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NO. 157. AN ACT RELATING TO A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION SERVICES FOR ALL STUDENTS.

(H.606)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

* * * Provision of Services to all Children * * *

Sec. 1. 16 V.S.A. 11(a)(25) is amended and (27) and (28) are added to read:

(25) "Remedial" and "compensatory" services mean educational services, not including special education services, for children who require additional assistance in order to benefit from *[regular]* general classroom instruction and include education services for children at risk of school failure.

* * *

(27) "Tutorial program" means education provided to a pupil who is placed in a short-term program for evaluation and treatment purposes.

(28) "State-placed student" means

(A) a Vermont pupil who has been placed in a school district other than the district of residence of the pupil's parent, parents or guardian or in an approved residential facility by a Vermont state agency, a Vermont licensed child placement agency, a designated community mental health agency, or any other agency as defined by the commissioner, or

(B) a Vermont pupil who:

(i) is 18 years of age or older,

(ii) is living in a community residence as a result of placement by a Vermont state agency, a Vermont licensed child placement agency or a designated community mental health agency, and whose residential costs are paid for in whole or in part by one of these agencies, and

(iii) resides in a school district other than the district of the pupil’s parent or parents, or

(C) a pregnant or postpartum pupil attending school at an approved education program in a residential facility or outside the school district of residence pursuant to subsection 1073(b) of this title.

"State-placed student" does not include pupils placed within a correctional facility or inthe Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center or The Eldred School operated by the Vermont state hospital.

Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. 166(f) is added to read:

(f) An approved independent school which accepts students for whom the district of residence pays tuition under chapter 21 of this title shall bill the sending district monthly for a state-placed student and shall not bill the sending district for any month in which the state-placed student was not enrolled.

Sec. 2a. 16 V.S.A. 179 is added to read:

179. ACADEMIC DIPLOMA

(a) The state board shall develop high academic requirements for the minimum course of study. These requirements shall be achieved by a student in order to receive a state certified academic high school graduation diploma.

(b) Using the course academic achievement levels established under subsection (a) of this section the state board shall adopt by rule:

(1) Objective statewide academic examinations.

(2) Minimum test scores on such examinations necessary for awarding the state certified academic high school graduation diploma.

(3) Provision for administration of the system which may involve administration at the local, regional or statewide level, or some other means of administration.

(c) The state board shall ensure that by the beginning of school year 2000-2001 any Vermont student, including students in an approved home school program, who wishes to be assessed for a state certified academic high school graduation diploma may do so.

(d) The state board shall award a state certified academic high school graduation diploma to any student who demonstrates under subsections (a) and (b) of this section that he or she achieved a high level of academic achievement.

Sec. 3. 16 V.S.A. 828 is amended to read:

828. TUITION TO APPROVED SCHOOLS, AGE, APPEAL

A school district shall not pay the tuition of a pupil except to a public or independent school or tutorial program approved by the state board, nor shall payment of tuition on behalf of a person be denied on account of age. Unless otherwise provided, a person whois aggrieved by a decision of a school board relating to eligibility for tuition payments, the amount of tuition payable, or the school he or she may attend, may appeal to the state board and its decision shall be final.

Sec. 4. 16 V.S.A. 1073(b) is amended to read:

(b) No legal pupil, including a married, pregnant or postpartum pupil, shall be deprived of or denied the opportunity to participate in or complete an elementary and secondary public school education. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 822 and 1075 of this title, for reasons related to the pregnancy or birth, a pregnant or postpartum pupil may attend *[temporarily]* any approved public school in Vermont or an adjacent state, approved independent school in Vermont, or other educational program approved by the state board. *[During this temporary period, the school board of the pupil's]* The commissioner shall pay the educational costs for a pregnant or postpartum pupil attending a state board approved educational program in a 24-hour residential facility for up to eight months after the birth of the child. The commissioner may approve extension of payment of educational costs based on a plan for reintegration of the student into the community. The district of residence of a pupil in a 24-hour residential facility shall remain responsible for coordination of the pupil's educational program and for planning and facilitating her subsequent educational program. *[A pregnant or postpartum pupil may continue to attend such program for a period not to exceed three months after the birth of the child; however, a school board may continue to permit such temporary attendance beyond this three-month period.]*

