Relates to children with handicapping conditions attending an educational facility located outside the state: provides that upon a determination that the out-of-state facility is appropriately meeting the needs of the child, such child need not be referred to an appropriate in-state program unless the parent or guardian of such child so elects; provides that, upon reapplication for state reimbursement by the school district of which such child is a resident, no documentation shall be required to establish that there are no appropriate public or approved private facilities for instruction available within the state or that any efforts were made to obtain placement of the student in such an in-state facility.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to children with handicapping conditions attending an educational facility located outside the state
PURPOSE: This bill would reform the process by which local school districts apply to the New York State Education Department ("NYSED") for cost reimbursement for the continuation of placement of special-needs children in NYSED-approved non-public special education programs located outside the state. Under current NYSED policies and practices, local school districts and parents are required to engage in a burdensome search for an in-state transfer program in order to secure cost reimbursement, despite the determination of the district's committee on special education (with which the parents have participated and in which they agree) that the out-of-state placement has been and will continue to be successful in providing appropriate special education and related services for the upcoming school year. This bill would allow the district to implement the continuation of the placement and receive cost reimbursement without requiring the district to search for an in-state transfer school.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends Section 4407 of the Education Law to provide that if an out-of-state program, in which a child is currently placed pursuant to federal and state law, is appropriately meeting the child's needs for special education and services, then the district will not have to amply for the child to be admitted to in-state programs and refer the parents to such programs for visits and interviews in order for the district to receive cost reimbursement from the NYSED, The application for cost reimbursement, thus, will not need to include documentation showing that there are no appropriate public or approved private facilities within the state, or that any efforts were made to obtain an in-state placement.
Section 2: Sets effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: N.Y. Social Services Law § 483-d (popularly referred to as "Billy's Law") was enacted to improve monitoring of the safety of New York residents with disabilities placed in out-of-state residential programs. The principal means of accomplishing this safety monitoring objective is to require that the State agencies and departments, which placed a New York State resident in an out-of-state program, establish and maintain procedures for transferring the resident back to an in-state facility when safety concerns warrant doing so. However, problems exist in New York State's treatment of these disabled students.
The NYSED, under the guise of ostensibly complying with Billy's Law requires the search for an in-state transfer program to be undertaken not for reasons of safety, but rather as a revenue raising measure. The
NYSED,s policies and practices, moreover, conflict with the rights of parents and children to receive free appropriate public education ('TAPE") in accordance with federal and state education laws. The NYSED is, thereby, encroaching on the primary legal responsibility of local school districts to make an individualized determination of the proper disability classification of each child.
This bill will restore confidence and pride that New York State is truly committed to assisting and supporting the educational and treatment needs of our special-needs children and to allowing local school districts and the IEP team to make those placement decisions in the child's best interest.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.7618 (2012)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first day of July after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3618 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 7, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to children with handi- capping conditions attending an educational facility located outside the state THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 4407 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, UPON A DETERMINATION THAT AN EDUCATIONAL FACILITY LOCATED OUTSIDE THE STATE IS APPROPRIATELY MEETING THE NEEDS OF A CHILD WITH A HANDICAPPING CONDITION ATTENDING SUCH FACILITY PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, WHICH DETERMINATION SHALL BE MADE AS PART OF THE ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE STUDENT'S INDIVIDUAL- IZED EDUCATION PROGRAM, SUCH CHILD NEED NOT BE REFERRED TO AN APPROPRI- ATE IN-STATE PROGRAM UNLESS THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF SUCH CHILD SO ELECTS. UPON REAPPLICATION FOR STATE REIMBURSEMENT BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF WHICH SUCH CHILD IS A RESIDENT, NO DOCUMENTATION SHALL BE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH THAT THERE ARE NO APPROPRIATE PUBLIC OR APPROVED PRIVATE FACILITIES FOR INSTRUCTION AVAILABLE WITHIN THE STATE OR THAT ANY EFFORTS WERE MADE TO OBTAIN PLACEMENT OF THE STUDENT IN SUCH AN IN-STATE FACILITY. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of July after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment, and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01894-01-3