A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO REVISE AND CLARIFY THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES AND TO EXEMPT CERTAIN SCHOOLS FROM CHILD CARE LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition:
Changes the short and long titles.
Deletes the provisions of the previous bill in their entirety.
Renames GS Chapter 115C, Article 9, Part 1H, as Special Education Scholarships for Children with Disabilities (was, Special Education Scholarship Grants for Children with Disabilities).
Amends GS 115C-112.5, the definitions section of Article 9, Education of Children with Disabilities, providing new terms and definitions for use in this Part, including child with a disability, disability, educational technology, related services, and special education. Amends the definition for the term eligible student, providing that it is a student under 22 years of age that meets specified criteria, including new criteria that the eligible student is a child with a disability and is eligible to attend a NC public school pursuant to GS 115C-366 (previously, the term included the criteria that the child required an Individualized Education Plan and that he /she received special education or related services on a daily basis). Makes other clarifying changes to the criteria to be an eligible student, including that the child was approved for a scholarship for the previous semester (was, received a grant for the previous semester) and deleting criteria that required the child to be eligible for enrollment in kindergarten or the first grade in a NC public school in lieu of a new requirement that the child must be identified as having a disability prior to the end of the year of initial enrollment in kindergarten or first grade.
Amends GS 115C-112.6, previously titled "Scholarship Grants," now titled "Scholarships," changing the awarding of scholarship grants to a program awarding scholarships, to be used to receive special education at a nonpublic school or a public school where tuition is required (previously, only could be used to attend a nonpublic school). Makes technical and conforming changes. Provides for notice and information about scholarships to be posted on the The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) website. Specifies and clarifies what expenses the scholarships will cover and be issued for. Also provides that the Authority is required to notify parents in writing of their eligibility to receive scholarships for costs incurred during the spring semester of the following year by December 1, and for costs incurred during the fall semester of that year by July 1. Also sets out process for scholarship reimbursements, including provisions for a preapproval process, reimbursement submissions, and the actual awarding of the scholarships. Deletes language that previously provided for limitations for receiving reimbursements and notifications requirements. Adds language providing that the Authority will annually develop a list of educational technology for which scholarships can be used and will provide recipients with that information.
Enacts GS 115C-112.6(e), public records exception, providing that scholarship applications and personal identifiable information related to students receiving scholarships are not public records. Sets out what is considered to be personal identifiable information. Effective July 29, 2013.
Amends GS 115C-112.7, Verification of eligibility, and GS 115C-112.7, Authority reporting requirements, making conforming changes.
Enacts GS 115C-112.9, Duties of State Board of Education, providing that as part of its duty the Board must monitor all local educational agencies for compliance with GS Chapter 115C, Article 9, and IDEA. Specifically, the Board must ensure that local agencies conduct evaluations requested by a child's parent or guardian in regards to suspected disabilities and to provide reevaluations to identified children with disabilities receiving scholarships, as requested.
Amends GS 110-86, providing that a nonpublic school that operates a child care facility for more than six and one-half hours per day but does not receive NC Pre-K or child care subsidy funding is not included in the definition of child care pursuant to this section.
All provisions concerning scholarships apply beginning with scholarships awarded with the 2014-15 school year.
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