cunningham 051121SPRINGFIELD – Under current state law, students are allowed to remain in special education courses until the day they turn 22, meaning many students are forced to leave school in the middle of the academic year. State Senator Bill Cunningham advanced legislation out of the Senate Education Committee that would allow them to continue attending classes until the end of the year.

“Special education students should be allowed to finish out their final school year,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “They deserve a more natural end to their school career and a chance to say goodbye to all of their friends.”

Cunningham and State Representative Fran Hurley introduced the legislation after they were approached by the parents of a local student who thought it was unfair that their child couldn’t finish school at the same time as their peers who weren’t in the special education program.

“This is an example of government working to solve real-life problems,” Cunningham said. “I appreciate that one of the people I represent brought this issue to our attention so that we could take action to fix the problem.”

The legislation, House Bill 40, now advances to the full Senate for further consideration.