Sec. 5. 16 V.S.A. 1075(b), (c) and (i) are amended to read:

(b) The commissioner shall determine the legal residence of all *[pupils under the care and custody of a state agency or a licensed child placement agency]* state-placed students. In all other cases, the board of school directors of the district in which the pupil is living shall determine the pupil's legal residence. If a pupil is denied enrollment at any stage, the pupil and his or her parent or guardian shall be notified in writing, within 24 hours, of the provisions of this section. If the pupil is not in attendance as a result of a preliminary decision by school officials and a decision from the board of school directors will not be available by the end of the second school day after the request for enrollment is made, thecommissioner may issue a temporary order requiring enrollment. Any interested person or taxpayer who is dissatisfied with the decision of the board as to the pupil's legal residence may appeal to the commissioner of education, who shall determine the pupil's legal residence, and the decision of the commissioner shall be final. Pending appeal under this subsection, the commissioner shall issue a temporary order requiring enrollment.

(c) A *[pupil who is under the care and custody of a state agency or a child placement agency]* state-placed student, other than one placed in a 24-hour residential facility, shall be educated by the school district in which the pupil is living, unless an alternative plan or facility for the education of the pupil is agreed upon by the commissioner of education. In the case of a dispute as to where a state-placed student is living, the commissioner shall conduct a hearing to determine which school district is responsible for educating the pupil. The commissioner’s decision shall be final.

(i) The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services shall continue to provide social services and financial support in accordance with *[16 V.S.A. 2948(e)]* 16 V.S.A.

2950 on behalf of individuals under his or her care and custody while in a residential placement, until they reach their nineteenth birthday.

Sec. 6. 16 V.S.A. 2948(f) is amended and (n) is added to read:

(f) If a student is being provided education or special education or both in a school operated by *[a state agency]* the department of corrections or the department of mental health and mental retardation, the agency shall serve the student as if the agency were the school district of residence of the student. *[If a special education student attending such a school, except for a school operated by the department of corrections, has a legal residence in Vermont, the commissioner shall bill the school district of residence for the calculated net cost per pupil as defined in section 825 of this title within the district of residence.]*

(n) If a student is being provided education or special education, or both in a school operated by the department of social and rehabilitation services, the funding and provision of services shall be the responsibility of the department of social and rehabilitation services and special education procedural responsibility shall be theresponsibility of the district of residence of the student’s parent, parents or guardian.

Sec. 7. 16 V.S.A. Part 5 is redesignated to read:

Part 5. *[Education of Students with Special Needs]*

Comprehensive System of Education Services for All Children

Sec. 8. 16 V.S.A. 2901 is amended to read:

2901.SUCCESS *[IN REGULAR CLASSROOMS]* FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE GENERAL EDUCATION ENVIRONMENT

(a) It is the policy of the state that each local school district *[design and implement]* develop and maintain, in consultation with parents, a comprehensive system of education *[services]* that will result, to the *[maximum]* extent *[possible]* appropriate, in all students succeeding in the *[regular classroom]* general education environment. *[At the building level, services should be used to avoid the inappropriate use of special education resources. A range of effective education services supported with local, state, and federal funds should be available to all students who are failing or at risk of failing academically.]* This chapter does not require that a child remain in the regular classroom if the child is disrupting the class and thereby impairing the ability of the classroom teacher to provide quality services to other pupils. This chapter does not replace or expand entitlements created by federal law, nor is it the intent of this chapter to create a higher standard for maintaining a student in the general classroom than the standard created in the following federal laws: 20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq., Individuals with Disabilities Act; 29 U.S.C. 794, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act.

