SB 1821 (Sen. Koehler) COVID-19 Learning Recovery for Students with Significant Disabilities in Transition Programs

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Purpose: SB 1821 addresses the needs of students with
significant disabilities whose in-person services were interrupted by COVID-19 and then aged out of eligibility: These young people may re-enroll with their local school district to complete their transition experiences in the school year 2021-2022. Students who do not choose this option retain their procedural rights to apply for compensatory services. SB 1821 Provisions:
  • Applies only to students who were enrolled in school up to their 22nd birthday—primarily students with intellectual or developmental disabilities—but turned 22 during the pandemic. These are the young adults whose transition training matters most for their adult life, but their educations were abruptly cut short due to COVID-19 before they developed essential skills or a plan for moving forward.
  • Gives students (or their guardians) the option of re-enrolling with the local school district to complete their transition experiences in the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Participation is completely voluntary.
  • The costs of providing these COVID-19 recovery transition services may be funded through available federal COVID-19 relief education funds (over $8 billion) allocated to the State of Illinois.
  • It does not take away any of the procedural rights that students already have if they choose not to opt into the continuation of services.
  • Students who opt into this additional transition year waive any claims for compensatory services due to events that occurred between March 17, 2020 and the resumption of services in the 2021-2022 school year. SB
1821 Amendment #1:
  • Adds a reference to the available use of federal COVID funds.
  • Revises the Notification Form to make it user-friendly.
Students who aged out during the pandemic win because they have the opportunity to complete their education. They can do so without hiring an attorney or engaging in dispute resolution with their school district. School districts win, because they can utilize federal money that has been specifically allocated for learning recovery. They can implement programming that is already in place while avoiding the logistical and legal challenges of creating individual compensatory service plans for every eligible student.
For more information contact:
Barb Cohen @ 312.605.1948, or Chris Yun @ 312.640.2134,