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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 123-S.F.No. 296 
                  An act relating to education; modifying special 
                  education provisions; providing for rulemaking; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 121A.41, 
                  subdivision 10; 121A.43; 125A.023; 125A.027; 125A.03; 
                  125A.07; 125A.08; 125A.09, subdivisions 1 and 6; 
                  125A.10; 125A.18; 125A.21, subdivision 2; 125A.24; 
                  125A.30; 125A.33; 125A.44; 125A.52, subdivision 1; and 
                  125A.75, subdivision 8; repealing Laws 1998, chapter 
                  398, article 2, section 53; Minnesota Rules, part 
                  3525.2470. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 121A.41, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [SUSPENSION.] "Suspension" means an action by 
        the school administration, under rules promulgated by the school 
        board, prohibiting a pupil from attending school for a period of 
        no more than ten school days.  If a suspension is longer than 
        five days, the suspending administrator must provide the 
        superintendent with a reason for the longer suspension.  This 
        definition does not apply to dismissal from school for one 
        school day or less, except as provided in federal law for a 
        student with a disability.  Each suspension action may include a 
        readmission plan.  The readmission plan shall include, where 
        appropriate, a provision for implementing alternative 
        educational services upon readmission and may not be used to 
        extend the current suspension.  The school administration may 
        not impose consecutive suspensions against the same pupil for 
        the same course of conduct, or incident of misconduct, except 
        where the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger 
        to self or to surrounding persons or property, or where the 
        district is in the process of initiating an expulsion, in which 
        case the school administration may extend the suspension to a 
        total of 15 days.  In the case of a pupil student with a 
        disability, school districts must comply with applicable federal 
        law. the student's individual education plan team must meet 
        immediately but not more than ten school days after the date on 
        which the decision to remove the student from the student's 
        current education placement is made.  The individual education 
        plan team shall at that meeting:  conduct a review of the 
        relationship between the child's disability and the behavior 
        subject to disciplinary action; and determine the 
        appropriateness of the child's education plan. 
           The requirements of the individual education plan team 
        meeting apply when: 
           (1) the parent requests a meeting; 
           (2) the student is removed from the student's current 
        placement for five or more consecutive days; or 
           (3) the student's total days of removal from the student's 
        placement during the school year exceed ten cumulative days in a 
        school year.  The school administration shall implement 
        alternative educational services when the suspension exceeds 
        five days.  A separate administrative conference is required for 
        each period of suspension. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 121A.43, is 
        amended to read: 
           121A.43 [EXCLUSION AND EXPULSION OF PUPILS WITH A 
        DISABILITY.] 
           When a pupil who has an individual education plan is 
        excluded or expelled under sections 121A.40 to 121A.56 for 
        misbehavior that is not a manifestation of the pupil's 
        disability, the district shall continue to provide special 
        education and related services after a period of suspension, if 
        suspension is imposed.  The district shall initiate a review of 
        the student's individual education plan within five school days 
        of and conduct a review of the relationship between the 
        student's disability and the behavior subject to disciplinary 
        action and determine the appropriateness of the student's 
        education plan before commencing an expulsion, or exclusion, or 
        a suspension.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.023, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.023 [COORDINATED INTERAGENCY SERVICES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CITATION.] This section and section 
        125A.027 shall be cited as the "Interagency Services for 
        Children with Disabilities Act." 
           Subd. 2.  [PURPOSE.] It is the policy of the state to 
        develop and implement a coordinated, multidisciplinary, 
        interagency intervention service system for children ages three 
        to 22 21 with disabilities. 
           Subd. 3.  [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this section and 
        section 125A.027, the following terms have the meanings given 
        them: 
           (a) "Health plan" means: 
           (1) a health plan under section 62Q.01, subdivision 3; 
           (2) a county-based purchasing plan under section 256B.692; 
           (3) a self-insured health plan established by a local 
        government under section 471.617; or 
           (4) self-insured health coverage provided by the state to 
        its employees or retirees. 
           (b) For purposes of this section, "health plan company" 
        means an entity that issues a health plan as defined in 
        paragraph (a). 
           (c) "Individual interagency intervention plan" means a 
        standardized written plan describing those programs or services 
        and the accompanying funding sources available to eligible 
        children with disabilities. 
           (d) "Interagency intervention service system" means a 
        system that coordinates services and programs required in state 
        and federal law to meet the needs of eligible children with 
        disabilities ages three to 22 21, including: 
           (1) services provided under the following programs or 
        initiatives administered by state or local agencies: 
           (i) the maternal and child health program under title V of 
        the Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 
        701 to 709; 
           (ii) the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act under 
        United States Code, title 20, chapter 33, subchapter II, 
        sections 1411 to 1420; 
           (iii) medical assistance under the Social Security Act, 
        United States Code, title 42, chapter 7, subchapter XIX, section 
        1396, et seq.; 
           (iv) the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of 
        Rights Act, United States Code, title 42, chapter 75, subchapter 
        II, sections 6021 to 6030, Part B; 
           (v) the Head Start Act, United States Code, title 42, 
        chapter 105, subchapter II, sections 9831 to 9852; 
           (vi) rehabilitation services provided under chapter 268A; 
           (vii) Juvenile Court Act services provided under sections 
        260.011 to 260.301; 
           (viii) the children's mental health collaboratives under 
        section 245.493; 
           (ix) the family service collaboratives under section 
        124D.23; 
           (x) the family community support plan under section 
        245.4881, subdivision 4; 
           (xi) the MinnesotaCare program under chapter 256L; 
           (xii) the community health services grants under chapter 
        145; 
           (xiii) the Community Social Services Act funding under the 
        Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 1397 
        to 1397f; and 
           (xiv) the community interagency transition committees under 
        section 125A.22; 
           (2) services provided under a health plan in conformity 
        with an individual family service plan or an individual 
        education plan; and 
           (3) additional appropriate services that local agencies and 
        counties provide on an individual need basis upon determining 
        eligibility and receiving a request from the interagency early 
        intervention committee and the child's parent. 
