INDIANAPOLIS – On Thursday, Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 475 into law. SEA 475, authored by State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Merrillville), would require the State Board of Education to amend its rule stating that developmental delay is a disability only identifiable for students between the ages of three and five years. It would change the statute, extending the upward age cap to nine years of age.

As a freshman senator, SEA 475 is Sen. Melton’s first bill to be signed on the governor’s desk.

“I am proud to see Governor Holcomb sign this important bill into law and anticipate the positive changes it will make for our students,” Sen. Melton said.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2019, special education grants are expected to increase from $4.4 million to $7.7 million. SEA 475 classifies developmental delays as a mild and moderate disability allocating $2,300 per student. 

“By extending the age cap for developmental delay classification for students older than five years, we are providing a stronger and more sustainable education for our children,” Sen. Melton said. “Many children under the age of nine were missing out on a lot of beneficial resources because this classification was capped at such a young age.”

SEA 475 was approved unanimously in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and will go into effect June 30, 2018.