States To Allow All High School Seniors To Celebrate
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 5, 2006
HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA & BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS--There's good news this week for students with disabilities in Pennsylvania.
Governor Ed Rendell signed "Ashley's Law" Monday allowing all special education students in the state to participate in graduation ceremonies at the end of 12th grade, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Under the measure, which passed unanimously in both the state Senate and House, such students will be able to receive what amounts to a certificate of completion rather than a diploma. They would then be able to continue to receive special education services through age 21.
One senior to benefit from the new law is Ashley Brubaker, for whom the new law is named. Her mother, Deb, personally advocated for a change in the law after officials at Selinsgrove Area School District informed her that Ashley -- who has cerebral palsy, autism, anxiety disorder, and speech problems -- would not be able to participate in commencement ceremonies.
In Massachusetts, a state representative announced that the House has unanimously passed a measure that would allow special education students in the state to participate in graduation whether or not they have passed the mandatory Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam.
"Law opens graduation ceremonies to special ed students" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"Exemptions for special education students passed" (Winchester Star)