           (e) "Children with disabilities" has the meaning given in 
        section 125A.02. 
           (f) A "standardized written plan" means those individual 
        services or programs available through the interagency 
        intervention service system to an eligible child other than the 
        services or programs described in the child's individual 
        education plan or the child's individual family service plan. 
           Subd. 4.  [STATE INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE.] (a) The governor 
        shall convene an 18-member interagency committee to develop and 
        implement a coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency 
        intervention service system for children ages three to 22 21 
        with disabilities.  The commissioners of commerce, children, 
        families, and learning, health, human rights, human services, 
        economic security, and corrections shall each appoint two 
        committee members from their departments; the association of 
        Minnesota counties shall appoint two county representatives, one 
        of whom must be an elected official, as committee members; and 
        the Minnesota school boards association and the school nurse 
        association of Minnesota shall each appoint one committee 
        member.  The committee shall select a chair from among its 
        members. 
           (b) The committee shall: 
           (1) identify and assist in removing state and federal 
        barriers to local coordination of services provided to children 
        with disabilities; 
           (2) identify adequate, equitable, and flexible funding 
        sources to streamline these services; 
           (3) develop guidelines for implementing policies that 
        ensure a comprehensive and coordinated system of all state and 
        local agency services, including multidisciplinary assessment 
        practices for children with disabilities ages three to 22 21; 
           (4) develop, consistent with federal law, a standardized 
        written plan for providing services to a child with 
        disabilities; 
           (5) identify how current systems for dispute resolution can 
        be coordinated and develop guidelines for that coordination; 
           (6) develop an evaluation process to measure the success of 
        state and local interagency efforts in improving the quality and 
        coordination of services to children with disabilities ages 
        three to 22 21; 
           (7) develop guidelines to assist the governing boards of 
        the interagency early intervention committees in carrying out 
        the duties assigned in section 125A.027, subdivision 1, 
        paragraph (b); and 
           (8) carry out other duties necessary to develop and 
        implement within communities a coordinated, multidisciplinary, 
        interagency intervention service system for children with 
        disabilities. 
           (c) The committee shall consult on an ongoing basis with 
        the state education advisory committee for special education and 
        the governor's interagency coordinating council in carrying out 
        its duties under this section, including assisting the governing 
        boards of the interagency early intervention committees. 
           Subd. 5.  [INTERVENTION DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS.] (a) The 
        commissioner of children, families, and learning, based on 
        recommendations from the state interagency committee, shall 
        issue a request for proposals by January 1, 1999, for grants to 
        the governing boards of interagency intervention committees 
        under section 125A.027 or a combination of one or more counties 
        and school districts to establish five voluntary interagency 
        intervention demonstration projects.  One grant shall be used to 
        implement a coordinated service system for all eligible children 
        with disabilities up to age five who received services under 
        sections 125A.26 to 125A.48.  One grant shall be used to 
        implement a coordinated service system for a population of 
        minority children with disabilities from ages 12 to 22 21, who 
        may have behavioral problems and are in need of transitional 
        services.  Each project must be operational by July 1, 1999.  
        The governing boards of the interagency early intervention 
        committees and the counties and school districts receiving 
        project grants must develop efficient ways to coordinate 
        services and funding for children with disabilities ages three 
        to 22 21, consistent with the requirements of this section and 
        section 125A.027 and the guidelines developed by the state 
        interagency committee under this section. 
           (b) The state interagency committee shall evaluate the 
        demonstration projects and provide the evaluation results to 
        interagency early intervention committees. 
           Subd. 6.  [THIRD-PARTY LIABILITY.] Nothing in this section 
        and section 125A.027 relieves a health plan company, third party 
        administrator or other third-party payer of an obligation to pay 
        for, or changes the validity of an obligation to pay for, 
        services provided to children with disabilities ages three to 22 
        21 and their families. 
           Subd. 7.  [AGENCY OBLIGATION.] Nothing in this section and 
        section 125A.027 removes the obligation of the state, counties, 
        local school districts, a regional agency, or a local agency or 
        organization to comply with any federal or state law that 
        mandates responsibility for finding, assessing, delivering, 
        assuring, or paying for education or related services for 
        children with disabilities and their families. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.027, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.027 [INTERAGENCY EARLY INTERVENTION COMMITTEE 
        RESPONSIBILITIES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [ADDITIONAL DUTIES.] (a) The governing 
        boards of the interagency early intervention committees are 
        responsible for developing and implementing interagency policies 
        and procedures to coordinate services at the local level for 
        children with disabilities ages three to 22 21 under guidelines 
        established by the state interagency committee under section 
        125A.023, subdivision 4.  Consistent with the requirements in 
        this section and section 125A.023, the governing boards of the 
        interagency early intervention committees shall organize as a 
        joint powers board under section 471.59 or enter into an 
        interagency agreement that establishes a governance structure. 
