§ 25-2509.15. Special education accountability
Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 24 P.S. EducationEffective: April 25, 2013
Effective: April 25, 2013
24 P.S. § 25-2509.15
§ 25-2509.15. Special education accountability
(a)(1) The Department of Education shall determine the form and manner in which school districts shall submit a special education plan and revisions, updates and amendments to the special education plan under this section. The special education plan shall be consistent with other existing plans and reports required by the Department of Education to the greatest extent possible. Special education plans shall be written in a manner that is easy to use and understand by parents and the public, including a general summary.
(4) Upon disapproving a school district's special education plan, update or revision submitted under this section, the Department of Education may withhold the portion of the annual State increase in special education funding which exceeds the index until a written special education plan, update or revision is approved.
(5) The Secretary of Education shall involve as appropriate in special education monitoring, support, intervention, technical assistance and special education plan review by the Department of Education, the staff in relevant offices, bureaus and divisions of the Department of Education, as well as any other resources as appropriate.
(b)(1) Pursuant to the timetable set forth in section 218,1 each school district receiving an increase in its State special education funding allocation of more than the index shall update its special education plan by attaching the district's special education expenditures as reported on the annual financial reports and shall submit the updates and revisions to the Department of Education for approval under subsection (a). The Department of Education shall allow a district to meet the requirements of this section by adding the information as an appendix to the existing plan.
(1) The Department of Education shall issue to the General Assembly a comprehensive annual report on special education funding, special education plans, the implementation of 22 Pa. Code § 14.104 (relating to special education plans) and other special education accountability issues for public school entities serving eligible students and this Commonwealth.
(4)(i) To discourage the inappropriate overidentification of children for special education, the Department of Education shall automatically conduct a thorough review of the special education plan of any school district with a substantially higher ratio of eligible students in the district to its average daily membership for all students than the State average, as established by the Department of Education, and of any district where the ratio of eligible students in the school district to its average daily membership for all students in the most recent school year for which data is available has increased by more than ten percent (10%) over the previous year or of any district where the ratio has increased by an annual average of more than five percent (5%) during the most recent five-year period. The Department of Education may take remedial action, including withholding up to five percent (5%) of all State special education funding, if the Department of Education determines that a school district has overidentified children for special education.
(ii) Nothing in this paragraph or any other provision of this act shall be construed to alter Federal or State law regarding the protections provided to an eligible student for receiving education in the least restrictive environment or alter the legal authority of individualized education program teams to make appropriate program and placement decisions for eligible students in accordance with the individualized education program developed for each eligible student.
(d) In rendering a decision or determining remedial action under this section, the Department of Education shall consider extraordinary circumstances which a school district subject to review is experiencing, including a substantial reduction in Federal or State funds or other factors beyond the control of the school district. The Department of Education shall issue to any affected school district a notice specifying the Department of Education's decisions and actions under this section and the rationale for the decisions and actions. A school district may file a written response to the Department of Education about the Department of Education's decisions and actions regarding the district made under this section. The written response must be submitted to the Department of Education within thirty (30) calendar days of the Department of Education's notice or within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the notice, whichever is later. The Department of Education shall consider the written response, consult with the school district and, within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving the written response, issue a written decision addressing the concerns and claims made in the written response, explaining the judgment of the Department of Education in response to these concerns and claims and specifying the opportunity to appeal this matter to the Secretary of Education for a hearing under 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action) and 1 Pa. Code Pt. II (relating to general rules of administrative practice and procedure). If requested, the Secretary of Education shall convene a hearing within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of a school district's hearing request. The Secretary of Education shall render a written hearing decision within thirty (30) calendar days following the hearing.
(g) The requirements of this section shall be waived until the General Assembly appropriates special education funding above the amount of special education funding in the base year and on the effective date of the appropriation the requirements of this section shall apply for that school year and for each school year thereafter.
1949, March 10, P.L. 30, No. 14, art. XXV, § 2509.15, added 2013, April 25, P.L. 12, No. 3, § 3, imd. effective.
24 P.S. § 2-218.
24 P.S. § 25-2509.15, PA ST 24 P.S. § 25-2509.15
Current through 2023 Regular Session Act 7. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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