(b) *[A school district has complied with this policy if it meets the following criteria:]*

*[(1) The district strictly follows all state eligibility standards for special education.]*

*[(2) The district provides essential early education services to all eligible children from the age of three.]*

*[(3) The district makes every possible effort to identify and serve children with handicaps in the early grades and to provide appropriate services before more serious problems develop.]*

*[(4) The district employs and trains regular classroom teachers who can teach children with a wide variation in learning styles and individual strengths and weaknesses.]*

*[(5) The district makes use to the greatest possible extent of instructional support resources designed and implemented in consultation with parents to accommodate children in the regular classroom, including an instructional support system in accordance with this chapter.]*

*[(6) The district has provided for on-site consultation, technical assistance, and in-service training when necessary.]*

*[(7) The district ensures that the individualized education plan for each child removed from a mainstream environment for more than 50 percent of the school day includes goals and objectives designed to reintegrate the child into a mainstream environment at the earliest appropriate opportunity.]*

(c) No individual entitlement or private right of action is created by this section.

Sec. 9. 16 V.S.A. 2902 is amended to read:

2902.*[INSTRUCTIONAL]* EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT *[SYSTEMS]* SYSTEM AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT TEAM

(a) *[By July 1, 1991]* Within each school district’s comprehensive system of educational services, each public school *[in Vermont]* shall *[have in place]* develop and maintain an *[instructional]* educational support system for *[all]* children who require additional *[classroom]* assistance in order to succeed in the general education environment. *[The instructional support system shall include:]*

*[(1) Procedures and training for instructional support teams.]*

*[(2) Teacher assistance and support services for classroom accommodations and remedial services.]*

*[(3) Screening to determine whether or not classroom accommodations and remedial services have been tried.]*

*[(4) Determination of whether any additional accommodations, such as guidance and referral services or remedial services, may appropriately meet a child's educational needs.]*

*[(5) A procedure for timely referral for evaluation for special education eligibility when warranted.]*

The educational support system shall, at a minimum, include an educational support team and a range of support and remedial services, including instructional and behavioral interventions and accommodations.

(b) The educational support system shall:

(1) Be integrated to the extent appropriate with the general education curriculum.

(2) Be designed to increase the ability of the general education system to meet the needs of all students.

(3) Be designed to provide students the support needed regardless of eligibility for categorical programs.

(4) Provide clear procedures and methods for handling a student who disrupts a class and shall include provision of educational options, support services and consultation or training for staff where appropriate. Procedures may include provision for removal of the student from the classroom for as long as appropriate, consistent with state and federal law.

(5) Ensure collaboration with families, community supports and the system of health and human services.

(c) Each educational support system shall include an educational support team which shall:

(1) Provide a procedure for timely referral for evaluation for special education eligibility when warranted.

(2) Be composed of staff from a variety of teaching and support services positions.

(3) Screen referrals to determine what classroom accommodations and remedial services have been tried.

(4) Assist teachers in planning and providing services and accommodations to students in need of classroom supports.

(5) Maintain a written record of its actions.

(d) No individual entitlement or private right of action is created by this section.

(e) The commissioner shall establish guidelines for teachers and administrators infollowing federal laws relating to provision of services for children with disabilities and the implementation of this section.

Sec. 10. 16 V.S.A. 2945(d) is amended to read:

(d) The advisory council shall:

(1) assume all responsibilities required of the state advisory panel by *[P.L. 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, and regulations issued pursuant to that act]* federal law;

(2) review periodically the regulations, standards, and guidelines pertaining to special education and recommend to the state board of education any changes which it finds necessary;

(3) comment on any new or revised regulations, standards and guidelines proposed for issuance; and

(4) advise the state board of education in the development of any state plan for provision of special education.