           (b) The governing board of each interagency early 
        intervention committee as defined in section 125A.30, paragraph 
        (a), which may include a juvenile justice professional, shall: 
           (1) identify and assist in removing state and federal 
        barriers to local coordination of services provided to children 
        with disabilities; 
           (2) identify adequate, equitable, and flexible use of 
        funding by local agencies for these services; 
           (3) implement policies that ensure a comprehensive and 
        coordinated system of all state and local agency services, 
        including multidisciplinary assessment practices, for children 
        with disabilities ages three to 22 21; 
           (4) use a standardized written plan for providing services 
        to a child with disabilities developed under section 125A.023; 
           (5) access the coordinated dispute resolution system and 
        incorporate the guidelines for coordinating services at the 
        local level, consistent with section 125A.023; 
           (6) use the evaluation process to measure the success of 
        the local interagency effort in improving the quality and 
        coordination of services to children with disabilities ages 
        three to 22 21 consistent with section 125A.023; 
           (7) develop a transitional plan for children moving from 
        the interagency early childhood intervention system under 
        sections 125A.259 to 125A.48 into the interagency intervention 
        service system under this section; 
           (8) coordinate services and facilitate payment for services 
        from public and private institutions, agencies, and health plan 
        companies; and 
           (9) share needed information consistent with state and 
        federal data practices requirements. 
           Subd. 2.  [APPROPRIATE AND NECESSARY SERVICES.] (a) 
        Parents, physicians, other health care professionals including 
        school nurses, and education and human services providers 
        jointly must determine appropriate and necessary services for 
        eligible children with disabilities ages three to 22 21.  The 
        services provided to the child under this section must conform 
        with the child's standardized written plan.  The governing board 
        of an interagency early intervention committee must provide 
        those services contained in a child's individual education plan 
        and those services for which a legal obligation exists. 
           (b) Nothing in this section or section 125A.023 increases 
        or decreases the obligation of the state, county, regional 
        agency, local school district, or local agency or organization 
        to pay for education, health care, or social services.  
           (c) A health plan may not exclude any medically necessary 
        covered service solely because the service is or could be 
        identified in a child's individual family service plan, 
        individual education plan, a plan established under section 504 
        of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or a student's 
        individual health plan.  This paragraph reaffirms the obligation 
        of a health plan company to provide or pay for certain medically 
        necessary covered services, and encourages a health plan company 
        to coordinate this care with any other providers of similar 
        services.  Also, a health plan company may not exclude from a 
        health plan any medically necessary covered service such as an 
        assessment or physical examination solely because the resulting 
        information may be used for an individual education plan or a 
        standardized written plan. 
           Subd. 3.  [IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE.] By July 1, 2000, all 
        governing boards of interagency early intervention committees 
        statewide must implement a coordinated service system for 
        children up to age five with disabilities consistent with the 
        requirements of this section and section 125A.023 and the 
        evaluation results from the demonstration projects under section 
        125A.023, subdivision 5.  Children with disabilities up to the 
        age of 22 21 shall be eligible for coordinated services and 
        their eligibility to receive such services under this section 
        shall be phased in over a four-year period as follows: 
           (1) July 1, 2001, children up to age nine become eligible; 
           (2) July 1, 2002, children up to age 14 become eligible; 
        and 
           (3) July 1, 2003, children up to age 22 21 become eligible. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.03, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.03 [SPECIAL INSTRUCTION FOR CHILDREN WITH A 
        DISABILITY.] 
           (a) As defined in paragraph (b), to the extent required in 
        federal law as of July 1, 1999, every district must provide 
        special instruction and services, either within the district or 
        in another district, for children with a disability who are 
        residents of the district and who are disabled as set forth in 
        section 125A.02. 
           (b) Notwithstanding any age limits in laws to the contrary, 
        special instruction and services must be provided from birth 
        until September July 1 after the child with a disability becomes 
        22 21 years old but shall not extend beyond secondary school or 
        its equivalent, except as provided in section 124D.68, 
        subdivision 2.  Local health, education, and social service 
        agencies must refer children under age five who are known to 
        need or suspected of needing special instruction and services to 
        the school district.  Districts with less than the minimum 
        number of eligible children with a disability as determined by 
        the state board must cooperate with other districts to maintain 
        a full range of programs for education and services for children 
        with a disability.  This section does not alter the compulsory 
        attendance requirements of section 120A.22. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.07, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.07 [RULES OF STATE BOARD.] 
           (a) As defined in this paragraph, but not to exceed the 
        extent required by federal law as of July 1, 1999, the state 
        board must adopt rules relative to qualifications of essential 
        personnel, courses of study, methods of instruction, pupil 
        eligibility, size of classes, rooms, equipment, supervision, 
        parent consultation, and other necessary rules for instruction 
        of children with a disability.  These rules must provide 
        standards and procedures appropriate for the implementation of 
        and within the limitations of sections 125A.08 and 125A.09.  
