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HB22-1294

Special Education Services In Charter Schools

Concerning additional pathways to provide special education services to children with disabilities in charter schools, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2022 Regular Session
Subject:
Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill Summary

The act allows a district charter school or an institute charter school, upon approval of the authorizing school district board of education or the state charter school institute (CSI), respectively, to develop and administer an enrollment preference plan to give enrollment preference to children with disabilities. In exercising the enrollment preference plan for children with disabilities, a district charter school and an institute charter school shall ensure compliance with the obligation to provide a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment pursuant to the federal "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act". A district charter school or an institute charter school may allow parents to voluntarily provide information regarding the existence of a child's disability.

The act allows the department of education (department) to designate a charter school network or charter school collaborative that meets specified criteria as an administrative unit for the purpose of providing special education services to children with disabilities. If the department designates a charter school network or charter school collaborative as an administrative unit, a district charter school or institute charter school that is within the charter school network or is participating in the charter school collaborative is required to amend its district charter contract or institute charter contract, respectively, to reflect that the district charter school or institute charter school is participating in the administrative unit of the charter school network or charter school collaborative.

If the parents of a child with a disability remove the child from enrollment in the alternative administrative unit in which a district charter school or institute charter school participates after the annual count date to determine state funding for children with disabilities, that alternative administrative unit continues to be deemed the child's administrative unit of residence for the remainder of the school year and may be required to pay the tuition charge for excess costs to the administrative unit of attendance that enrolls the child for the remainder of the school year. The act further clarifies provisions concerning the payment of tuition for excess costs when a child with a disability is enrolled in a district charter school or institute charter school that participates in an alternative administrative unit that is a charter school network or charter school collaborative.

The act further clarifies that if a child with a disability who is enrolled in an alternative administrative unit is placed by an IEP team in an approved facility school or other private setting for special education purpose, the child continues to be enrolled in the alternative administrative unit until certain circumstances occur.

The act allows a district charter school or an institute charter school, upon the department's approval of the administrative unit of a charter school network or charter school collaborative, to enter into an agreement to participate in the existing alternative administrative unit. After the department approves an application for the reorganization of the administrative unit to include the district charter school, the district charter school is required to amend its district charter contract to reflect that the district charter school is participating in the existing alternative administrative unit of the charter school network or charter school collaborative. The institute charter school is required to amend its institute charter contract to reflect that the institute charter school is participating in the existing alternative administrative unit of the charter school network or charter school collaborative.

The act allows a district charter school, upon approval of the CSI, to enter into an agreement with the CSI to participate in the CSI's administrative unit. After the department approves an application for the reorganization of the CSI's administrative unit to include the district charter school, the district charter school is required to amend its charter contract to reflect that it is participating in the CSI's administrative unit.

The act clarifies that a school district or the CSI shall not require a district charter school or an institute charter school, respectively, to participate in an alternative administrative unit as a condition of approval of its application or approval or renewal of its contract with the school district or the CSI.

The act specifies that a charter school collaborative may provide special education and related services to participating schools as authorized by the contract creating the charter school collaborative. Participating charter schools of the charter school collaborative shall share costs and financial support for special education and related services.

The act clarifies that a district charter school is not required to pay its authorizing school district for federally required educational services that are not available to the district charter school.

The act appropriates $375,000 from the general fund to the department for use by the CSI to distribute to eligible institute charter schools.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

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