Send comments by email to:


or mail to: 

Angelica Infante-Greene, Deputy Commissioner for Instructional Support,

NYSED, 2M West

89 Washington Avenue,  Albany, NY 12234

 (518) 474-5510 

Tips for Submitting Comments:

  • Identify yourself or your agency and include contact information.
  • State why you are a stakeholder (e.g. "I am a parent of a student with disabilities" or "I am a special education teacher").
  • State that you agree or disagree with the proposal.  If you agree with some parts, but not others, state what you agree with and what you disagree with.
  • If you believe NYSED should modify the regulation, state how it should be modified (e.g. " I agree that a superintendent should be able to award a local diploma through the determination process, but only if the student has the right to object to the determination and remain eligible in school.").
  • Submit your comment ON OR BEFORE THE AUGUST 22, 2016 DEADLINE.


  • The superintendent is not required to consult with the student, parents or Committee on Special Education when making this determination.
  • The superintendent is not required to review the student's IEP or transition needs and goals.
  • Award of diploma means student is no longer eligible to continue in school.  Thus, the student cannot remain in school to try to earn a Regents diploma or CDOS Skills credential.  
  • Award of diploma means the student is no longer eligible for special education services, including services directed at skills needed for transition to employment, college and independent living.  
  • Parent and student have no right to decline or object to the diploma award.
  • Endorses lower standards and expectations for students with disabilities. 
  • Only available to students with disabilities. 
  • NYSED has provided very minimal notice to the public. 


  • Require CSE to meet and make a recommendation to the superintendent which the superintendent must consider when making a determination.

  • Require the superintendent to review the student's IEP and consider the student's transition needs and goals.

  • Permit the student to decline a local diploma based on a superintendent determination and remain in school to earn a Regents or local diploma through other pathways or a CDOS skills credential in addition to diploma.

  • Permit the student to refuse the local diploma based on superintendent's determination and remain in school to continue to receive education and special education transition services.

  • Permit the student to defer the award of a local diploma until the student reaches the age of 21 and is no longer eligible for special education services 

  • Make ALL pathways to a local diploma available to all students, regardless of disability. 

Discussion Forums

Consistent with its focus on collaboration and communication among all stakeholders, the NY Special Education Task Force offers forums where all parents, advocates, attorneys, school personnel, service providers and individuals with disabilities can discuss issues, policies, proposed changes to law and regulations impacting students with disabilities.  The goal of each discussion forum is to fully inform participants of the implications of a proposal and provide an opportunity for discussion and the exchange of ideas and perspectives.  Participants are then encouraged to comment on the proposal to the legislature or the government agency proposing the change.  The Task Force does not take a position on any proposal.


  • Creates a pathway to a high school diploma for students who have demonstrated mastery of high school content but who have been unable to pass certain regents exams.
  • An individualized assessment of the student's mastery of content is completed because superintendents must consider specific criteria when making the determination.
  • Data is collected by NYSED because superintendents must submit determinations to NYSED.
  • NYSED will monitor the forms submitted by superintendents to ensure compliance the process for awarding diplomas.

Get Involved.

Have Your Say.

Make A Difference. 

Proposed New Way to Receive Local Diploma:  

Superintendent Determination:  Benefits and Concerns

***** Public ​Comments Due August 22, 2016 *****

What is a Task Force Discussion Forum?

  • On July 6, 2016 the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) created a new process which will require school district superintendents to determine if student with a Individualized Education Program (IEP) who has passed certain Regents exams should be awarded a local diploma.  

  • The award of the diploma allows a student to graduate with a high school diploma.

  • Once the diploma is awarded a student will no longer have the right to attend school and to receive special education and services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  

  • The regulation requires all superintendent's to identify all students with IEPs who have met all other requirements for graduation except a passing score on the science, global studies and/or american history Regents exams.

  • If the student has gotten a score of 55* or higher on the math and English exams and passed the Regents course(s) in which the student received a failing grade on the regent exam, the superintendent must determine if the student should be awarded a local diploma.

  • If the superintendent determines the student is not eligible, the student must be informed that he or she has a right to remain in school through the school year in which the student turns 21 or receives a local or Regents diploma - whichever occurs first.

  • If the superintendent determines the student should receive a local diploma, the diploma is awarded and the student is no longer eligible to remain in school, earn a Regents diploma or received special education services.


  • The superintendent must certify his or her decision on a form that is submitted to NYSED.  


  • For a full description of the proposed permanent regulation and questions and answers from NYSED, click here.