        These rules must also provide standards for the discipline, 
        control, management, and protection of children with a 
        disability.  The state board must not adopt rules for pupils 
        served primarily in the regular classroom establishing either 
        case loads or the maximum number of pupils that may be assigned 
        to special education teachers.  The state board, in consultation 
        with the departments of health and human services, must adopt 
        permanent rules for instruction and services for children under 
        age five and their families.  These rules are binding on state 
        and local education, health, and human services agencies.  The 
        state board must adopt rules to determine eligibility for 
        special education services.  The rules must include procedures 
        and standards by which to grant variances for experimental 
        eligibility criteria.  The state board must, according to 
        section 14.05, subdivision 4, notify a district applying for a 
        variance from the rules within 45 calendar days of receiving the 
        request whether the request for the variance has been granted or 
        denied.  If a request is denied, the board must specify the 
        program standards used to evaluate the request and the reasons 
        for denying the request.  
           (b) As provided in this paragraph, but not to exceed the 
        extent required by federal law as of July 1, 1999, the state's 
        regulatory scheme should support schools by assuring that all 
        state special education rules adopted by the state board result 
        in one or more of the following outcomes: 
           (1) increased time available to teachers and, where 
        appropriate, to support staff including school nurses for 
        educating students through direct and indirect instruction; 
           (2) consistent and uniform access to effective education 
        programs for students with disabilities throughout the state; 
           (3) reduced inequalities and conflict, appropriate due 
        process hearing procedures and reduced court actions related to 
        the delivery of special education instruction and services for 
        students with disabilities; 
           (4) clear expectations for service providers and for 
        students with disabilities; 
           (5) increased accountability for all individuals and 
        agencies that provide instruction and other services to students 
        with disabilities; 
           (6) greater focus for the state and local resources 
        dedicated to educating students with disabilities; and 
           (7) clearer standards for evaluating the effectiveness of 
        education and support services for students with disabilities. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.08, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.08 [SCHOOL DISTRICT OBLIGATIONS.] 
           (a) As defined in this section, to the extent required by 
        federal law as of July 1, 1999, 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 individual education plan 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 individual education plan.  The student's needs and 
        the special education instruction and services to be provided 
        must be agreed upon through the development of an individual 
        education plan.  The plan must address the student's need to 
        develop skills to live and work as independently as possible 
        within the community.  By grade 9 or age 14, the plan must 
        address the student's needs for transition from secondary 
        services to post-secondary education and training, employment, 
        community participation, recreation, and leisure and home 
        living.  In developing the plan, districts must inform parents 
        of the full range of transitional goals and related services 
        that should be considered.  The plan 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 disability; 
           (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. 
           (b) 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. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.09, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DISTRICT OBLIGATION.] As defined in this 
        section, but not to exceed the extent required by federal law as 
        of July 1, 1999, every district must use the following 
        procedures for decisions involving identification, assessment, 
        and educational placement of children with a disability. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.09, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [IMPARTIAL DUE PROCESS HEARING.] Parents, 
        guardians, and the district must have an opportunity to obtain 
        an impartial due process hearing initiated and conducted by and 
        in the district responsible for assuring that an appropriate 
        program is provided in accordance with state board rules, if the 
        parent or guardian continues to object to:  
           (1) a proposed formal educational assessment or proposed 
        denial of a formal educational assessment of their child; 
           (2) the proposed placement of their child in, or transfer 
        of their child to a special education program; 
           (3) the proposed denial of placement of their child in a 
        special education program or the transfer of their child from a 
        special education program; 
           (4) the proposed provision or addition of special education 
        services for their child; or 
           (5) the proposed denial or removal of special education 
        services for their child.  
           A hearing officer may limit an impartial due process 
        hearing to an amount of time sufficient for each party to 
        present its case.  The party requesting the hearing shall plead 
        with specificity as to what issues are in dispute and all issues 
        not pleaded with specificity are deemed waived.  Parties must 
        limit evidence to the issues specifically pleaded.  A hearing 
        officer, at the officer's discretion, may exclude cumulative 
        evidence or may encourage parties to present only essential 
        witnesses. 
           Within five business days after the request for a hearing, 
        or as directed by the hearing officer, the objecting party must 
        provide the other party with a brief written statement of 
        particulars of the objection, the reasons for the objection, and 
        the specific remedies sought.  The other party shall provide the 
        objecting party with a written response to the statement of 
        objections within five business days of receipt of the statement.
