Substitute House Bill No. 5316

Public Act No. 00-48

An Act Concerning Special Education.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 10-66ee of the general statutes, as amended by section 6 of public act 99-289, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) (1) The state shall, annually, pay in accordance with this subsection, to the fiscal authority for a state charter school, an amount equal to one hundred ten and three-tenths per cent of the foundation level pursuant to subdivision (9) of section 10-262f, as amended, for each student enrolled in such school. Such payments shall be made as follows: Twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than July fifteenth and September fifteenth based on estimated student enrolment on May first, and twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than January fifteenth and the remaining amount not later than April fifteenth, each based on student enrolment on October first. (2) In the case of a student identified as requiring special education, the school district in which the student resides shall: (A) Hold the planning and placement team meeting for such student and shall invite representatives from the charter school to participate in such meeting; and (B) pay the state charter school, on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the difference between the reasonable cost of educating such student and the sum of the amount received by the state charter school for such student pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and amounts received from other state, federal, local or private sources calculated on a per pupil basis. Such school district shall be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to section 10-76g. The charter school a student requiring special education attends shall be responsible for ensuring that such student receives the services mandated by the student's individualized education program whether such services are provided by the charter school or by the school district in which the student resides.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (9) of section 10-76a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(9) "Related services" means [services to a child recommended by the planning and placement team which may include the following services: School psychological, school health, language, speech and hearing, guidance and counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, social work, transportation, physical and occupational therapy, translation, parent counseling and training in understanding the educational needs of the child and medical services, provided such medical services are for diagnostic or evaluation purposes] related services, as defined in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1400 et seq., as amended from time to time.

Sec. 3. Subdivision (7) of subsection (a) of section 10-76d of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 99-279, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[(7) An individual plan shall be developed for the transition of a child from school to another program or community setting which shall include a statement of the needed transition services for a child requiring special education. Such plan shall be developed not later than at the annual review of the prescribed educational program next following such child's fifteenth birthday and shall be included as part of such prescribed educational program. Transition services may be included as part of such program prior to the child's fifteenth birthday. Such statement shall identify, where appropriate, interagency responsibilities before the child leaves the school setting. If a participating agency, other than an educational agency, fails to provide agreed upon services, the planning and placement team shall reconvene to revise the individualized education program and identify alternate strategies to meet the transition objectives.]

(7) The planning and placement team shall develop and update annually a statement of transition service needs under the applicable components of a student's individualized education program for each student with a disability, beginning at age fourteen, or younger if deemed appropriate by the team. Such statement shall focus on the student's courses of study such as participation in advanced placement courses or a vocational education program. The planning and placement team shall include in the statement for each such student beginning at age sixteen, or younger if deemed appropriate by the team, a provision detailing the transition services needed by the student including, if appropriate, a statement of interagency responsibilities.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of section 10-76h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) Both parties shall participate in a prehearing conference, at least ten days prior to the date the hearing is scheduled to commence, to resolve the issues in dispute, if possible and narrow the scope of the issues. Each party to the hearing shall disclose, not later than five business days prior to the date the hearing commences, (A) documentary evidence such party plans to present at the hearing and a list of witnesses such party plans to call at the hearing, and (B) all completed evaluations and recommendations based on the offering party's evaluations that the party intends to use at the hearing. Except for good cause shown, the hearing officer shall limit each party to such documentary evidence and witnesses as were properly disclosed and are relevant to the issues in dispute. A hearing officer may bar any party who fails to comply with the requirements concerning disclosure of evaluations and recommendations from introducing any undisclosed evaluation or recommendation at the hearing without the consent of the other party.

Sec. 5. Subdivision (2) of section 10-94f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) "The educational decision-making process" shall include the identification, evaluation, placement, hearing, mediation and appeal procedures provided for in this chapter and the evaluation and planning procedures provided for in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended from time to time, which may be available to a child subsequent to the receipt of special education and related services pursuant to this chapter.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 10-94g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) When in the opinion of the Commissioner of Education or a designee of said commissioner, (A) a child may require special education, or a child who required special education no longer requires such education but requires or may require services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended from time to time, and (B) the parent or guardian of such child cannot be identified, the whereabouts of the parent cannot be discovered after reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been made or such child is a ward of the state, the commissioner or a designee of said commissioner shall appoint a surrogate parent who shall represent such child in the educational decision-making process. (2) A surrogate parent may also be appointed for a child who is under the supervision of the Department of Children and Families and receiving education services from Unified School District #2, provided the parent or guardian: [(1)] (A) Is notified by certified mail that the child is or may be eligible to receive special education and related services; [(2)] (B) agrees or fails to object to the appointment of a surrogate parent; [(3)] (C) receives identical notices as the surrogate parent; and [(4)] (D) may revoke the appointment of a surrogate parent at any time.

Sec. 7. Section 10-94j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Commissioner of Education shall promulgate regulations establishing procedures to: (1) Determine whether a child is in need of a surrogate parent; (2) report to the commissioner when a child may require a surrogate parent; (3) appoint, and revoke the appointment of, a surrogate parent, [and] (4) establish qualifications and training procedures necessary for any surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, as amended by this act, and (5) monitor the effectiveness of a surrogate parent.

