HB 235: "An Act relating to educational programs and services for children with disabilities and other exceptional children and to persons with a handicap; and providing for an effective date."
00HOUSE BILL NO. 235 01 "An Act relating to educational programs and services for children with 02 disabilities and other exceptional children and to persons with a handicap; and 03 providing for an effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 14.30.180 is amended to read: 06 Sec. 14.30.180. PURPOSE. It is the purpose of AS 14.30.180 - 14.30.350 to 07 (1) provide an appropriate public education for exceptional 08 children in the state who are at least three years of age but less than 22 years of age; 09 (2) allow procedures and actions necessary to comply with the 10 requirements of federal law, including 20 U.S.C. 1400 - 1485 (Individuals with 11 Disabilities Education Act). 12 * Sec. 2. AS 14.30.191(a) is amended to read: 13 (a) A school district shall obtain the consent of the child's parent [OR 14 GUARDIAN] before an initial evaluation or placement in a program of special
01 education and related services. 02 * Sec. 3. AS 14.30.191(b) is amended to read: 03 (b) After initial placement in a program of special education and related 04 services and not less than once every three years for as long as the child is assigned 05 to the program, a [AN EXCEPTIONAL] child with disabilities shall receive an 06 educational evaluation for the identification and classification of [EXCEPTIONAL] 07 children with disabilities. 08 * Sec. 4. AS 14.30.191(c) is amended to read: 09 (c) Before a school district initiates or refuses a change in a child's placement 10 or program, the district shall notify the child's parent [OR GUARDIAN]. 11 * Sec. 5. AS 14.30.191(d) is amended to read: 12 (d) Upon completion of the evaluation and before placement, the school 13 district shall provide to the parent [OR GUARDIAN] of each exceptional child an 14 opportunity for consultation about the evaluation. A consultation must be available 15 after each reevaluation of the condition and placement of the exceptional child. 16 * Sec. 6. AS 14.30.191(e) is amended to read: 17 (e) A parent may obtain an independent educational evaluation at the expense 18 of the school district if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the school 19 district. [THE SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY INITIATE A HEARING TO SHOW 20 THAT ITS EVALUATION IS APPROPRIATE.] If, as a result of a hearing under 21 AS 14.30.193(c), the hearing officer determines that the school district's evaluation 22 is appropriate, the school district may not be required to pay for the independent 23 educational evaluation. 24 * Sec. 7. AS 14.30.191(f) is amended to read: 25 (f) If the parent [OR GUARDIAN] obtains an independent educational 26 evaluation at private expense, the results of the evaluation 27 (1) must be considered by the school district in a decision made with 28 respect to the provision of an appropriate public education to the child; 29 (2) may be presented as evidence at a hearing regarding the child. 30 * Sec. 8. AS 14.30 is amended by adding a new section to read: 31 Sec. 14.30.193. SCHOOL DISTRICT HEARINGS. (a) If a parent refuses to
01 consent, or does not respond promptly to the school district's request for consent, 02 under AS 14.30.191(a) or 14.30.285(f), the school district may appoint an impartial 03 hearing officer to conduct a hearing to determine whether the school district may 04 initiate the evaluation or placement of the child, or transfer the child. 05 (b) If a parent disagrees with the school district's intended placement of a 06 child or program for a child, the parent may request a hearing. If a hearing is 07 requested under this subsection, the school district shall appoint an impartial hearing 08 officer to conduct the hearing. 09 (c) If a parent wishes to obtain an independent educational evaluation at the 10 expense of the school district under AS 14.30.191(e), the school district may appoint 11 an impartial hearing officer to conduct a hearing to determine whether the school 12 district's evaluation is appropriate. 13 (d) If, after a hearing under (a) or (b) of this section, the hearing officer 14 determines that the school district's intended action is in accordance with law and is 15 in the child's best interest, the hearing officer shall approve that action. 16 (e) A hearing officer's decision under this section is final and binding on the 17 school district and the parent, unless appealed under (f) of this section. 18 (f) A parent or a school district may appeal a hearing officer's decision under 19 this section to the department by requesting an appeal hearing under AS 14.30.195. 20 The appeal hearing request must be in writing and must be received by the department 21 within 30 days after receipt of the relevant hearing officer's decision. 22 * Sec. 9. AS 14.30.195(a) is amended to read: 23 (a) The department shall, by regulation, provide for administrative appeal 24 hearings, based on the record, of impartial hearing officers' decisions under 25 AS 14.30.193. An administrative appeal hearing shall comply with all 26 requirements necessary for participation in federal grant-in-aid programs, 27 including 20 U.S.C. 1400 - 1485 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) [TO 28 BE CONDUCTED UNDER AS 14.30.180 - 14.30.350]. 29 * Sec. 10. AS 14.30.195 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 30 (c) After an appeal hearing under this section, the department shall render its 31 decision affirming, reversing, modifying, or remanding the hearing officer's decision