Sec. 11. 16 V.S.A. 2950 is added to read:

2950. STATE-PLACED STUDENTS

(a) School district reimbursement. For the costs of educating a state-placed student, the school district serving the child shall claim and the commissioner shall reimburse the allowable special education costs, other than costs for mainstream services as that term is defined by the commissioner. In addition, reimbursable costs shall include any additional costs approved by the commissioner which are incurred in educating a state-placed student not eligible for special education and are due to the special needs of the student.

(b) Residential payments.

(1) For a student in the care and custody of the commissioner of social and rehabilitation services who is placed in a 24-hour residential facility within or outside Vermont, the commissioner of education shall pay the education costs and the commissioner of social and rehabilitation services shall arrange for the payment of the remainder of the costs. However, where the state interagency team, as defined in

3 V.S.A. 32, has found such placement inappropriate for the student's education needs, the commissioner of education shall pay none of the education costs of the placement andthe commissioner of social and rehabilitation services shall arrange for the payment of the full cost of the placement.

(2) For a student who is placed in a 24-hour residential facility within or outside Vermont by a Vermont licensed child placement agency, a designated community mental health agency, any other agency as defined by the commissioner of education, or a Vermont state agency other than the department of corrections or the department of social and rehabilitation services, the commissioner of education shall pay the education costs and the agency in whose care the student is placed shall arrange for the payment of the remainder of the costs. However, where the state interagency team, as defined in

3 V.S.A. 32, has found such placement inappropriate for the student's education needs, the commissioner of education shall pay none of the education costs of the placement and the agency in whose care the student is placed shall arrange for payment of the full cost of the placement. This subdivision does not apply to a student for whom a residential placement is:

(A) specified in the student’s individualized education program, and

(B) funded in collaboration with another agency.

Sec. 12. 16 V.S.A. chapter 101, subchapter 2 is redesignated to read:

Subchapter 2. *[State]* Aid for Special Education and Support Services

Sec. 13. 16 V.S.A. 2961 is amended to read:

2961. STANDARD MAINSTREAM BLOCK GRANTS

(a) Each town school district, unified union school district and incorporated school district shall be eligible to receive a standard mainstream block grant each school year. The mainstream block grant shall be equal to the school district's mainstream salary standard multiplied by 60 percent.

(b) The *[school]* district shall expend all such assistance for special education services or for remedial or compensatory services in accordance with its service plan as required under 16 V.S.A. 2964. It shall likewise expend, from local funds, an amount not less than 40 percent of its mainstream salary standard for special education.

(c) As used in this section:

(1) "Mainstream salary standard" means

(A) the district's full-time equivalent staffing for special education for the preceding year multiplied by the average special education teacher salary in the state for the preceding year; plus

(B) its share, prorated according to average daily membership among the member districts of the supervisory union, of an amount equal to the average special education administrator salary in the state for the preceding year, plus, for any supervisory union or supervisory district with more than 1,500 average daily membership, the school district's prorated share of a fraction of an additional full-time equivalent salary for a special education administrator, the numerator of which is the average daily membership in the supervisory union or supervisory district minus 1,500, and the denominator of which is the *[maximum]* average daily membership in *[any]* the largest supervisory union or supervisory district in the state minus 1,500.

(2) "Full-time equivalent staffing" means *[the sum of the following:]*

*[(A)]* *[3.5]* 5.25 special education teaching positions per 1,000 average daily membership *[for resource room and learning specialist services;]*

*[(B) 1.75 teaching positions per 1,000 average daily membership for speech and language pathology services.]*

*[(3) "Resource room services," "learning specialist services," and "speech and language pathology services" shall be defined by rule of the state board. The state board shall define these terms without consideration of available resources]*.

Sec. 14. 16 V.S.A. 2962 is amended to read:

2962. EXTRAORDINARY SERVICES REIMBURSEMENT

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, extraordinary services reimbursement shall be payable to each town school district *[that incurs extraordinary special education expenditures in the current school year]*, unified union school district and incorporated district.

(b) The amount of extraordinary services reimbursement provided to each *[school]* district shall be equal to 90 percent of its extraordinary special education expenditures for all *[handicapped]* children with disabilities three years of age or older in the current school year.

