Fifth-Year Seniors With Disabilities Get Chance To Compete
Fifth-year seniors with special needs in New York will be able to compete in school sports thanks to a rule change this week spurred by one student who wanted another year on the track team.
Last year Jordan Maliken wanted to compete for a fifth season with his Amherst, N.Y. high school’s track team. But despite a federal law allowing special education students like Maliken to remain in school longer than their typically developing peers, state rules kept him from participating in a fifth year of school sports.
This week the state Board of Regents voted to loosen its regulations, allowing local superintendents to give fifth-year students with disabilities permission to participate in certain non-contact sports including track, swimming, golf, bowling and a handful of other athletics.
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The change, which goes into effect under emergency status next week, comes too late for Maliken who is currently job searching. Officials are expected to vote this fall to make the new rule permanent, reports the Buffalo (N.Y.) News.