01 under AS 14.30.193. 02 (d) A parent or the school district may appeal to the superior court for review 03 of the department's decision on appeal under (c) of this section. 04 * Sec. 11. AS 14.30 is amended by adding a new section to read: 05 Sec. 14.30.235. WITHDRAWAL OF CONSENT. If under a provision of this 06 chapter the consent of the parent is required, the parent may withdraw the parent's 07 consent. 08 * Sec. 12. AS 14.30.272 is amended to read: 09 Sec. 14.30.272. PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS. A school district shall 10 inform the parent [OR GUARDIAN] of an exceptional child of the right to review the 11 child's educational record, to review evaluation tests and procedures, to refuse to 12 permit evaluation or a change in the child's educational placement, to be informed of 13 the results of evaluation, to obtain an independent evaluation, to request an impartial 14 hearing, to appeal a hearing officer's decision, and to give consent or deny access 15 to others to the child's educational record. 16 * Sec. 13. AS 14.40.272 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 17 (b) The department shall establish, by regulation, impartial procedures for a 18 school district to follow for hearings under AS 14.30.193 to comply with requirements 19 necessary to participate in federal grant-in-aid programs, including 20 U.S.C. 1400 - 20 1485 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). 21 * Sec. 14. AS 14.30.278(b) is amended to read: 22 (b) Each meeting concerning an exceptional child must include 23 (1) a representative of the school district, other than the child's teacher, 24 who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education; 25 (2) the child's teacher; 26 (3) at least one of the child's parents [OR GUARDIANS]; 27 (4) the child, when appropriate; 28 (5) other individuals selected by the parent [, GUARDIAN,] or school 29 district. 30 * Sec. 15. AS 14.30.285(f) is amended to read: 31 (f) A school district shall obtain the consent of the child's parent before
01 a child may [NOT] be transferred to a school outside the district in which the child 02 resides [WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN]. 03 * Sec. 16. AS 14.30.285(g) is amended to read: 04 (g) The withholding of consent by a parent [OR GUARDIAN] or departmental 05 approval for the transfer of an exceptional child under this section does not relieve a 06 school district of the obligation to provide special education and related services to an 07 exceptional child under AS 14.30.186. 08 * Sec. 17. AS 14.30.340 is repealed and reenacted to read: 09 Sec. 14.30.340. PROVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION IN A PRIVATE 10 SCHOOL, HOME, OR HOSPITAL SETTING. (a) If a parent of a child with 11 disabilities enrolls the child in a private school at the parent's expense or teaches the 12 child at home, the school district in which the child is located shall make special 13 education and related services available in conformance with an individualized 14 education program under AS 14.30.278. 15 (b) If a physician certifies in writing that, and if the child's individualized 16 education program team then determines that, a child's bodily, mental, or emotional 17 condition does not permit attendance at a school, the school district in which the child 18 is located shall enroll the child in public school and provide the child with special 19 education and related services in conformance with an individualized education 20 program under AS 14.30.278 at the child's home or at a medical treatment facility. 21 * Sec. 18. AS 14.30.347 is amended to read: 22 Sec. 14.30.347. TRANSPORTATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN. 23 When transportation is required to be provided as related services, exceptional children 24 shall be carried with other children, except when the nature of their physical or mental 25 disabilities [HANDICAPS] is such that it is in the best interest of the exceptional 26 children, as determined by the school district, that they be transported separately. State 27 reimbursement for transportation of exceptional children shall be as provided for 28 transportation of all other pupils except that eligibility for reimbursement is not subject 29 to restriction based on the minimum distance between the school and the residence of 30 the exceptional child. 31 * Sec. 19. AS 14.30.350(2) is amended to read:
01 (2) "consent" means [IS ONLY OBTAINED IF] the parent [OR 02 GUARDIAN] has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity or the 03 release of records for which [OBJECT OF THE] consent is sought and the parent 04 understands and voluntarily agrees to the activity or release of records; 05 * Sec. 20. AS 14.30.350(3) is repealed and reenacted to read: 06 (3) "exceptional children" means children with disabilities, and gifted 07 children, who differ markedly from their peers to the degree that special facilities, 08 equipment, or methods are required to make their educational program effective; 09 * Sec. 21. AS 14.30.350(4) is amended to read: 10 (4) "related services" means transportation and developmental, 11 corrective, and other supportive services required to assist children with disabilities 12 [A HANDICAPPED] or gifted children [CHILD] to benefit from special education 13 and includes but is not limited to speech pathology and audiology, psychological 14 services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, counseling services including 15 rehabilitation counseling, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes; 16 the term also includes school health services, school social work services, and parent 17 counseling and training; 18 * Sec. 22. AS 14.30.350(5) is amended to read: 19 (5) "special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost 20 to the parent, to meet the unique needs of exceptional children [A HANDICAPPED 21 CHILD], including classroom instruction, instruction in physical education, home 22 instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions; the term includes speech 23 pathology, or any other related service, if the service consists of specially designed 24 instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of exceptional children 25 [A HANDICAPPED CHILD], and is considered special education rather than a related 26 service under state standards; the term also includes vocational education if it consists 27 of specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs 28 of exceptional children [A HANDICAPPED CHILD]; in this paragraph 29 (A) "at no cost" means that all specially designed instruction is 30 provided without charge but does not preclude incidental fees that are normally 31 charged to nonexceptional [NONHANDICAPPED] students or their parents
01 as a part of the regular education program; 02 (B) "physical education" means the development of physical and 03 motor fitness, fundamental motor skills and patterns, skills in aquatics, dance, 04 and individual and group games, and sports (including intramural and lifetime 05 sports); the term includes special physical education, adapted physical 06 education, movement education, and motor development; 07 (C) "vocational education" means organized educational 08 programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or 09 unpaid employment, or for additional preparation for a career requiring other 10 than a baccalaureate or advanced degree; 11 * Sec. 23. AS 14.30.350 is amended by adding new paragraphs to read: 12 (7) "children with disabilities" means children with mental retardation; 13 hearing impairments, including deafness; speech or language impairments; visual 14 impairments, including blindness; serious emotional disturbance; orthopedic 15 impairments; autism; traumatic brain injury; other health impairments; specific learning 16 disabilities; or preschool developmental delays; 17 (8) "educational records" means those files, documents, records, and 18 other material that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained 19 by a school district or a person acting for a school district; the term "educational 20 records" does not include the personnel records of the school district, maintained in the 21 normal course of business, that relate exclusively to a person's capacity as an 22 employee, or other records as designated by the department in regulation; 23 (9) "gifted children" means children who exhibit outstanding intellect, 24 ability, or creative talent as determined under regulations adopted by the department; 25 (10) "individualized education program team" means a group of people 26 that translates child assessment information regarding a child into a practical plan for 27 specially designed instruction and delivery of services for the child, and includes the 28 following: 29 (A) a representative of the school district, other than the child's 30 teacher, who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special 31 education;
01 (B) the child's teacher; 02 (C) the child's parent; 03 (D) the child, if appropriate; 04 (E) other individuals, at the discretion of the child's parent or 05 the school district; 06 (11) "parent" includes a guardian, a person acting as a parent of a child, 07 and a surrogate parent appointed under AS 14.30.325. 08 * Sec. 24. This Act takes effect June 30, 1993.