SEC. 37-23-3. "Exceptional child" defined; pilot project in provision of language services for children with disabilities.
(1) An exceptional child shall be defined as any child as herein defined, in the age range birth through twenty (20) years of age for whose particular needs institutional care and training are not available in this state or who cannot or should not pursue regular classwork because of defective hearing, vision, speech, or because of mental retardation or other mental, emotional or physical handicaps. Such children shall be determined by competent professional persons in such disciplines as medicine, psychology, special education, speech pathology and social work and shall be considered exceptional children for the purposes of Sections 37-23-1 through 37-23-159. Such professional persons shall be approved by the State Department of Education. The mandate for the provision of educational programs to exceptional children shall only apply to the children in the age range three (3) through twenty (20). Children who are potentially in need of educational and related services must be considered for the services on an individual basis.
(2) During fiscal year 1995 and fiscal year 1996, the State Department of Education shall conduct a pilot project in one or more school districts which shall test the method of providing language services described in this subsection. For purposes of this pilot project, a child with a disability as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may not be denied language services because his measured cognitive functioning is equivalent to or lower than his measured functioning level in the language area. In order for language services to be provided for a child, the measured functioning level of the child in the language area must indicate a delay relative to the child's chronological age. Individual determination of a child's needs must take into consideration the need for development in the language area, the need for support for basic adaptive skills in language development and the extent to which the child's lack of ability in the language area may have interfered with academic achievement or development milestones. In the area of language development, a child's need for alternative or augmentative communication modes and the need for language development must be considered fundamental in making their determination of need for services.
(3) The State Department of Education shall report to the Education Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate by December 1, 1995, and December 1, 1996, on the results of the pilot project described in subsection (2) of this section. Such reports shall include, but not be limited to, the following information: the school district or districts included in the pilot project; the number and ages of the children who applied for participation and who did participate in the pilot project; an evaluation of the benefits obtained by the children who participated in the pilot project; an estimate of the number of children who would likely utilize similar services if provided on a statewide basis; and an estimate of the cost of providing such services on a statewide basis.
(4) The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations which ensure services are provided to children as such services are defined in this chapter.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 6631-02; Laws, 1952, ch. 283, Sec. 2; 1956, ch. 282; 1974, ch. 394, Sec. 1; 1978, ch. 461, Sec. 2; 1991, ch. 415, Sec. 2; 1993, ch. 602, Sec. 6; 1994, ch. 490, Sec. 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 22, 1994)