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Substitute Senate Bill No. 245

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-146

AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION.

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

Section 1. Section 10-76a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Whenever used in sections 10-76a to 10-76j, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT:

[(a)] (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Education.

[(b)] (2) "Child" means any person under twenty-one years of age.

[(c)] (3) An "exceptional child" means a child who deviates either intellectually, physically [, socially] or emotionally so markedly from normally expected growth and development patterns that he or she is or will be unable to progress effectively in a regular school program and needs a special class, special instruction or special services.

[(d)] (4) "Special education" means specially designed instruction developed in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner, subject to approval by the State Board of Education offered at no cost to parents or guardians, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education and special classes, programs or services, including related services, designed to meet the educational needs of exceptional children.

[(e)] (5)m "Children requiring special education" includes any exceptional child who [(1) is mentally retarded, physically handicapped,] [4m(A) [0m HAS MENTAL RETARDATION, A PHYSICAL HANDICAP OR NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT OR WHO IS autistic, traumatically brain injured, [socially and emotionally maladjusted neurologically impaired,] SERIOUSLY EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED or suffering an identifiable learning disability which impedes such child's rate of development, which disability is amenable to correction or which rate of development may be improved by special education, or [(2)] (B) has extraordinary learning ability or outstanding talent in the creative arts, the development of which requires programs or services beyond the level of those ordinarily provided in regular school programs but which may be provided through special education as part of the public school program.

[(f)] (6) A ["mentally retarded child" means] "CHILD WITH MENTAL RETARDATION" IS one who [, by reason of retarded mental development, is not capable of profiting from the educational programs of the public schools established for the normal child] HAS MENTAL RETARDATION, AS DEFINED IN THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 20 USC 1400, ET SEQ., AS AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME.

[(g)] (7) A ["physically handicapped child"] "CHILD WITH A PHYSICAL HANDICAP" is one who because of some physical handicap, as defined in regulations [of] ADOPTED BY the State Board Education, requires special educational programs or services.

[(h)] (8) "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.

[(i)] (9) A ["socially and emotionally maladjusted child" or "neurologically impaired child"] "CHILD WITH A NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT" is one who [is incapable of fully profiting from the general educational programs of the public schools because of some serious social or emotional handicap or an impairment of the nervous system, respectively] HAS A NEUROLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT, as defined [by regulation] IN REGULATIONS ADOPTED by the State Board of Education. [, but who is expected to profit from special education.] (10) A CHILD WHO IS "SERIOUSLY EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED" IS ONE WHO HAS A SERIOUS EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE, AS DEFINED IN THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT, 20 USC 1400, ET SEQ., AS AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME.

[(j)] (11) "School age children" are those who have attained the age at which the town must commence to provide educational opportunities pursuant to section 10-186, AS AMENDED.

[(k)] (12) A child with an "identifiable learning disability" is one who exhibits a severe discrepancy between educational performance and measured intellectual ability and who exhibits a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in a diminished ability to listen, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.

[(l)] (13) "Extraordinary learning ability" and "outstanding creative talent" shall be defined by regulation by the commissioner, subject to the approval of the State Board of Education, after consideration by said commissioner of the opinions of appropriate specialists and of the normal range of ability and rate of progress of children in the Connecticut public schools.

[(m)] (14) "Transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to postschool activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment which may include supported employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation. The coordinated set of activities is based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests, and includes instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other postschool adult living objectives, and where appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