(c) As used in this subchapter, "extraordinary special education expenditures" means *[all]* a school district’s expenditures for special education, as defined by rule of the state board, that for any one child exceed three and one-half times the foundation cost per pupil established in accordance with 16 V.S.A. 3493 for the school year in which the aid is distributed. The state board shall define allowable expenditures under this subsection *[without consideration of available resources]*. Allowable expenditures shall include any expenditures required under federal law.

*[(d) A school district or supervisory union, or a combination of such districts or unions, may apply for an advance of some or all of the funds that would be due for reimbursement under this section. The commissioner may grant such advance funding to develop and maintain appropriate educational programs to serve, within the region served by the applicants, some or all of the children with handicaps who would otherwise be served outside of the region served by the applicants. The state board by rule shall establish criteria and procedures for estimation, payment, and reconciliation of such advances.]*

Sec. 15. 16 V.S.A. 2963(c) is amended to read:

(c) As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Intensive services expenditures" mean all expenditures for special education, as defined by rule of the state board, less the following:

(A) revenue from federal aid for special education under *[Public Law 94-142, Public Law 89-313]* Public Law 101-476, or similar laws on related subjects;

(B) mainstream service costs, as defined in section 2961(c)(1) of this title; *[and]*

(C) extraordinary special education expenditures, as defined in section 2962 of this title; and

(D) other state funds used for special education costs as defined by the state board by rule.

(2) The state board shall define allowable expenditures under this subsection *[without consideration of available resources]*. Allowable expenditures shall include any expenditures required under federal law.

(3) "Intensive services reimbursement rate" means a percentage for each districtderived from that district's ratio in the preceding fiscal year of foundation aid under 16 V.S.A. 3441 to foundation cost under 16 V.S.A. 3494, and calculated as follows:

(A) each district's ratio is divided by the highest ratio for any district in the state;

(B) the resulting quotient is multiplied by 0.4; and

(C) the resulting product is adjusted by adding to it a constant that is calculated to achieve the 50 percent share required by section 2967(b) of this title. However, if the constant is calculated to be less than 0.015, then the multiplier in subdivision (B) shall be reduced in 0.01 increments until the constant 0.015 or greater.

Sec. 16. 16 V.S.A. 2964 is amended to read:

2964. SERVICE PLAN

(a) As a condition of receiving assistance under this subchapter, a supervisory union or supervisory district shall file a service plan with the commissioner annually *[with the commissioner and obtain approval of the commissioner of a service plan. The commissioner shall approve a plan if it describes a continuum of services appropriate to the needs of students in the supervisory union or supervisory district and meets other requirements established by rule of the state board.]* on or before October 15. The service plan shall contain the anticipated special education expenditures for the following school year. The plan shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall include information on services planned and anticipated expenditures.

(b) If a supervisory union or district fails to file a service plan by October 15, the commissioner may withhold any funds due the supervisory district or school districts under this title until a service plan is filed and accepted by the commissioner as properly completed.

Sec. 17. 16 V.S.A. 2967(a) is amended to read:

(a) On or before December 15, the commissioner shall publish an estimate, *[by supervisory union or supervisory district]* by town school district, unified union school district and incorporated school district, of the amount of state assistance necessary to fully fund sections 2961 through 2963 of this title in the ensuing school year.

Sec. 18. 16 V.S.A. 2968 is amended to read:

2968. REPORTS

(a) On or before November 15, March 15, and *[July 15]* August 1 of each school year, each supervisory union and supervisory district shall file a financial report with the commissioner in a form prescribed by the commissioner. The report shall describe total expenditures for special education actually incurred during the preceding period, and shall describe revenues derived from different funding sources, including but not limited to federal assistance, state assistance under this section, and local effort.

