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HF 2568

2nd Engrossment - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/19/2014 12:13pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to education; reducing paperwork burdens by creating a unified online
system for collecting and reporting required special education due process data
and thereby increasing opportunities for special education educators to focus on
teaching students; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 125A.08; Laws
2013, chapter 116, article 5, section 31, subdivision 8.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 125A.08, is amended to read:

new text end .

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Requirements for individualized education programs. new text end

(a) At the
beginning of each school year, each school district shall have in effect, for each child with
a disability, an individualized education program.

(b) As defined in this section, every district must ensure the following:

(1) all students with disabilities are provided the special instruction and services
which are appropriate to their needs. Where the individualized education program team
has determined appropriate goals and objectives based on the student's needs, including
the extent to which the student can be included in the least restrictive environment,
and where there are essentially equivalent and effective instruction, related services, or
assistive technology devices available to meet the student's needs, cost to the district may
be among the factors considered by the team in choosing how to provide the appropriate
services, instruction, or devices that are to be made part of the student's individualized
education program. The individualized education program team shall consider and
may authorize services covered by medical assistance according to section 256B.0625,
subdivision 26
. The student's needs and the special education instruction and services to
be provided must be agreed upon through the development of an individualized education
program. The program must address the student's need to develop skills to live and work
as independently as possible within the community. The individualized education program
team must consider positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports that address
behavior for children with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder. During grade 9, the program must address the student's needs for transition from
secondary services to postsecondary education and training, employment, community
participation, recreation, and leisure and home living. In developing the program, districts
must inform parents of the full range of transitional goals and related services that should
be considered. The program must include a statement of the needed transition services,
including a statement of the interagency responsibilities or linkages or both before
secondary services are concluded;

(2) children with a disability under age five and their families are provided special
instruction and services appropriate to the child's level of functioning and needs;

(3) children with a disability and their parents or guardians are guaranteed procedural
safeguards and the right to participate in decisions involving identification, assessment
including assistive technology assessment, and educational placement of children with a

(4) eligibility and needs of children with a disability are determined by an initial
assessment or reassessment, which may be completed using existing data under United
States Code, title 20, section 33, et seq.;

(5) to the maximum extent appropriate, children with a disability, including those
in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who
are not disabled, and that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children
with a disability from the regular educational environment occurs only when and to the
extent that the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes
with the use of supplementary services cannot be achieved satisfactorily;

(6) in accordance with recognized professional standards, testing and evaluation
materials, and procedures used for the purposes of classification and placement of children
with a disability are selected and administered so as not to be racially or culturally
discriminatory; and

(7) the rights of the child are protected when the parents or guardians are not known
or not available, or the child is a ward of the state.

(c) For paraprofessionals employed to work in programs for students with
disabilities, the school board in each district shall ensure that:

(1) before or immediately upon employment, each paraprofessional develops
sufficient knowledge and skills in emergency procedures, building orientation, roles and
responsibilities, confidentiality, vulnerability, and reportability, among other things, to
begin meeting the needs of the students with whom the paraprofessional works;

(2) annual training opportunities are available to enable the paraprofessional to
continue to further develop the knowledge and skills that are specific to the students with
whom the paraprofessional works, including understanding disabilities, following lesson
plans, and implementing follow-up instructional procedures and activities; and

(3) a districtwide process obligates each paraprofessional to work under the ongoing
direction of a licensed teacher and, where appropriate and possible, the supervision of a
school nurse.

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Online reporting of required data. new text end

new text begin (a) To ensure a strong focus
on outcomes for children with disabilities informs federal and state compliance and
accountability requirements and to increase opportunities for special educators and
related-services providers to focus on teaching children with disabilities, the commissioner
must integrate, customize, and sustain a streamlined, user-friendly statewide online system,
with a single, integrated model online form, for effectively and efficiently collecting
and reporting required special education–related data to individuals with a legitimate
educational interest and who are authorized by law to access the data. Among other
data-related requirements, the online system must successfully interface with existing state
reporting systems such as MARSS and Child Count and with districts' local data systems.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must consult with qualified experts, including information
technology specialists, licensed special education teachers and directors of special
education, related-services providers, third-party vendors, a designee of the commissioner
of human services, parents of children with disabilities, representatives of advocacy groups
representing children with disabilities, and representatives of school districts and special
education cooperatives on integrating, field testing, customizing, and sustaining this simple,
easily accessible, efficient, and effective online data system for uniform statewide reporting
of required due process compliance data. Among other outcomes, the system must:
new text end

new text begin (1) reduce special education teachers' paperwork burden and thereby increase the
teachers' opportunities to focus on teaching children;
new text end

new text begin (2) to the extent authorized by chapter 13 or other applicable state or federal law
governing access to and dissemination of educational records, provide for efficiently and
effectively transmitting the records of all transferring children with disabilities, including
highly mobile and homeless children with disabilities, among others, to give an enrolling
school, school district, facility, or other institution immediate access to information about
the transferring child and to avoid fragmented service delivery;
new text end

new text begin (3) address language and other barriers and disparities that prevent parents from
understanding and communicating information about the needs of their children with
new text end

new text begin (4) facilitate school districts' ability to bill medical assistance, MinnesotaCare,
and other third-party payers for the costs of providing individualized education program
health-related services to an eligible child with disabilities;
new text end

new text begin (5) help continuously improve the interface among the online systems serving
children with disabilities in order to maintain and reinforce the children's ability to learn;
new text end

new text begin (6) have readily accessible expert technical assistance to maintain, sustain, and
improve the online system.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner must use the federal Office of Special Education Programs
model forms for the (1) individualized education program, (2) notice of procedural
safeguards, and (3) prior written notice that are consistent with Part B of IDEA to integrate
and customize a state-sponsored universal special education online case management
system, consistent with the requirements of state law and this subdivision for integrating,
customizing, and sustaining a statewide online reporting system. The commissioner must
use a request for proposal process to contract for the technology and software needed for
integrating and customizing the online system in order for the system to be fully functional,
consistent with the requirements of this subdivision. This online system must be made
available to school districts without charge beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. For the
2015-2016 through 2017-2018 school years, school districts may use this online system or
may contract with an outside vendor for compliance reporting. Beginning in the 2018-2019
school year and later, school districts must use this online system for compliance reporting.
new text end

new text begin (d) Consistent with this subdivision, the commissioner must establish a public
Internet Web interface to provide information to educators, parents, and the public about
the form and content of required special education reports, to respond to queries from
educators, parents, and the public about specific aspects of special education reports and
reporting, and to use the information garnered from the interface to streamline and revise
special education reporting on the online system under this subdivision. The public Internet
Web interface must not provide access to the educational records of any individual child.
new text end

new text begin (e) The commissioner annually by February 1 must submit to the legislature a report
on the status, recent changes, and sustainability of the online system under this subdivision.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Laws 2013, chapter 116, article 5, section 31, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

Subd. 8.

Special education paperwork cost savings.

Fornew text begin the contract to effect
new text end special education paperwork cost savingsnew text begin under Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.08,
subdivision 2, paragraph (c)
new text end :


For a transfer to MNIT. This appropriation is available in fiscal year 2015 deleted text begin if not
deleted text end .

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end