Chapter 71B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 12C the following section:-
12D. Notwithstanding sections 12A to 12C, inclusive, or any general or special law to the contrary, an education authority may permit a student receiving special education under the provisions of this chapter who has reached 22 years of age to continue such education through graduation from high school if the education authority and the department of elementary and secondary education, hereinafter the department, deem it to be appropriate and in the best interests of the student and the school. The education authority shall submit a proposal to the department to continue the student’s special education past the age of 22, and shall include the reasons for continuing such special education. The department shall, within 30 days of receipt of such proposal, issue a written determination approving or denying such proposal to extend special education until graduation; provided, that the department shall approve the proposal for continuing education if the proposal sufficiently shows that continuing the student’s special education is in the best interest of the student and the school; and provided, further that the department shall provide detailed reasons for denying any such proposal and the education authority shall have an opportunity to resubmit the proposal addressing the department’s reasons. This section shall not effect a disabled person’s eligibility for continuing habilitative services pursuant to section 12C, and the development of a transitional plan under sections 12A to 12C, inclusive.
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