(b) *[A supervisory union or school district that files late the report required by this section shall have its payments under this subchapter delayed until such reports are filed.]* If a supervisory union or school district fails to file a complete report by August 1, until the properly completed August 1 report is filed and accepted by the commissioner, the commissioner may withhold any funds due the supervisory union or district under this title and shall subtract $100.00 per business day from funds due to the district under this title for that fiscal year. The commissioner may waive the $100.00 penalty required under this subsection upon appeal by the supervisory union or school district. The commissioner by rule shall establish procedures for administration of this subsection.

(c) The commissioner shall review and monitor the reports set forth in subsection (a) of this section as well as the service plans set forth in section 2964 of this title, and shall assist supervisory unions and school districts to complete and submit these documents in a timely and accurate fashion.

(d) Special education receipts and expenditures shall be included within the audits required of supervisory unions and school districts pursuant to sections 323 and 563(17) of this title.

Sec. 19. 16 V.S.A. 2969(c) is amended to read:

(c) *[Each]* For the purpose of meeting the needs of students with emotional behavioral problems, each fiscal year *[through fiscal year 1995,]* the commissioner shall use for training, program development, and building school and regional capacity, up to one percent of the *[total appropriation of]* state funds *[for education of children with handicaps shall be set aside for distribution to school districts, supervisory unions or anycombination thereof for]* appropriated under this subchapter.

(d) Each fiscal year the commissioner shall use for the training of teachers *[and]* , administrators and other personnel in the identification and evaluation of, and provision of education services to children who require *[classroom]* educational supports, 0.75 percent of the state funds appropriated under this subchapter. *[The]* In order to set priorities for the use of these funds, the commissioner shall *[solicit proposals on a statewide basis and shall give preference to those demonstrating the greatest need.]* *[ Applicants]* identify effective practices and areas of critical need. The commissioner may expend up to five percent of these funds for statewide training and shall distribute the remaining funds to school districts or supervisory unions. School districts and supervisory unions that apply for funds under this section must submit a plan for *[the]* training *[of all teachers and administrators, including an explanation of the ways in which the training]* which will result in lasting changes in their school *[system,]* systems and give assurances that at least 50 percent of the costs of *[the]* training including in-kind costs will be assumed by the applicant. The *[state board by rule]* commissioner shall establish written procedures and criteria for the award of such funds. In addition, the commissioner may identify schools most in need of training assistance and may pay for 100 percent of help provided to these schools.

Sec. 20. 33 V.S.A. 310 is added to read:

310. STATE-PLACED STUDENTS

To enable a school district to determine if a student is a state-placed student, as defined in 16 V.S.A. 11(a)(28), the commissioner shall immediately notify the superintendent of schools for the school district educating the student if the parent or parents of a student under the care and custody of the commissioner move from or into that school district.

Sec. 21.REPORTS; EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION PROGRAMS; CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL OR BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS

(a) By January 15, 1997, the commissioner of education and the secretary of human services shall present to the Senate and House committees on education and health and welfare a plan to coordinate funding and administration of early childhood education andintervention services.

(b) By January 15, 1997, the commissioner of education and the secretary of human services shall report to the Senate and House committees on education and health and welfare on the services they provide to children with emotional or behavioral problems and how they are attempting to integrate funding and administration of these services.

Sec. 22.CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES; CHANGE OF TERM "HANDICAPPED CHILDREN"

Wherever they appear in 16 V.S.A. Part 5, including the part and chapter titles, the following terms are amended:

(1) "Disabled and handicapped persons" is amended to read "persons with disabilities."

(2) "Handicapped child" is amended to read "child with a disability."

(3) "Handicapped children" is amended to read "children with disabilities."

(4) "Handicapped person" is amended to read "person with a disability."

(5) "Nonhandicapped children" is amended to read "children who do not have disabilities."

* * * State-Placed Students * * *

(Secs. 23 through 27 shall take effect if the Joint Fiscal Committee certifies that the General Assembly has, in fiscal year 1998, appropriated funds sufficient to pay costs incurred by state-placed students.)

