Students with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education until the age of 21. Compensatory education is a remedy available to students who are no longer eligible for instruction because they have either aged out of the school system or they have graduated.

Compensatory education may be awarded by an impartial hearing officer if a student's right to a free appropriate public education has been grossly violated for an extended period of time.

When compensatory education is ordered, the Department of Education must continue providing the student with a free appropriate public education after the student would have normally been ineligible for such services. Such services may include, but are not limited to, tutoring services, speech and language services or, in some cases, an additional year of schooling.