ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new New York State law will help students who received individualized education programs during the pandemic continue to receive those services. 

Learning during the pandemic has been hard for many students, especially those who receive an individualized education plan.

“Zooming in for lessons, using remote learning, that had to be tough for all students, but students with IEP’s, definitely had an even more difficult time,” stated Andy Pallotta, NYSUT President.

Senator Pete Harckham was one of the bill’s sponsors.

“I spoke to mom’s whose children, one in particular—- her son’s autistic, the lack of structure and the daily learning environment set him back both educationally and behaviorally, during the pandemic. The structure and the educational services are so important to both the stability and the growth of these unique young people,” said Harckham.

Typically, these services end when a student turns 21, but now a new law is extending them for those who turn 21 years-old during the 2021-2022 school year.

“Some of our unique learners lost a year to two years of the education that they are constitutionally guaranteed and that they so desperately deserve,” explained Harckham. “So this law simply pushes it back to the age of 23 for the next two school years.”

The law is now in effect, and will stay that way until June of 2024. The Governor signed a similar bill last year.

“This bill and the governor signing it, is just one of the positive things we can look at that as something came out of this legislative session,” stated Pallotta.

The Senator said this will help many students and their families.

“If there are several hundred in each of our districts we are looking at thousands of students who will benefit from this.”