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SF 2538

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 02/23/2018 08:34am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to education; requiring paid orientation or professional development for
special education paraprofessionals; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, section


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 125A.08, is amended to read:


(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.
Before a school district evaluation team makes a determination of other health disability
under Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1335, subparts 1 and 2, item A, subitem (1), the evaluation
team must seek written documentation of the student's medically diagnosed chronic or acute
health condition signed by a licensed physician or a licensed health care provider acting
within the scope of the provider's practice. 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 needs for children. 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. If the individualized education
program meets the plan components in section 120B.125, the individualized education
program satisfies the requirement and no additional transition plan is needed;

(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
evaluation or reevaluation, 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;

(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 all paraprofessionals employed to work in programs whose role in part is to
provide direct support to students with disabilities, the school board in each district shall
ensure that:

(1) before or beginning at the time of employment, each paraprofessional must develop
sufficient knowledge and skills in emergency procedures, building orientation, roles and
responsibilities, confidentiality, vulnerability, and reportability, among other things, to begin
meeting the needs, especially disability-specific and behavioral needs, of the students with
whom the paraprofessional works;

(2) annual training opportunities are required 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, the unique and individual
needs of each student according to the student's disability and how the disability affects the
student's education and behavior, following lesson plans, and implementing follow-up
instructional procedures and activities; deleted text begin and
deleted text end

(3) new text begin a minimum of 16 hours of paid orientation or professional development is provided
annually to all paraprofessionals, Title I aides, and other instructional support staff before
the first instructional day of the school year. The orientation or professional development
must be relevant to the employee’s occupation, and may include collaboration time with
classroom teachers and planning for the school year. For paraprofessionals who provide
direct support to students, at least 50 percent of the professional development or orientation
must be dedicated to meeting the requirements of this section. Professional development
for paraprofessionals may also address the requirements of section 120B.363, subdivision
3. A school administrator must provide an annual certification of compliance with this
requirement to the commissioner; and
new text end

new text begin (4) new text end 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.