Sec. 2. Subdivisions (2) to (4), inclusive, of subsection (a) of section 10-76d of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-237, sections 11, 12 and 21 of public act 95-257 and section 10 of public act 95-259, are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) For any town in which the average number of children ages three to twenty-one enrolled in the Medicaid program on October first of each of the previous three years, equals or exceeds five thousand, the local or regional board of education, through the planning and placement team established in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Board of Education under this section, shall determine [whether] the [child is eligible for] CHILD'S Medicaid ENROLMENT STATUS. In determining [eligibility for] Medicaid ENROLMENT STATUS, the planning and placement team shall: (A) Inquire of the parents or guardians of each such child whether the child IS ENROLLED IN OR may be eligible for Medicaid; and (B) if the child may be eligible for Medicaid, request that the parent or guardian of the child apply for Medicaid. [Upon notification by the planning and placement team that the child is a Medicaid recipient, the] THE board of education shall submit documentation of the provision and costs of Medicaid eligible special education and related services FOR ALL STUDENTS RECEIVING SUCH SERVICES, REGARDLESS OF AN INDIVIDUAL STUDENT'S MEDICAID ENROLMENT STATUS to the commissioner OF EDUCATION OR TO THE COMMISSIONER'S AUTHORIZED AGENT at such time and in such manner as [he] THE COMMISSIONER prescribes. THE COMMISSIONER OR SUCH AGENT MAY SHARE INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM LOCAL OR REGIONAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION WITH THE STATE'S MEDICAID AGENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF (i) ASCERTAINING STUDENTS' MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY STATUS, (ii) SUBMITTING MEDICAID CLAIMS AND (iii) COMPLYING WITH STATE AND FEDERAL AUDIT REQUIREMENTS. No child shall be denied special education and related services in the event the parent or guardian refuses to apply for Medicaid. (3) Any local or regional board of education which is not required to determine Medicaid [eligibility] ENROLMENT STATUS pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection may provide for such determination in accordance with the procedures described in said subdivision (2). (4) (A) Each local and regional board of education which is required to determine Medicaid [eligibility] ENROLMENT STATUS pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection or which chooses to determine such [medical eligibility] MEDICAID ENROLMENT STATUS pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection shall (i) continue to make such determination for two consecutive fiscal years following the fiscal year in which it is required or chooses to make such determination, (ii) collect, maintain and submit the documentation required pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection for each of such fiscal years and (iii) be eligible to receive a grant as follows: For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, and each fiscal year thereafter, (I) eighty per cent of its proportional share of the estimated net Medicaid eligible payments for such fiscal year as determined by the Commissioner of Education plus (II) the difference between its proportional share of actual net Medicaid eligible payments for the prior fiscal year as determined by said commissioner and the estimated grant amount already paid for such year. (B) Payment shall be made as follows: (i) Twenty-five per cent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A)(iii)(I) in September, (ii) twenty-five per cent of such amount in December, and (iii) any balance due including the amount determined under subparagraph (A)(iii)(II) in April. (C) If the Commissioner of Education determines that there has been an overpayment in a grant, he shall calculate the amount of such overpayment and shall adjust the amount of the subsequent year's grant accordingly. If the commissioner is unable to make an adjustment for such overpayment or portion thereof, he shall request, in writing, a refund of such overpayment or portion thereof, as appropriate, and upon receipt of such request the local or regional board of education shall submit such refund. (D) For purposes of this section: (i) "Proportional share" is the amount determined by dividing the amount of Medicaid eligible special education and related services costs of a local or regional board of education by the total amount of such costs of all local and regional boards of education in the state; and (ii) "net Medicaid eligible payments" means sixty per cent of the total Medicaid eligible special education and related services payments received by the state in any year pursuant to this section.

Sec. 3. Subsections (b) and (c) of section 10-76d of the general statutes, as amended by sections 11, 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) In accordance with the regulations of the State Board of Education, each local and regional board of education shall: (1) Provide special education for school-age children requiring special education who are described in [subdivision (1) of subsection (e)] SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION (5) of section 10-76a AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT. The obligation of the school district under this subsection shall terminate when such child is graduated from high school or reaches age twenty-one, whichever occurs first; and (2) provide special education for children requiring special education who are described in [subdivision (1) of subsection (e)] SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION (5) of section 10-76a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, and who have not attained school age, but whose educational potential will be irreparably diminished without special education at an early age. The State Board of Education shall define the criteria by which each local or regional board of education shall determine whether a given child is eligible for special education pursuant to this subdivision, and such determination shall be made by the board of education when requested by a parent or guardian, or upon referral by a physician, clinic or social worker, provided the parent or guardian so permits. To meet its obligations under this subdivision, each local or regional board of education may, with the approval of the State Board of Education, make agreements with any private school, agency or institution to provide the necessary preschool special education program, provided such private facility has an existing program which adequately meets the special education needs, according to standards established by the State Board of Education, of the preschool children for whom such local or regional board of education [must] IS REQUIRED TO provide such an education and provided such district does not have such an existing program in its public schools. Such private school, agency or institution may be a facility which has not been approved by the Commissioner of Education for special education, provided such private facility [shall be] IS approved by the commissioner as an independent school or licensed by the Department of Public Health as a day care or nursery facility or be both approved and licensed.