           The hearing must take place before an impartial hearing 
        officer mutually agreed to by the school board and the parent or 
        guardian.  Within four three business days of the receipt of the 
        request for the hearing, if the parties have not agreed on the 
        hearing officer, the board must request the commissioner to 
        appoint a hearing officer from a list maintained for that 
        purpose.  If the parties have not agreed upon a hearing officer, 
        and the board has not requested that a hearing officer be 
        appointed by the commissioner within four business days after 
        the receipt of the request, the commissioner shall appoint a 
        hearing officer upon the request of either party.  A retired 
        judge, retired court referee, or retired federal magistrate 
        judge who is otherwise qualified under this section and wishes 
        to be a hearing officer may be put on the list.  The board must 
        include with the request the name of the person requesting the 
        hearing, the name of the student, the attorneys involved, if 
        any, and the date the hearing request was received.  The hearing 
        officer must not be a board member or employee of the district 
        where the child resides or of the child's district of residence, 
        an employee of any other public agency involved in the education 
        or care of the child, or any person with a personal or 
        professional interest that would conflict with the person's 
        objectivity at the hearing.  A person who otherwise qualifies as 
        a hearing officer is not an employee of the district solely 
        because the person is paid by the district to serve as a hearing 
        officer.  Any party to a hearing, except an expedited hearing 
        under federal law, may make and serve upon the opposing party 
        and the commissioner a notice to remove a hearing officer 
        appointed by the commissioner.  The notice shall be served and 
        filed within two business days after the party receives notice 
        of the appointment of the hearing officer by the commissioner. 
           No such notice may be filed by a party against a hearing 
        officer who has presided at a motion or any other proceeding of 
        which the party had notice.  A hearing officer who has presided 
        at a motion or other proceeding may not be removed except upon 
        an affirmative showing of prejudice on the part of the hearing 
        officer.  
           After the party has once disqualified a hearing officer as 
        a matter of right, that party may disqualify the substitute 
        hearing officer only by making an affirmative showing of 
        prejudice or bias to the commissioner, or to the chief 
        administrative law judge if the hearing officer is an 
        administrative law judge. 
           Upon the filing of a notice to remove or if a party makes 
        an affirmative showing of prejudice against a substitute hearing 
        officer, the commissioner shall assign any other hearing officer 
        to hear the matter. 
           If the hearing officer requests an independent educational 
        assessment of a child, the cost of the assessment must be at 
        district expense.  The proceedings must be recorded and 
        preserved, at the expense of the school district, pending 
        ultimate disposition of the action. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.10, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.10 [COORDINATING INTERAGENCY SERVICES.] 
           If at the time of initial referral for an educational 
        assessment, or a reassessment, the district determines that a 
        child with disabilities who is age 3 through 21 may be eligible 
        for interagency services, the district may request that the 
        county of residence provide a representative to the initial 
        assessment or reassessment team meeting or the first individual 
        education plan team meeting following the assessment or 
        reassessment.  The district may request to have a county 
        representative attend other individual education plan team 
        meetings when it is necessary to facilitate coordination between 
        district and county provided services.  Upon request from a 
        district, the resident county shall provide a representative to 
        assist the individual education plan team in determining the 
        child's eligibility for existing health, mental health, or other 
        support services administered or provided by the county.  The 
        individual education plan team and the county representative 
        must develop an interagency plan of care for an eligible child 
        and the child's family to coordinate services required under the 
        child's individual education plan with county services.  The 
        interagency plan of care must include appropriate family 
        information with the consent of the family, a description of how 
        services will be coordinated between the district and county, a 
        description of service coordinator responsibilities and 
        services, and a description of activities for obtaining 
        third-party payment for eligible services, including medical 
        assistance payments.  Any state, county, or city government 
        agency responsible for providing services or resources to 
        students with disabilities under this section is subject to the 
        same dispute resolution systems as local school districts, and 
        all such agencies must comply with corrective action 
        requirements that ensue from these systems. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.18, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.18 [SPECIAL INSTRUCTION; NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS.] 
           No resident of a district who is eligible for special 
        instruction and services under this section may be denied 
        instruction and service on a shared time basis consistent with 
        section 126C.19, subdivision 4, because of attending a nonpublic 
        school defined in section 123B.41, subdivision 9.  If a resident 
        pupil with a disability attends a nonpublic school located 
        within the district of residence, the district must provide 
        necessary transportation for that pupil within the district 
        between the nonpublic school and the educational facility where 
        special instruction and services are provided on a shared time 
        basis.  If a resident pupil with a disability attends a 
        nonpublic school located in another district and if no agreement 
        exists under section 126C.19, subdivision 1 or 2, for providing 
        special instruction and services on a shared time basis to that 
        pupil by the district of attendance and where the special 
        instruction and services are provided within the district of 
        residence, the district of residence must provide necessary 
        transportation for that pupil between the boundary of the 
        district of residence and the educational facility.  The 
        district of residence may provide necessary transportation for 
        that pupil between its boundary and the nonpublic school 
        attended, but the nonpublic school must pay the cost of 
        transportation provided outside the district boundary.  
           Parties serving students on a shared time basis have access 
        to the due process hearing system described under United States 
        Code, title 20, and the complaint system under Code of Federal 
        Regulations, title 34, section 300.660-662.  In the event it is 
        determined under these systems that the nonpublic school or 
        staff impeded the public school district's provision of a free 
        appropriate education, the commissioner may withhold public 
        funds available to the nonpublic school proportionally 
        applicable to that student under section 123B.42. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.21, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [THIRD PARTY REIMBURSEMENT.] Beginning July 
        1, 1999 2000, districts shall seek reimbursement from insurers 
        and similar third parties for the cost of services provided by 
        the district whenever the services provided by the district are 
        otherwise covered by the child's health coverage.  Districts 
        shall request, but may not require, the child's family to 
        provide information about the child's health coverage when a 
        child with a disability begins to receive services from the 
        district of a type that may be reimbursable, and shall request, 
        but may not require, updated information after that as needed.  
