House passes bill sponsored by Crystal Lake state rep aimed at helping special education students hit by remote learning

Bill would allow those students who aged out during the pandemic to keep receiving services in their IEP through the 2021-22 school year

A bill, sponsored by a Crystal Lake Democrat, aimed at helping special education students whose in-person learning was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic passed the Illinois House of Representatives last month.

The bill would allow for eligible students who turned 22 between March 17, 2020, and the end of the 2021-22 school year to continue receiving educational services outline in their individualized education programs through the end of the 2021-22 school year, according to a news release from state Rep. Suzanne Ness’s office.

House Bill 2748, which was sponsored by Ness – passed out of the House unanimously and now awaits consideration in the Senate, Illinois General Assembly records show.

“COVID-19 has been tough on all students, however for special needs students and their families, it has been especially devastating,” Ness said in a statement. “These students have had limited or no opportunity to engage in the in-person activities and services required by their IEP and have been limited in achieving their transition goals. Because of this, many students not only stopped making progress, but they also began to regress, leaving parents struggling financially and emotionally to deal with the situation.”

Ness is in her first term in the Illinois House. She represents the 66th District, which stretches from Lakewood, Lake in the Hills and the northern half of Huntley in the north through Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow and West Dundee down to just north of Elgin.

Emily Coleman

Emily K. Coleman

Originally from the northwest suburbs, Emily K. Coleman is the editor for the Northwest Herald. She spent about seven years prior to that with Shaw Media, first covering the town of Dixon for Sauk Valley Media and then various communities within McHenry County from 2012 to 2016.