(c) Each local or regional board of education may provide special education for children requiring it who are described by [subdivision (2) of subsection (e)] SUBPARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION (5) of section 10-76a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, and for other exceptional children for whom provision of special education is not required by law.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of section 10-76d of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-237 and section 32 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the general statutes, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1987, and each fiscal year thereafter, whenever a public agency, other than a local or regional board of education, the State Board of Education or the Superior Court acting pursuant to section 10-76h, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 8 OF THIS ACT places a child in a foster home, group home, hospital, state institution, receiving home, custodial institution or any other residential or day treatment facility, and such child requires special education, the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child would otherwise be attending school or, if no such board can be identified, the local or regional board of education of the town where the child is placed, shall provide the requisite special education and related services to such child in accordance with the provisions of this section. WITHIN ONE BUSINESS DAY OF SUCH A PLACEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, SAID DEPARTMENT SHALL ORALLY NOTIFY THE LOCAL OR REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES TO SUCH CHILD OF SUCH PLACEMENT. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTIFICATION TO SUCH BOARD OF SUCH PLACEMENT WITHIN TWO BUSINESS DAYS OF THE PLACEMENT. SUCH LOCAL OR REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL CONVENE A PLANNING AND PLACEMENT TEAM MEETING FOR SUCH CHILD WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THE PLACEMENT AND SHALL INVITE A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES TO PARTICIPATE IN SUCH MEETING. (A) The local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction such child would otherwise be attending school shall be financially responsible for the reasonable costs of such special education and related services in an amount equal to the lesser of one hundred per cent of the costs of such education or two and one-half times the average per pupil educational costs of such board of education for the prior fiscal year, determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 10-76f. The State Board of Education shall pay on a current basis, except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, any costs in excess of such local or regional board's basic contributions paid by such board of education in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision. (B) Whenever a child is placed pursuant to this subdivision, on or after July 1, 1995, by the Department of Children and Families and the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction such child would otherwise be attending school cannot be identified, the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child attended school or in whose district the child resided at the time of removal from the home by said department shall be responsible for the reasonable costs of special education and related services provided to such child, for one calendar year or until the child is committed to the state pursuant to sections 46b-129 AS AMENDEDor 46b-140 AS AMENDED or is returned to his parent or guardian, whichever is earlier. If the child remains in such placement beyond one calendar year the Department of Children and Families shall be responsible for such costs. [Within ten days after the date the Department of Children and Families places a child pursuant to this subdivision, said department shall meet with designated representatives of the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child attended school or in whose district the child resided at the time of removal from the home to review the child's individualized education plan and the services provided to the child in the community prior to such removal and to consider a placement in the town or region in which the child previously resided.] DURING THE PERIOD THE LOCAL OR REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REASONABLE COST OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES PURSUANT TO THIS SUBPARAGRAPH, THE BOARD SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH COSTS IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE LESSER OF ONE HUNDRED PER CENT OF THE COSTS OF SUCH EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES OR TWO AND ONE-HALF TIMES THE AVERAGE PER PUPIL EDUCATIONAL COSTS OF SUCH BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR, DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION (a) OF SECTION 10-76f. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL PAY ON A CURRENT BASIS, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION (3) OF THIS SUBSECTION, ANY COSTS IN EXCESS OF SUCH LOCAL OR REGIONAL BOARD'S BASIC CONTRIBUTIONS PAID BY SUCH BOARD OF EDUCATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION. The costs for services other than educational shall be paid by the state agency which placed the child. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the school districts established within the Department of Children and Families, pursuant to section 17a-37, the Department of Correction, pursuant to section 18-99a, or the Department of Mental Retardation, pursuant to section 17a-240 [4m, [0m PROVIDED IN ANY CASE IN WHICH SPECIAL EDUCATION IS BEING PROVIDED AT A PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTION, INCLUDING THE RESIDENTIAL COMPONENTS OF REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICE CENTERS, TO A CHILD FOR WHOM NO LOCAL OR REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION CAN BE FOUND RESPONSIBLE UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION, UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT #2 SHALL PROVIDE THE SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES AND BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REASONABLE COSTS OF SUCH SPECIAL EDUCATION INSTRUCTION FOR SUCH CHILDREN.