Sec. 8. Section 10-233e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each local or regional board of education shall inform all pupils within its jurisdiction and their parents, [and] guardians and surrogate parents, if appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, as amended by this act, at least annually, of the board policies governing student conduct and school discipline. Each board shall further provide an effective means of notifying the parents, [or] guardian or surrogate parent, if appointed, of any minor pupil against whom the disciplinary action authorized by the provisions of this section and sections 10-233a to 10-233d, inclusive, has been taken. Such notice shall be given within twenty-four hours of the time such pupil has been excluded.

Sec. 9. Section 10-264l of the general statutes, as amended by section 9 of public act 99-289, is amended by adding subsection (h) as follows:

(NEW) (h) In the case of a student identified as requiring special education, the school district in which the student resides shall: (1) Hold the planning and placement team meeting for such student and shall invite representatives from the interdistrict magnet school to participate in such meeting; and (2) pay the interdistrict magnet school an amount equal to the difference between the reasonable cost of educating such student and the sum of the amount received by the interdistrict magnet school for such student pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and amounts received from other state, federal, local or private sources calculated on a per pupil basis. Such school district shall be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to section 10-76g. If a student requiring special education attends an interdistrict magnet school on a full-time basis, such interdistrict magnet school shall be responsible for ensuring that such student receives the services mandated by the student's individualized education program whether such services are provided by the interdistrict magnet school or by the school district in which the student resides.

Sec. 10. Subsection (d) of section 10-76d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) To meet its obligations under sections 10-76a to 10-76g, inclusive, any local or regional board of education may make agreements with another such board or subject to the consent of the parent or guardian of any child affected thereby, make agreements with any private school or with any public or private agency or institution, including a group home to provide the necessary programs or services, but no expenditures made pursuant to a contract with a private school, agency or institution for such special education shall be paid under the provisions of section 10-76g, unless (1) such contract includes a description of the educational program and other treatment the child is to receive, a statement of minimal goals and objectives which it is anticipated such child will achieve and an estimated time schedule for returning the child to the community or transferring such child to another appropriate facility, (2) subject to the provisions of this subsection, the educational needs of the child for whom such special education is being provided cannot be met by public school arrangements in the opinion of the commissioner who, before granting approval of such contract for purposes of payment, shall consider such factors as the particular needs of the child, the suitability and efficacy of the program offered by such private school, agency or institution, and the economic feasibility of comparable alternatives and (3) commencing with the 1987-1988 school year and for each school year thereafter, each such private school, agency or institution has been approved for special education by the Commissioner of Education or by the appropriate agency for facilities located out of state, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection or any regulations adopted by the State Board of Education setting placement priorities, placements pursuant to this section and payments under section 10-76g may be made pursuant to such a contract if the public arrangements are more costly than the private school, institution or agency, provided the private school, institution or agency meets the educational needs of the child and its program is suitable and efficacious. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection to the contrary, nothing in this subsection shall (A) require the removal of a child from a nonapproved facility if the child was placed there prior to July 7, 1987, pursuant to the determination of a planning and placement team that such a placement was appropriate and such placement was approved by the Commissioner of Education or (B) prohibit the placement of a child at a nonapproved facility if a planning and placement team determines prior to July 7, 1987, that the child be placed in a nonapproved facility for the 1987-1988 school year. Each child placed in a nonapproved facility as described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subdivision (3) of this subsection may continue at the facility provided the planning and placement team or hearing officer appointed pursuant to section 10-76h determines that the placement is appropriate. Expenditures incurred by any local or regional board of education to maintain children in nonapproved facilities as described in said subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall be paid pursuant to the provisions of section 10-76g. Any local or regional board of education may enter into a contract with the owners or operators of any sheltered workshop or rehabilitation center for provision of an education occupational training program for children requiring special education who are at least sixteen years of age, provided such workshop or institution shall have been approved by the [State Board of Education] appropriate state agency. Whenever any child is identified by a local or regional board of education as a child requiring special education and said board of education determines that the requirements for special education could be met by a program provided within the district or by agreement with another board of education except for the child's need for services other than educational services such as medical, psychiatric or institutional care or services, said board may meet its obligation to furnish special education for such child by paying the reasonable cost of special education instruction in a private school, hospital or other institution provided said board or the commissioner concurs that placement in such institution is necessary and proper and no state institution is available to meet such child's needs.

Sec. 11. Subdivision (4) of subsection (e) of section 10-76d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall provide regular education and special education and related services to eligible residents in facilities operated by the department who are eighteen to twenty-one years of age. In the case of a resident who requires special education, the department shall provide the requisite identification and evaluation of such resident in accordance with the provisions of this section. The department shall be financially responsible for the provision of educational services to eligible residents. The Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Children and Families and Education shall develop and implement an interagency agreement which specifies the role of each agency in ensuring the provision of appropriate education services to eligible residents in accordance with this section. The State Board of Education shall pay to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services one hundred per cent of the reasonable costs of such educational services provided to eligible residents of such facilities. Payment shall be made by the board as follows: Eighty-five per cent of the estimated cost in [September] July and the adjusted balance in May.

Sec. 12. This act shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Approved May 16, 2000