sed seal                                                                                                 

 

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

VESID Committee

FROM:

Rebecca H. Cort  

SUBJECT:

Cost Containment Proposals Relating to Special Education Requirements

DATE:

June 3, 2010

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

Issue for Discussion

              Do the Regents support additional legislative and/or regulatory amendments that potentially may provide cost-saving mandate relief in special education?

Reason for Consideration

              Policy discussion.

Proposed Handling

              This item will come before the Committee for discussion at its June 2010 meeting.  

Background Information

             

              In April 2010, the Board of Regents discussed specific State law/regulation requirements in special education that, given the current fiscal climate for school districts, organizations representing public school districts have requested the Department consider.  At the conclusion of the April 2010 meeting, the Board of Regents requested the Department develop the following proposals for further public comment. 

 

Regulatory Amendments

 

 

Legislative Proposals

 

 

Attached is a draft of proposed revised regulatory language and more detailed conceptual legislative proposals on each of the above.   

Next Steps:

              With support of the Regents, the Department will develop proposed regulations and a legislative proposal and seek public comment on the above recommendations. 

 

Attachment


Attachment

Proposed Changes to State Regulations

Integrated Co-Teaching

Current regulations limit the total number of students with disabilities in an integrated co-teaching class to 12.  The proposed amendment would authorize a variance to the maximum number of students with disabilities to allow up to two additional students with disabilities, upon notification to the Commissioner that includes documented educational justification.  In accordance with the proposed language, the district could add one additional student with a disability through notification to the Department.  Adding a second additional student would require prior Department approval.

Draft proposed regulatory language – section 200.6(g)(1)

[  ] = language to be deleted; underlined language is language to be added

(g)         A school district may include integrated co-teaching services in its continuum of services. Integrated co-teaching services means the provision of specially designed instruction and academic instruction provided to a group of students with disabilities and nondisabled students.

(1)         The maximum number of students with disabilities receiving integrated co-teaching services in a class shall be determined in accordance with the students’ individual needs as recommended on their IEPs, provided that effective July 1, 2008, the number of students with disabilities in such classes shall not exceed 12 students.

 

 

(ii)          In the event that a school district has already enrolled one student with a disability beyond the maximum number of students with disabilities receiving integrated co-teaching services in a class, as specified in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, upon application and documented educational justification to the commissioner, approval may be granted for variance to enroll a second student in the same class for the remainder of the school year to ensure that the students receive a free appropriate public education.

 


Instructional Services to Address the Language Needs of Students with Autism

Current regulations require that instructional services be provided to each student with autism to meet the individual language needs of a student with autism for a minimum of 30 minutes daily in groups not to exceed two, or 60 minutes daily in groups not to exceed six. 

The proposed amendment would repeal the minimum daily frequency and duration for instructional services to address a student with autism's individual needs, while retaining the general requirement that the IEP of the student include instructional services to meet the individual student's language needs. While difficulty in the area of communication is a manifestation of the disability for most students with autism, not all students classified with autism (e.g., not all students with Asperger Syndrome) will need this intensity of speech and language instructional services. 

Draft proposed regulatory language- section 200.13(a)(4)

[  ] = language to be deleted; underlined language is language to be added

(4)         Instructional services shall be provided to meet the individual language needs of a student with autism [for a minimum of 30 minutes daily in groups not to exceed two, or 60 minutes daily in groups not to exceed six].

Speech and Language Related Services

Under current State regulation, a student with a disability determined to need speech and language services must receive them for a minimum of two 30-minute sessions each week. 

The proposed amendment would repeal the minimum frequency/duration requirements for speech and language related services while maintaining the maximum caseload requirement. 

Draft proposed regulatory language – section 200.4(e)(2)

[  ] = language to be deleted; underlined language is language to be added

(2)         For students with disabilities determined to need speech and language services, [such services shall be provided for a minimum of two 30-minute sessions each week and] the total caseload of such students for teachers providing such services shall not exceed 65.


Proposed Changes to State Law

Dissemination of Copies of Students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

State law requires that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, and other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of a student's IEP be given a copy of such student's IEP prior to the implementation of such program.  Proposed statutory language would repeal the requirement that every teacher and related service provider of the student be provided a copy of the student's IEP, while adding that each board of education or trustees of each school district and the board of trustees of each charter school shall ensure that a student’s IEP is accessible to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related services provider, and any other service provider who is responsible for its implementation; and each teacher and provider is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the student’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the student in accordance with the IEP.

Due Process Statute of Limitations

Currently, State law provides a two-year statute of limitations to request an impartial hearing.  Prior to 2006, the State had a one-year statute of limitations.  Proposed statutory language would amend current law to provide the right to a due process hearing to a parent or school district when the party presenting the complaint or their attorney provides a due  process complaint notice in accordance with federal law and regulations and such complaint  sets  forth an alleged violation that occurred not more than one year before the date the parent or public agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis for the complaint. In the case of a complaint seeking tuition reimbursement for the unilateral parental placement of a student in a private school, such tuition claim is presented not more than 180 days from the placement by the parent or person in parental relation in the private school. 

State-Supported Schools

Currently, State law requires the Commissioner to appoint students to State-supported schools.  The cost of the placement of such students is a cost to the State through an appropriation to the State-supported schools for tuition and maintenance.  The school district where the student resided at the time the student was placed in the State-supported school is responsible for the basic contribution deduction from State funds attributable to the district.

Proposed statutory language would repeal the authority of the Commissioner to appoint students to a State-supported school and provide that students that meet the eligibility criteria for such schools could be placed by a school district, similar to placements in approved private schools, thus eliminating unnecessary administrative procedures that were established before the federal and State laws were enacted for placement of students with disabilities.  The proposed changes to statute would also revise the funding appropriation for State-supported schools to establish cost-containment parameters for tuition rates (such as application of staffing standards, limitations on administrative costs and growth limitations) and maintenance rates (using the standards of payment system established by the Office of Children and Family Services).  Providing a two- or more year phase in period, the statutory language would require the State Comptroller to deduct the tuition rate from any State funds which become due to the school district where the student resides minus any State aid attributable to the student based on the private excess cost aid formula.  The State would continue to fund the maintenance portion of the placement through the State appropriation to the State-supported school.