Sec. 5. Subsection (h) of section 10-76f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(h) "Net cost of special education" means the result obtained by subtracting from the expenditures made by a claimant board for special education personnel, subject to the provisions of subsection (f) of section 10-76dd, equipment, materials, tuition, transportation, rent and consultant services, (1) the total amount of any funds from other state or federal grants, private grants or special education tuition received by it in such year and used to implement special education programs approved pursuant to said sections, (2) the total amount of the costs of special education for which Medicaid payments are received by it in such year and (3) expenditures for special education provided to children requiring it who are described in [subdivision (2) of subsection (e)] SUBPARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION (5) of section 10-76a AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT.

Sec. 6. Subsection (b) of section 10-76g of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-226, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Any local or regional board of education which provides special education pursuant to the provisions of sections 10-76a to 10-76g, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT for any exceptional child described in [subdivision (1) of subsection (e)] SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION (5) of section 10-76a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT under its jurisdiction, excluding (1) children placed by a state agency for whom a board of education receives payment pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of section 10-76d, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, and (2) children who require special education, who reside on state-owned or leased property or in permanent family residences, as defined in section 17a-154, AS AMENDED and who are not the educational responsibility of the unified school districts established pursuant to sections 17a-37, 17a-240 and 18-99a, shall be financially responsible for the reasonable costs of special education instruction, as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education, in an amount equal to five times the average per pupil educational costs of such board of education for the prior fiscal year, determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 10-76f. The State Board of Education shall pay on a current basis any costs in excess of the local or regional boards' basic contribution paid by such board in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. Any amounts paid by the State Board of Education on a current basis pursuant to this subsection shall not be reimbursable in the subsequent year. Application for such grant shall be made by filing with the Department of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the commissioner, (A) annually on or before October first an estimate of the cost of providing special education pursuant to this subsection and (B) annually on or before April first of such fiscal year, a revised estimate of such costs. Payment by the state for such excess costs shall be made to the local or regional board of education as follows: One-half of the estimated cost in December and the adjusted balance in June. The amount due each town pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be paid to the treasurer of each town entitled to such aid, provided the treasurer shall treat such grant, or a portion of the grant, which relates to special education expenditures incurred in excess of such town's board of education budgeted estimate of such expenditures, as a reduction in expenditures by crediting such expenditure account, rather than town revenue.

Sec. 7. Subsection (c) of section 10-76h of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-237, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) (1) The state Department of Education shall, upon receipt of a request for a special education hearing made in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, appoint an impartial hearing officer or hearing board [, knowledgeable in the fields and areas significant to the review of the special educational needs of the child or pupil] THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL PROVIDE TRAINING TO HEARING OFFICERS IN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING PROCEDURES, INCLUDING DUE PROCESS, AND IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN. Hearing officers and members of hearing boards shall not be employees of the state Department of Education or any local or regional board of education, unified school district or public agency involved in the education or care of the child. A person who is paid to serve as a hearing officer is not deemed to be an employee of the state Department of Education. No person who participated in the previous identification, evaluation or educational placement of or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child or pupil nor any member of the board of education of the school district under review, shall be a hearing officer or a member of a hearing board. (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 days prior to the date the hearing commences, documentary evidence such party plans to present at the hearing and a list of witnesses such party plans to call 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. (3) The hearing officer or board shall hear testimony relevant to the issues in dispute offered by the party requesting the hearing and any other party directly involved, and may hear any additional testimony the hearing officer or board deems relevant. The hearing officer or board may require a complete and independent evaluation or prescription of educational programs by qualified persons, the cost of which shall be paid by the board of education or the unified school district. The hearing officer or board shall cause all formal sessions of the hearing and review to be recorded in order to provide a verbatim record.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 10-94g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) When in the opinion of the Commissioner of Education or a designee of said commissioner, a child may require special education or a child may be eligible for services pursuant to sections 10-91a to 10-91d, inclusive, AS AMENDED, and 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. A surrogate parent may also be appointed [if a parent or guardian of the child is unavailable to represent the child and the parent or guardian agrees or fails to object to the appointment after appropriate notice has been provided to the parent or guardian regarding such appointment] 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) IS NOTIFIED BY CERTIFIED MAIL THAT THE CHILD IS OR MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES; (2) AGREES OR FAILS TO OBJECT TO THE APPOINTMENT OF A SURROGATE PARENT; (3) RECEIVES IDENTICAL NOTICES AS THE SURROGATE PARENT; AND (4) MAY REVOKE THE APPOINTMENT OF A SURROGATE PARENT AT ANY TIME. In the case of a child who is or may be eligible for services pursuant to sections 10-91a to 10-91d, inclusive, AS AMENDED, the surrogate parent shall represent such child in all matters related to the provision of such services. Participating agencies and other agencies participating in the state-wide system of early intervention services pursuant to sections 10-91a to 10-91d, AS AMENDED, inclusive, may request the appointment of a surrogate parent in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Sec. 9. Subsection (i) of section 10-233d of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-304, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(i) Prior to conducting an expulsion hearing for a child requiring special education and related services described in [subdivision (1) of subsection (e)] SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION (5) of section 10-76a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, a planning and placement team shall convene to determine whether the misconduct was caused by the child's disability. If it is determined that the misconduct was caused by the child's disability, the child shall not be expelled. The planning and placement team shall reevaluate the child for the purpose of modifying the child's individualized education program to address the misconduct and to ensure the safety of other children and staff in the school. If it is determined that the misconduct was not caused by the child's disability, the child may be expelled in accordance with the provisions of this section applicable to children who do not require special education and related services. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) of this section, whenever a child requiring such special education and related services is expelled, an alternative educational opportunity, consistent with such child's educational needs shall be provided during the period of expulsion.

