Bill Summaries: H771 (2021)

  • Summary date: May 3 2021 - View summary

    Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to establish a grant program for local administrative units for funds from the Special State Reserve Fund (SSRF) for children with disabilities to cover extraordinary costs on an ongoing basis according to students' individualized education programs (IEPs). Clarifies that this program is separate from the grant program for costs related to emergency situations for children with disabilities in a school year. Conditions eligibility on the administrative unit demonstrating to DPI with supporting documentation that the total cost of the services equals or exceeds four times the State average per pupil expenditure for children with disabilities in the prior fiscal year, with services consistent with the student's IEP. Provides that grant funds are student-specific and follow the student for services provided within the State; requires documentation for renewal of the funds request. Requires DPI to reimburse 75% of the extraordinary costs and quarterly disburse the funds to providers on an approved list from DPI. Defines extraordinary costs, limiting the term to costs directly attributable to providing the special education services on the student's IEP, with example costs provided; excludes transportation costs, administrative costs, costs of adapting classrooms or materials that are not student-specific, or costs associated with evaluation, development of the IEP, or service coordination. Establishes requirements and restrictions for student placement in a private facility when the student is covered by grant funds, including requiring DPI to ensure that the facility is approved by DPI as adhering to relevant State and federal laws and the administrative unit maintaining liability for ensuring the student is receiving a free appropriate education in the lease restrictive environment, including conducting an annual review of the student's IEP and any interim reviews requested by the student's parent or legal guardian. Conditions grant renewals upon completion of the annual review and the student's parent or legal guardian receipt of the notice of procedural safeguards regarding educational decision making required by State and federal law. 

    Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DPI for 2021-22 to implement the grant program. Directs DPI to report to the specified NCGA committees and division by May 15, 2022. Specifies required content of the report. 

    Amends GS 115C-107.5, adding to the required content of the State Board of Education's annual report to the specified NCGA committee on Article 9's implementation, which governs the education of children with disabilities. Now requires inclusion of a summary analysis of data monitored and collected monthly by DPI on students with disabilities in each administrative unit regarding continued homebound placements, continued modified day placements, and students newly receiving and continuing to receive education services in institutionalized settings. Provides for the data to be disaggregated by gender, race, ethnicity, disability, grade level, school, and whether the student has an IEP or a section 504 plan. Allows inclusion of deidentified data for individual students regarding specified components, such as disciplinary outcomes. Requires the State Board to submit this new information beginning with the report submitted by October 15, 2022. 

    Effective July 1, 2021.