SEC. 37-23-1. Purpose of Secs. 37-23-1 through 37-23-159; design of programs and services; accountability system.
The purpose of Sections 37-23-1 through 37-23-159 is to mandate competent educational services and equipment for exceptional children in the age range three (3) through twenty (20) for whom the regular school programs are not adequate and to provide, on a permissive basis, a free appropriate public education, as a part of the state's early intervention system in accordance with regulations developed in collaboration with the agency designated as "lead agency" under Part H of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The portion of the regulations developed in collaboration with the lead agency which are necessary to implement the programs under the authority of the State Board of Education shall be presented to the State Board of Education for adoption. The mandate for three- and four-year-old exceptional children is in effect only in those years where federal funds under P.L. 99-457 are equal to or greater than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) per child. This specifically includes, but shall not be limited to, provision for day schools for the deaf and blind of an age under six (6) years, where early training is in accordance with the most advanced and best approved scientific methods of instruction, always taking into consideration the best interests of the child and his improvement at a time during which he is most susceptible of improvement. Educational programs to exceptional children under the age of three (3) years shall be eligible for minimum program funds as defined in Sections 37-23-3 and 37-19-5.
The educational programs and services provided for exceptional children in Sections 37-23-1 through 37-23-15, 37-23-31 through 37-23-35, 37-23-61 through 37-23-75 and 37-23-77 shall be designed to provide individualized appropriate special education and related services that enable a child to reach his or her appropriate and uniquely designed goals for success. The State Board of Education shall establish an accountability system for special education programs and students with disabilities. The system shall establish accountability standards for services provided to improve the educational skills designed to prepare children for life after their years in school. These standards shall be a part of the accreditation system and shall be implemented before July 1, 1996.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Secs. 6631-01, 6631-02; Laws, 1952, ch. 283, Secs. 1, 2; 1956, ch. 282; 1978, ch. 461, Sec. 1; 1991, ch. 415, Sec. 1; 1993, ch. 602, Sec. 5; 1994, ch. 477, Sec. 1; 1995, ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff from and after July 1, 1995