Sec. 23. 16 V.S.A. 711 is amended to read:

711. APPORTIONMENT OF EXPENSES

(a) Unless the member districts shall have made a different agreement among themselves as to the division of the expense of building, maintaining and operating schools within the union school district, the expense shall be divided among them in the proportion which the student enrollment in each member district for the previous school year bears to the total number of the students for that year enrolled in all the districts together. "Student enrollment" as to any given school year, as used herein includes any student, other than a state-placed student, residing in a member district and enrolled in a public school in the union district during the course of the year in the grades which theunion district votes to construct, maintain or operate. A student enrolled for less than the full school year shall be counted fractionally in the proportion which the number of days for which he or she was enrolled bears to the total number of days on which school was in session.

(b) A union school district shall not count a state-placed student as a resident of a member district in determining the proportionate share of the budget to be paid by the member district.

Sec. 24. 16 V.S.A. 2969(b) is amended to read:

(b) Reimbursements under sections 2962 and 2963 of this title and for *[state wards under section 2948 of this title]* state-placed students under section 2950 of this title for expenditures for the final period of any fiscal year shall be paid from the available funds appropriated for that fiscal year and shall be encumbered for that purpose.

Sec. 25. 16 V.S.A. 3441(1) and (2) are amended to read:

(1) Average daily membership. The average daily membership of a school district in any year means:

(A) the *[average]* full-time equivalent enrollment of pupils who are legal residents of the district attending *[public schools, or for whom the district must reimburse the commissioner under this title,]* a school owned and operated by the district or for whom the district pays union school assessment or tuition to one or more approved independent schools or public schools outside the district during the annual census period. The census period consists of the first 40 days of the school year in which school is actually in session, and

(B) the full-time equivalent enrollment in the year between the end of the last census period and the end of the current census period, of any state-placed students as defined in subdivision 11(a)(28) of this title. The full-time equivalent enrollment of state-placed students attending a union school shall be divided among the member districts in the same proportions that the members divide assessment. A school district which provides for the education of its students by paying tuition to an approved independent school or public schools outside the district shall not count a state-placed student for whom it is paying tuition for purposes of determining average dailymembership.

(2) Long-term membership and weighted long-term membership. The long-term membership of a school district in any school year means the mean average of the district's average daily membership, excluding full-time equivalent enrollment of state-placed students, over two school years, plus full-time equivalent enrollment of state-placed students for the most recent of the two years. The weighted long-term membership of a school district in any school year means the long-term membership adjusted by the factors described in section 3491 of this title.

Sec. 26. 16 V.S.A. 3497(i) and (j) are added to read:

(i) A district which provides for the education of its students by paying tuition to an approved independent school or public schools outside the district, shall receive an amount equal to the foundation cost prorated for the percentage of annual tuition billed for a state-placed student. In this subsection, foundation cost means the amount prescribed by the general assembly under subdivision 3493(a)(1) of this title for elementary students, and that amount multiplied by 1.25 for secondary students. The commissioner shall make payments under this subsection and subsection (j) of this section from the amount appropriated under this section and shall fund the remainder of this section with the remaining funds.

(j) When the amount of a district’s foundation levy is greater than its total foundation cost, it shall receive an amount equal to the foundation cost for each full-time equivalent state-placed student in excess of one percent of the average daily membership for that year in the primary grades and an amount equal to the foundation cost for 1.25 times each full-time equivalent state-placed student in excess of one percent of the average daily membership for that year in the secondary grades. For purposes of this subsection, average daily membership shall not include state-placed students.

Sec. 27. TRANSITIONAL PROVISION

School districts shall count average daily membership in accordance with Sec. 25 of this act for school year 1995-96. However, for that school year, full-time equivalent enrollment of state-placed students shall be counted from the beginning of the census period in 1995 through the end of the census period in 1996.

