125A.50 Alternative delivery of specialized instructional services.
Subdivision 1. Commissioner approval. The commissioner may approve applications from districts to provide prevention services as an alternative to special education and other compensatory programs. A district with an approved program may provide instruction and services in a regular education classroom, or an area learning center, to eligible pupils. Pupils eligible to participate in the program are low-performing pupils who, based on documented experience, the professional judgment of a classroom teacher, or a team of licensed professionals, would eventually qualify for special education instruction or related services under sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65 if the intervention services authorized by this section were unavailable. Pupils may be provided services during extended school days and throughout the entire year and through the assurance of mastery program under sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65.
Subd. 2. Application contents. The application must set forth:
(2) criteria to select pupils for the program and the assessment procedures to determine eligibility;
(3) involvement in the program of parents of pupils in the program, parent advocates, and community special education advocates;
(4) accounting procedures to document that federal special education money is used to supplement or increase the level of special education instruction and related services provided with state and local revenue, but in no case to supplant the state and local revenue, and that districts are expending at least the amount for special education instruction and related services required by federal law;
(5) the role of regular and special education teachers in planning and implementing the program; and
(6) other information requested by the commissioner.
Subd. 3. Evaluation. The application must also set forth the review and evaluation procedures to be used by the district addressing at least the following:
(1) the number of pupils with and without a disability served;
(2) the impact of the program on the academic progress and social adjustment of the pupils;
(3) the level of satisfaction teachers, parents, and pupils have with the program;
(4) the effect of the program on the number of referrals for special education, federal chapter 1, and other programs;
(5) the amount of time spent by teachers on procedural activities;
(6) the increased amount of time the pupil is in a regular education classroom; and
(7) cost implications.
Subd. 4. Review for excess expenditures. The commissioner must review each application to determine whether the personnel, equipment, supplies, residential aid, and summer school are necessary to meet the district's obligation to provide special instruction and services to children with a disability according to sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65. The commissioner may not approve revenue for any expenditures determined to be unnecessary.
Subd. 5. Annual report. Each year the district must submit to the commissioner a report containing the information described in subdivision 3.
Subd. 6. Pupil rights. A pupil participating in the program must be individually evaluated according to the pupil's actual abilities and needs. A pupil who is eligible for services under sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65 is entitled to procedural protections provided under United States Code, title 20, section 33, in any matter that affects the identification, evaluation, placement, or change in placement of a pupil. The district must ensure the protection of a pupil's civil rights, provide equal educational opportunities, and prohibit discrimination. Failure to comply with this subdivision will at least cause a district to become ineligible to participate in the program. Notwithstanding rules of the Department of Education, a pupil's rights under this section cannot be waived by the commissioner.