        Districts shall request, but may not require, the child's parent 
        or legal representative to sign a consent form, permitting the 
        school district to apply for and receive reimbursement directly 
        from the insurer or other similar third party, to the extent 
        permitted by the insurer or other third party and subject to 
        their networking credentialing, prior authorization, and 
        determination of medical necessity criteria. 
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.24, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.24 [PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES COUNCILS.] 
           Provisions of Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1100, regarding 
        parent advisory committees apply to local boards or cooperative 
        boards carrying out the provisions of this section.  In order to 
        increase the involvement of parents of children with 
        disabilities in district policymaking and decision making, 
        school districts must have a special education advisory council 
        that is incorporated into the district's special education 
        system plan. 
           (1) This advisory council may be established either for 
        individual districts or in cooperation with other districts who 
        are members of the same special education cooperative. 
           (2) A district may set up this council as a subgroup of an 
        existing board, council, or committee. 
           (3) At least half of the designated council members must be 
        parents of students with a disability.  The number of members, 
        frequency of meetings, and operational procedures are to be 
        locally determined. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.30, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.30 [INTERAGENCY EARLY INTERVENTION COMMITTEES.] 
           (a) A school district, group of districts, or special 
        education cooperative, in cooperation with the health and human 
        service agencies located in the county or counties in which the 
        district or cooperative is located, must establish an 
        interagency early intervention committee for children with 
        disabilities under age five and their families under this 
        section, and for children with disabilities ages three to 22 
        consistent with the requirements under sections 125A.023 and 
        125A.027.  Committees must include representatives of local and 
        regional health, education, and county human service agencies, 
        county boards, school boards, early childhood family education 
        programs, parents of young children with disabilities under age 
        12, current service providers, and may also include 
        representatives from other private or public agencies and school 
        nurses.  The committee must elect a chair from among its members 
        and must meet at least quarterly. 
           (b) The committee must develop and implement interagency 
        policies and procedures concerning the following ongoing duties: 
           (1) develop public awareness systems designed to inform 
        potential recipient families of available programs and services; 
           (2) implement interagency child find systems designed to 
        actively seek out, identify, and refer infants and young 
        children with, or at risk of, disabilities and their families; 
           (3) establish and evaluate the identification, referral, 
        child and family assessment systems, procedural safeguard 
        process, and community learning systems to recommend, where 
        necessary, alterations and improvements; 
           (4) assure the development of individualized family service 
        plans for all eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities 
        from birth through age two, and their families, and individual 
        education plans and individual service plans when necessary to 
        appropriately serve children with disabilities, age three and 
        older, and their families and recommend assignment of financial 
        responsibilities to the appropriate agencies; 
           (5) encourage agencies to develop individual family service 
        plans for children with disabilities, age three and older; 
           (6) implement a process for assuring that services involve 
        cooperating agencies at all steps leading to individualized 
        programs; 
           (7) facilitate the development of a transitional plan if a 
        service provider is not recommended to continue to provide 
        services; 
           (8) identify the current services and funding being 
        provided within the community for children with disabilities 
        under age five and their families; 
           (9) develop a plan for the allocation and expenditure of 
        additional state and federal early intervention funds under 
        United States Code, title 20, section 1471 et seq.  (Part H, 
        Public Law Number 102-119) and United States Code, title 20, 
        section 631, et seq. (Chapter I, Public Law Number 89-313); and 
           (10) develop a policy that is consistent with section 
        13.05, subdivision 9, and federal law to enable a member of an 
        interagency early intervention committee to allow another member 
        access to data classified as not public. 
           (c) The local committee shall also: 
           (1) participate in needs assessments and program planning 
        activities conducted by local social service, health and 
        education agencies for young children with disabilities and 
        their families; and 
           (2) review and comment on the early intervention section of 
        the total special education system for the district, the county 
        social service plan, the section or sections of the community 
        health services plan that address needs of and service 
        activities targeted to children with special health care needs, 
        and the section of the maternal and child health special project 
        grants that address needs of and service activities targeted to 
        children with chronic illness and disabilities; and. 
           (3) prepare a yearly summary on the progress of the 
        community in serving young children with disabilities, and their 
        families, including the expenditure of funds. 
           (d) The summary must be organized following a format 
        prescribed by the commissioner of the state lead agency and must 
        be submitted to each of the local agencies and to the state 
        interagency coordinating council by October 1 of each year. 
           The departments of children, families, and learning, 
        health, and human services must provide assistance to the local 
        agencies in developing cooperative plans for providing services. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.33, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.33 [SERVICE COORDINATION.] 
           (a) The team developing the IFSP under section 125A.32 must 
        select a service coordinator to carry out service coordination 
        activities on an interagency basis.  Service coordination must 
        actively promote a family's capacity and competency to identify, 
        obtain, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate resources and services 
        to meet the family's needs.  Service coordination activities 
        include: 
           (1) coordinating the performance of evaluations and 
        assessments; 
           (2) facilitating and participating in the development, 
        review, and evaluation of individualized family service plans; 
           (3) assisting families in identifying available service 
        providers; 
           (4) coordinating and monitoring the delivery of available 
        services; 
           (5) informing families of the availability of advocacy 
        services; 
           (6) coordinating with medical, health, and other service 
        providers; 
           (7) facilitating the development of a transition plan at 
        least six months 90 days before the time the child is no longer 
        eligible for early intervention services, if appropriate; 
           (8) managing the early intervention record and submitting 
        additional information to the local primary agency at the time 
        of periodic review and annual evaluations; and 
           (9) notifying a local primary agency when disputes between 
        agencies impact service delivery required by an IFSP. 
