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Students With Disabilities Can Now Receive Free Public Education in Rhode Island Until Age 22

November 01, 2018 / Linda Borg

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Rhode Island Board of Education must provide free public education to students with disabilities until they reach age 22. The appellate court’s decision vacates the U.S. District Court’s finding and leaves it to the District Court, working with the Department of Education and the plaintiffs, to develop a solution. Sonja L. Deyoe, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, said about 1,600 students are affected by this decision. The Rhode Island Department of Education said the 1st Circuit Court’s ruling calls for “Free and Appropriate Public Education” to be provided to people with disabilities until age 22. This conflicts with current state law, which states that such services are provided to age 21.