Sec. 10. Subsection (e) of section 10-253 of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 95-237 and sections 11, 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) (1) For purposes of this subsection: (A) "Temporary shelters" means facilities which provide emergency shelter for a specified, limited period of time, and (B) "Educational costs" means the reasonable costs of providing regular or, except as otherwise provided, special education, but in no event shall such costs exceed the average per pupil cost for regular education students or the actual cost of providing special education for special education students. (2) Children in temporary shelters shall be entitled to free school privileges from either the school district in which the shelter is located or the school district in which the child would otherwise reside, if not for the need for temporary shelter. Upon notification from the school district in which the temporary shelter is located, the school district in which the child would otherwise reside, if identified, shall either pay tuition to the school district in which the temporary shelter is located for the child to attend school in that district or shall continue to provide educational services, including transportation, to such child. If the school district where the child would otherwise reside cannot be identified, the school district in which the temporary shelter is located shall be financially responsible for the educational costs for such child, except that in the case of a child who requires special education and related services and is placed by the Department of Children and Families in a temporary shelter on or after July 1, 1995, the school district in which the child resided immediately prior to such placement OR THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES shall be responsible for the cost of such special education and related services, [in accordance with the provisions of] TO THE EXTENT SUCH BOARD OR DEPARTMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH COSTS UNDER subparagraph (B) of subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of section 10-76d, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT. If the school district where the child would otherwise reside declines to provide free school privileges, the school district where the temporary shelter is located shall provide free school privileges and may recover tuition from the school district where the child would otherwise reside. In the case of children requiring special education who have been placed in out-of-district programs by either a board of education or state agency, the school district in which the child would otherwise reside shall continue to be responsible for the child's education until such time as a new residence is established, notwithstanding the fact that the child or child's family resides in a temporary shelter.

Sec. 11. Section 10a-54 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Department of Higher Education shall establish, within available appropriations, a program at appropriate institutions within the state system of higher education, as determined by the Board of Governors of Higher Education to increase accessibility and provide support services for students with disabilities, including identifiable learning disabilities, as defined in [subsection (k)] SUBDIVISION (12) of section 10-76a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, who attend or plan to attend such institutions. The department shall encourage and within available funds provide grants to support the coordination of efforts to improve accessibility, programs and services for students with disabilities throughout public higher education and between public and independent institutions of higher education in the state.

Sec. 12. This act shall take effect from its passage except that sections 1 to 3, inclusive, 5 to 9, inclusive, and 11 shall take effect July 1, 1996.

Approved May 29, 1996. Effective as provided in section 12.

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