Current law allows approved facility schools (approved schools) to include day treatment centers, residential child care facilities, facilities licensed by the department of human services, or hospitals licensed by the department of public health and environment. The act creates the specialized day school as a type of approved school. The facility schools board (board) shall promulgate rules for a facility to become authorized to operate as a specialized day school.
Current law requires the board to adopt accountability measures. The act requires the board to adopt accountability and accreditation measures for approved schools. Beginning December 1, 2026, the state board of education shall begin accrediting approved schools based on recommendations of the board. The act requires the board to create an accreditation outcome report for each approved school. The office of facility schools (office) must publish the reports annually.
The act requires the department of education (department), department of human services, the department of health care policy and financing, and the department of public health and environment to collaborate and create an interagency resource guide to provide assistance to facilities that are pursuing licensing or authorization to operate as an approved school. The act requires the state agencies to identify and recommend legislation and changes to each department's respective rules and administrative processes to facilitate licensing, authorization, and approval processes for facilities seeking to operate as approved schools.
The act creates the shared operational services grant program (grant program) to award grants to eligible applicants to contract for 2 years with an organization that coordinates shared operational services. An approved school in conjunction with one or more schools may apply to the grant program for a grant to procure shared operational services that support schools, such as food services, janitorial services, shared office spaces, billing, technical assistance on medicaid services, technology, security, transportation, or purchasing. An organization that provides or coordinates services for approved schools or an agency that oversees approved schools may also apply to the grant program.
The act creates the technical assistance center (center) in the office to provide technical assistance support to school districts and related administrative units, with a priority to serve rural and remote school districts and related administrative units. Beginning in the 2023-24 budget year, the center is required to assess the needs of school districts and related administrative units. Beginning in the 2024-25 budget year, the center shall provide technical assistance support to school districts and related administrative units and prioritize service to rural and remote school districts.
The act creates additional responsibilities for the facility school work group (work group). The work group shall monitor the implementation of changes to the facility school system and educational services for students with exceptionally severe or specialized needs. The act expands work group participation to include parents, guardians, and legal custodians of students with exceptionally severe or specialized needs and therapeutic facilities for students with exceptionally severe or specialized needs that are not approved schools. The act requires the office to contract with a qualified third-party evaluator (evaluator) to evaluate and report whether the work group recommendations resulted in more effective services and better access to those services for students with exceptionally severe and specialized needs.
The act requires the department of health care policy and financing to recommend a plan to provide guidance to approved schools on the eligibility standards required to request and receive medicaid reimbursement funding for therapeutic services to the maximum extent feasible.
The act creates a new baseline funding model for approved schools. The act requires reporting on the new baseline funding model for approved schools.
For the 2023-24 state fiscal year, $18,780,654 is appropriated to the department from the state education fund to implement this act.
APPROVED by Governor April 20, 2023
EFFECTIVE April 20, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)