           (b) A service coordinator must be knowledgeable about 
        children and families receiving services under this section, 
        requirements of state and federal law, and services available in 
        the interagency early childhood intervention system.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.44, is 
        amended to read: 
           125A.44 [COMPLAINT PROCEDURE.] 
           (a) An individual or organization may file a written signed 
        complaint with the commissioner of the state lead agency 
        alleging that one or more requirements of the Code of Federal 
        Regulations, title 34, part 303, is not being met.  The 
        complaint must include:  
           (1) a statement that the state has violated the Individuals 
        with Disabilities Education Act, United States Code, title 20, 
        section 1471 et seq. (Part H, Public Law Number 102-119) or Code 
        of Federal Regulations, title 34, section 303; and 
           (2) the facts on which the complaint is based. 
           (b) The commissioner of the state lead agency shall receive 
        and coordinate with other state agencies the review and 
        resolution of a complaint within 60 calendar days according to 
        the state interagency agreement required under section 125A.48.  
        The development and disposition of corrective action orders for 
        nonschool agencies shall be determined by the State Agency 
        Committee (SAC).  Failure to comply with corrective orders may 
        result in fiscal actions or other measures. 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.52, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [EDUCATIONAL SCREENING.] Secure and 
        nonsecure residential treatment facilities licensed by the 
        department of human services or the department of corrections 
        must screen each juvenile who is held in a facility for at least 
        72 hours, excluding weekends or holidays, using an educational 
        screening tool identified by the department, unless the facility 
        determines that the juvenile has a current individual education 
        plan and obtains a copy of it.  The department must develop or 
        identify an education screening tool for use in residential 
        facilities.  The tool must include a life skills development 
        component. 
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 125A.75, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [LITIGATION AND HEARING COSTS.] (a) For fiscal 
        year 1999 and thereafter, the commissioner of children, 
        families, and learning, or the commissioner's designee, shall 
        use state funds to pay school districts for the administrative 
        costs of a due process hearing incurred under section 125A.09, 
        subdivisions 6, 10, and 11, including hearing officer fees, 
        court reporter fees, mileage costs, transcript 
        costs, interpreter and transliterator fees, independent 
        evaluations ordered by the hearing officer, and rental of 
        hearing rooms, but not including district attorney fees.  To 
        receive state aid under this paragraph, a school district shall 
        submit to the commissioner at the end of the school year an 
        itemized list of unreimbursed actual costs for fees and other 
        expenses under this paragraph.  State funds used for aid to 
        school districts under this paragraph shall be based on the 
        unreimbursed actual costs and fees submitted by a district from 
        previous school years. 
           (b) For fiscal year 1999 and thereafter, a school district, 
        to the extent to which it prevails under United States Code, 
        title 20, section 1415(i)(3)(B)(D) and Rule 68 of the Federal 
        Rules of Civil Procedure, shall receive state aid equal to 50 
        percent of the total actual cost of attorney fees incurred after 
        a request for a due process hearing under section 125A.09, 
        subdivisions 6, 9, and 11, is served upon the parties.  A 
        district is eligible for reimbursement for attorney fees under 
        this paragraph only if: 
           (1) a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the 
        parent is not the prevailing party under United States Code, 
        title 20, section 1415(i)(3)(B)(D), or the parties stipulate 
        that the parent is not the prevailing party; 
           (2) the district has made a good faith effort to resolve 
        the dispute through mediation, but the obligation to mediate 
        does not compel the district to agree to a proposal or make a 
        concession; and 
           (3) the district made an offer of settlement under Rule 68 
        of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  
           To receive aid, a school district that meets the criteria 
        of this paragraph shall submit to the commissioner at the end of 
        the school year an itemized list of unreimbursed actual attorney 
        fees associated with a due process hearing under section 
        125A.09, subdivisions 6, 9, and 11.  Aid under this paragraph 
        for each school district is based on unreimbursed actual 
        attorney fees submitted by the district from previous school 
        years. 
           (c) For fiscal year 1999 and thereafter, a school district 
        is eligible to receive state aid for 50 percent of the total 
        actual cost of attorney fees it incurs in appealing to a court 
        of competent jurisdiction the findings, conclusions, and order 
        of a due process hearing under section 125A.09, subdivisions 6, 
        9, and 11.  The district is eligible for reimbursement under 
        this paragraph only if the commissioner authorizes the 
        reimbursement after evaluating the merits of the case.  In a 
        case where the commissioner is a named party in the litigation, 
        the commissioner of the bureau of mediation services shall make 
        the determination regarding reimbursement.  The commissioner's 
        decision is final. 
           (d) The commissioner shall provide districts with a form on 
        which to annually report litigation costs under this section and 
        shall base aid estimates on those reports.  
           Sec. 19.  [SPECIAL EDUCATION RULES.] 
