Senator Gallivan applauds option for students with disabilities to earn diploma

Dec 13, 2017

The New York State Board of Regents adopted a new regulation this week that will make it easier for students with disabilities to earn a local diploma.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with a state senator who is pleased with the amendment.

New York State students with disabilities struggling with Regents exams could soon find relief.  The Board of Regents adopted a plan to change the regulation.   

“This change aligns with the goals of being college or career ready. I think it’s more realistic,” remarked State Senator Patrick Gallivan.

Inside a Buffalo classroom.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Gallivan tells WBFO News he applauds the board of Regents “recognizing” the special needs of those students.

But for those who are critical this would be a lowering of standards to graduate high school, Gallivan points out students with disabilities would still be required to demonstrate proficiencies in English Langauge Arts and Math.

“This is not a free ride – they still have to pass the course, they still have to demonstrate proficiencies. This is just simply – they’re giving an additional option to be able to demonstrate that proficiency and earn the degree that many of them have rightfully earned in the past, but were not awarded,” Gallivan stated.    

Students with disabilities would also be required to complete a minimum number of hours occupational course work or pass a work-readiness test to graduate from high school. 

There will now be a 45-day comment period prior to implementation.

"I would hope people across the state support this," Gallivan remarked.