue Plan will be allocated to cover the cost of the extension. He estimated that the total amount could be up to $600 million.

“This is a very specific, three-school-year reaction to the pandemic and the impact that it has had on these extraordinary lives,” Murphy said. “We recognize that the pandemic has been especially hard on the roughly 8,700 students this will impact, and who may not have had the necessary skills and job training that they need for adulthood.”

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