           Beginning no later than July 1, 1999, the commissioner 
        shall amend Minnesota Rules, chapter 3525, for special education 
        using the expedited process under Minnesota Statutes 1998, 
        section 14.389.  In addition to technical changes, corrections, 
        clarifications, and similarly needed revisions, specific rules 
        shall be modified or repealed as indicated below: 
           (1) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0200, subpart 6a, on 
        definition of IEP; 
           (2) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0200, subpart 11a, on 
        definition of parent; 
           (3) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0750, to include 
        children enrolled in nonpublic schools for child find purposes; 
           (4) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0800, subpart 8, on 
        district responsibility for choice options in accordance with 
        legislation; 
           (5) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0800, subpart 9, on 
        district responsibility for upper age limit in accordance with 
        legislation; 
           (6) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1150; 
           (7) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1310, to add program 
        coordination and due process facilitation to list of 
        reimbursable activities; 
           (8) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1325, to revise 
        eligibility criteria for autism to reflect professional 
        standards; 
           (9) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1327, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for 
        deaf-blindness; 
           (10) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1331, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for deaf and 
        hard-of-hearing; 
           (11) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1333, to revise 
        eligibility criteria for cognitive impairment to reflect 
        professional standards; 
           (12) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1335, to revise 
        eligibility criteria for other health-impaired to reflect 
        professional standards; 
           (13) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1337, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for physical 
        impairment; 
           (14) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1341, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for specific 
        learning disability; 
           (15) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1343, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for speech 
        and language impairments; 
           (16) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1345, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for blind and 
        vision impaired; 
           (17) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1350, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for early 
        childhood:  special education; 
           (18) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1352, to make minor 
        revisions necessary to update eligibility criteria for 
        developmental adapted physical education:  special education; 
           (19) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1354, to repeal 
        subpart 2 to drop documentation requirement on override 
        decisions; 
           (20) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1356, on exit 
        procedures; 
           (21) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2335, to make minor 
        revisions to update standards for early childhood program 
        options, and repeal subpart 2, item C; 
           (22) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2340, to revise 
        caseload standard for young children to clarify how caseload is 
        determined and to reflect supervision and safety needs of very 
        small children in various settings; 
           (23) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2405, to repeal 
        subparts 2 and 3 on reimbursement standards for directors of 
        special education; 
           (24) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2420, on variance 
        request for director of special education; 
           (25) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2650, as duplicative 
        notice requirements; 
           (26) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.3000, on periodic 
        reviews and documentation requirement; 
           (27) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.3150, as duplicative 
        diploma requirements; 
           (28) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.3200, as duplicative 
        notice requirement; 
           (29) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.3500, to repeal 
        duplicative notice requirements and mandate for districts to 
        initiate a hearing when refusing request for assessment; and 
           (30) amend Minnesota Rules, parts 3525.3800 to 3525.4700, 
        on due process hearings to make them compatible with state and 
        federal legislation. 
           The rules that must be repealed under this section remain 
        in effect until repealed through the rulemaking process. 
           Sec. 20.  [SPECIAL EDUCATION RULES.] 
           The commissioner shall adopt rules to update Minnesota 
        Rules, chapter 3525, for special education.  Provisions of this 
        chapter that exceed federal requirements are deemed valid for 
        the purposes of providing special instruction and services to 
        children with a disability.  In addition to technical changes, 
        corrections, clarifications, and similarly needed revisions, 
        specific rules shall be modified or repealed as indicated below: 
           (1) Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0200, add definition of 
        caseload; 
           (2) revise Minnesota Rules, part 3525.0550, to update role 
        of IEP manager; 
           (3) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1100, subpart 2, item 
        D, on parent advisory council as duplicative; 
           (4) Minnesota Rules, part 3525.1329, amend eligibility 
        criteria for emotional or behavior disorders so that the 
        standards reflect severe emotional disorder and professional 
        standards; 
           (5) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2325, to revise 
        outdated standards for students placed for care and treatment to 
        be compatible with related legislation; 
           (6) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2550, on conduct 
        before assessment except for subpart 2, item C; 
           (7) add a rule to make the responsibilities of the IEP team 
        for assessment, IEP development, and placement decisions 
        consistent with federal requirements; 
           (8) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2750, on educational 
        assessment as duplicative; 
           (9) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2900, on IEP 
        development and content except subparts 4 and 5 on regulated 
        interventions; and 
           (10) repeal Minnesota Rules, part 3525.3300, except item B, 
        on contents of notice as duplicative.  
           The rules that must be repealed under this section remain 
        in effect until repealed through the rulemaking process. 
           Sec. 21.  [REPEALER.] 
           Laws 1998, chapter 398, article 2, section 53, and 
        Minnesota Rules, part 3525.2470, are repealed. 
           Sec. 22.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1, 2, 5 to 18, 20, and 21 are effective July 1, 
        1999, except that the requirement under section 3 to provide 
        special instruction and services until the child with a 
        disability becomes 21 years old, instead of 22 years old, is 
        effective July 1, 2002.  Sections 3 and 4 are effective July 1, 
        2002.  Section 19 is effective the day following final enactment.
           Presented to the governor April 30, 1999 
           Signed by the governor May 4, 1999, 11:26 a.m.