* * * State-Placed Students * * *

(Secs. 28 and 29 shall take effect if the Joint Fiscal Committee does not certify that the General Assembly has, in fiscal year 1998, appropriated funds sufficient to pay costs incurred by state-placed students.)

Sec. 28. 16 V.S.A. 2950(c) is added to read:

(c) Billback. For students whose education costs are paid under this section, the commissioner shall bill in the following year the school district of the student’s residence for the calculated net cost per pupil as defined in section 825 of this title. The bill will be prorated based on the number of school days for which the student’s cost was paid. If a district fails to pay the commissioner the amount due, the commissioner shall withhold that amount from the state aid due to the school district.

Sec. 29. 16 V.S.A. 1075(d) is amended to read:

(d) For each *[pupil under the care and custody of a state agency or a licensed child placement agency]* state-placed student, the commissioner shall reimburse to the school district *[or state approved facility]* in which the child was living the calculated net cost per pupil as defined in 16 V.S.A. 825 for the second preceding school year. If the pupil has a legal residence in Vermont, the school district of that residence shall reimburse the commissioner the calculated net cost per pupil as defined in 16 V.S.A. 825 in the district where the child receives educational services during the second preceding school year. Where a child receives less than a full year of education, the maximum reimbursement shall be reduced proportionately on a daily basis over the school year as that term is defined in section 1071 of this title. Where a district fails to pay amounts due under this subsection to the commissioner, the commissioner shall so certify to the treasurer, and the treasurer shall withhold that amount from the state aid due to the school district in December.

Sec. 30. REPEAL

(a) The following are repealed on July 1, 1996:

(1) Sec. 13 of Act No. 235 of the Acts of 1988, as amended by Sec. 31(a) of Act No. 230 of the Acts of 1989 (adjourned session) relating to repeal of funding sections of state aid for special education services and Sec. 31(b) of Act No. 230 of the Acts of 1989(adjourned session) are repealed.

(2) 16 V.S.A. 1075(g) and (k), relating to state payment of special education costs for state-placed students and reimbursement by the district of residence.

(3) 16 V.S.A. 2961a, relating to extended mainstream block grants.

(4) 16 V.S.A. 2966, relating to budget reports, and 2972, relating to child count for special education purposes.

(5) 16 V.S.A. 2948(e) and (l), relating to payment of special education costs for state-placed students.

(b) 16 V.S.A. 2961 through 2969, relating to state aid for special needs costs, are repealed on July 1, 2001.

(c) 16 V.S.A. 1075(d) and 2948(d) shall be repealed on July 1, 1997, provided that the Joint Fiscal Committee certifies, before July 1, 1997, that the General Assembly, in addition to other funds appropriated for special education, has appropriated funds sufficient to pay the education costs incurred by state-placed students under Sec. 11 of this act for fiscal year 1998.

Sec. 31. EFFECTIVE DATES; INTENT TO FUND PROGRAM

(a) Secs. 1-5, 7-13, 16-18, 20-22, 30 and this section of this act shall take effect on July 1, 1996.

(b) Secs. 6, 14, 15 and 19 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 1997.

(c) Secs. 23-27 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 1997 provided that the Joint Fiscal Committee certifies, before July 1, 1997, that the General Assembly, in addition to other funds appropriated for special education, has appropriated funds sufficient to pay the education costs incurred by state-placed students under Sec. 11 of this act for fiscal year 1998.

(d) Secs. 28 and 29 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 1997 unless the Joint Fiscal Committee certifies, on or before July 1, 1997, that the General Assembly, in addition to other funds appropriated for special education, has appropriated funds sufficient to pay the education costs incurred by state-placed students under Sec. 11 of this act for fiscal year 1998.

(e) Following implementation of Sec. 6 of this act, which will eliminate payment for education services provided to youth placed at the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation

Center through billing of the school district of residence, it is the intent of the General Assembly to maintain a reasonable and adequate level of funding for the provision of these services in the general fund appropriations for fiscal year 1998.

Approved: May 8, 1996