SEC. 37-23-69. Determination and payment of financial assistance; application of funds by receiving institutions.
The State Department of Education shall have the power to determine and pay the amount of the financial assistance to be made available to each applicant, and to see that all applicants and the programs for them meet the requirements of the program for exceptional children. No financial assistance shall exceed the obligation actually incurred by the applicant for tuition and fees. Within the amount of available state funds appropriated for such purpose, each such applicant may receive assistance according to the following allowances:
(a) If the applicant chooses to attend a private school, a parochial school or a speech, hearing and/or language clinic having an appropriate program for the applicant, and if the school or clinic meets federal and state regulations, then the tuition reimbursement will be one hundred percent (100%) of the first Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) in tuition charged by the school or clinic; or, if the applicant is under six (6) years of age, and no program appropriate for the child exists in the public schools of his domicile, then the reimbursement shall be one hundred percent (100%) of the first Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) in tuition charged by the school or clinic, and fifty percent (50%) of the next Eight Hundred Dollars ($800.00) in tuition charged by the school or clinic;
(b) A public school district shall be reimbursed for the educational costs of an applicant up to a maximum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) if the following conditions are met: (i) an applicant in the age range six (6) through twenty (20) requests the public school district where he resides to provide an education for him and the nature of the applicant's educational problem is such that, according to best educational practices, it cannot be met in the public school district where the child resides; (ii) the public school district decides to provide the applicant a free appropriate education by placing him in a private school, a parochial school or a speech, hearing and/or language clinic having an appropriate program for the applicant; and (iii) the program meets federal and state regulations. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent two (2) or more public school districts from forming a cooperative to meet the needs of low incidence exceptional children, nor shall the public school be relieved of its responsibility to provide an education for all children.
If an exceptional child, as defined in Section 37-23-3, is placed in a therapeutic or other group home licensed or approved by the state which has no educational program associated with it, the local school district in which the home is located shall offer an appropriate educational program to that child.
At any time that the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Committee in the district where the home is located determines that an exceptional child, as defined in Section 37-23-3, residing in that home can no longer be provided a free appropriate public education in that school district, and the State Department of Education agrees with that decision, then the State Department of Education shall recommend to the Department of Human Services placement of the child by the Department of Human Services, which shall take appropriate action. The placement of the exceptional child in the facility shall be at no cost to the local school district. Funds available under Sections 37-19-1 through 37-19-53 and Sections 37-23-61 through 37-23-77, as well as any available federal funds, may be used to provide the costs of the placement. If the exceptional child is under the guardianship of the Department of Human Services or another state agency, the State Department of Education shall pay only for the educational costs of that placement, and the other agency shall be responsible for the room, board and any other costs. The special education and related services provided to the child shall be in compliance with State Department of Education and any related federal regulations. The State Board of Education may promulgate regulations that are necessary to implement this section; and
(c) If an appropriate local or regional system of care, including a free appropriate public education, is available for exceptional children who are currently being served in out-of-district or Department of Human Services placements pursuant to Section 37-23-69 (b) or 37-23-77, then the state funds from the State Department of Education which would have been used for those placements may be paid into a pool of funds with funds from other state agencies to be used for the implementation of the individualized plans of care for those children. If there are sufficient funds to serve additional exceptional children because of cost savings as a result of serving these students at home and/or matching the pooled funds with federal dollars, the funds may be used to implement individualized plans of care for those additional exception children. Each local or regional provider of services included in the individualized plans of care shall comply with all appropriate state and federal regulations. The State Board of Education may promulgate regulations that are necessary to implement this section.
The State Department of Education may also provide for the payment of such financial assistance in installments and for proration of such financial assistance in the case of children attending a school or clinic for less than a full school session and, in the event that available funds are insufficient, may allocate the available funds among the qualified applicants and local school districts by reducing the maximum assistance provided for herein.
Any monies provided an applicant under Sections 37-23-61 through 37-23-75 shall be applied by the receiving educational institution as a reduction in the amount of the tuition paid by the applicant, and the total tuition paid by the applicant shall not exceed the total tuition paid by any other child in similar circumstances enrolled in the same program in that institution. However, this limitation shall not prohibit the waiving of all or part of the tuition for a limited number of children based upon demonstrated financial need, and the State Department of Education may adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations to carry out the intent of these provisions.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 6631-52; Laws, 1971, ch. 304, Sec. 2; 1973, ch. 329, Sec. 1; 1975, ch. 487, Sec. 2; 1978, ch. 461, Sec. 9; 1983, ch. 529, Sec. 3; 1993, ch. 602, Sec. 9; 1994, ch. 419, Sec. 1, eff from and after July 1, 1994