Lincoln County Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

2460 - SPECIAL EDUCATION

A free and appropriate public education (FAPE) shall be available for all students between ages of three (3) and twenty-one (21), inclusive who are eligible for special education services. FAPE is individually determined for each student. FAPE must include special education services in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and may include related services, transition services, supplementary aids and services, and/or assistive technology devices and services. The Board shall ensure that students have available to them the variety of education programs and services available to students without exceptionalities including art, music, industrial arts, consumer and homemaking education, and vocational education.

The definition of FAPE and under the IDEA 2004 means special education and related services that:

 A.are provided without charge at public expense (free);

 B.are provided in conformity with an appropriate individualized education program (IEP) developed in adequate compliance with the procedures outlined in WV Board of Education Policy 2419 and reasonably calculated to enable the student to receive educational benefit (appropriate);

 C.are provided under public supervision and direction; and

 D.include an appropriate preschool, elementary or secondary education that meets the education standards, regulations, and administrative policies and procedures issued by the WVDE, including the requirements of IDEA 2004.

County Obligation

The Board is required to ensure that FAPE is available to students residing in the County who are eligible for special education service, including students with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school as provided in Policy 5605 and WV Board of Education 2419. This includes students who reside in group, personal care, or foster homes, as well as State operated facilities and students who are migratory or homeless.

The Board is obligated to make FAPE available to each eligible student in the County as follows:

 A.Students who are at least three (3) years old and are eligible for special education services unless the parent/adult student has refused special education services.

 B.Students who have not turned twenty-one (21) years of age prior to September 1st and have not graduated with a standard high school diploma; or

 C.Students with disabilities whose suspension(s) or expulsion(s) results in a change of placement; or

 D.Students determined in need of special education and related services, even though the student has not failed or been retained in a course or grade, and is advancing grade to grade.

Special education programs and services may be provided by any one or more of the following:

 A.a single local educational agency

 B.two (2) or more local educational agencies cooperatively

 C.a regional educational service agency (RESA); or

 D.contract(s) for services from other public agencies or individuals

If placement in a public or private residential program is necessary, the program must be at no cost to the parents of the student.

The Board's requirement to provide special education services does not relieve an insurer or similar third party from a valid obligation to provide or pay for services for an eligible student. In cases where the payment source for services is being determined, the Board must ensure there is no delay in implementing the student's IEP consistent with the requirements pertinent to the development of IEPs.

Students with exceptionalities will be provided an instructional day, a school day and school calendar at least equivalent to that established for students without exceptionalities of the same chronological age in the same setting.

Using Private and Public Insurance Funds to Provide FAPE

Private Insurance Funds

If a student is covered by a parent's private insurance, the Board may access this insurance only if the parent provides informed consent. Each time the County proposes to access the private insurance, the County must obtain written parental consent and inform the parent that his/her refusal to permit the County to access the private insurance does not relieve the Board of its responsibility to ensure that all required services are provided at no cost.

Public Insurance Funds

The financial responsibility of public agencies, including Medicaid and other public insurers obligated under Federal or State law or assigned responsibility under State policy, must precede financial responsibility of the County. However, if the public agency other than the educational agency fails to provide for or pay for special education or related services, the County responsible for developing the student's IEP shall provide or pay for these services to the student in a timely manner. Students with disabilities who are covered by public benefits or insurance may not be disqualified from an eligible service for Medicaid reimbursement because that service is provided in a school context.

With regard to service required for the provision of FAPE to an eligible student under this part, the County may not:

 A.require parents to sign up for or enroll in public benefits or insurance programs in order for their child to receive FAPE under these regulations;

 B.require parents to incur out-of-pocket expense such as the payment of a deductible or copay incurred in filing a claim for services provided pursuant to this section; or

 C.use a student's benefits under a public benefits or insurance program if that use would: decrease available lifetime coverage or any other insured benefit; result in the family paying for services that would otherwise be covered by the public benefits or insurance program and that are required for the student outside of the time the student is in school. Increase premiums or lead to the discontinuation of benefits or insurance; or risk loss of eligibility for home and community-based waivers, based on aggregate health-related expenditures.

To access a student's public insurance (e.g., Medicaid reimbursement), documentation of parent/adult student consent which specifies the records to be disclosed, the services to be provided, and the duration of the services shall be obtained. Therefore, to meet the consent requirement, the County shall obtain consent at the initial IEP Team meeting and at each annual review (i.e., at least once a year). The County shall also obtain parent/adult student consent if billable services (i.e., type, amount and/or duration) are revised at anytime during the timeframe of the IEP. The parents shall be informed that their refusal to consent to the release of information does not relieve the County of its responsibility to ensure that all services are provided at no cost to the parents.

If it is unable to obtain parental consent to use the parents' private insurance, or public benefits or insurance when the parents would incur a cost for a service specified on their child's IEP, the Board may use Part B funds to pay for services to ensure FAPE. To avoid financial cost to parents who otherwise would consent to use private insurance, or public benefits or insurance if the parent would incur a cost, the County may use its Part B funds to pay the cost the parents otherwise would have to pay to use the parents' benefits or insurance (e.g., the deductible or copay amounts.)

Proceed from public or private insurance will not be treated as program income for purposes of 34 CFR 80.25. If a County spends reimbursement from Federal funds (e.g., Medicaid) for services under this part, those funds will not be considered "State or local" funds for the purpose of the maintenance of efforts provision of Part B of IDEA 2004.

Extended School Year

The Board shall ensure the extended school year (ESY) services are available as necessary to provide FAPE as determined by the IEP Team for all students with disabilities including children aged three (3) through five (5).

Nonacademic Services

The Board shall ensure that students with exceptionalities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities by providing the supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the student's IEP Team.

In addition, physical education services, specially designed if necessary, shall be made available to every student receiving FAPE in accordance with West Virginia Board of Education policies.

The obligation to provide FAPE does not apply to:

 A.Students ages eighteen (18) through twenty-one (21) who, in the last educational placement prior to their incarceration in an adult correctional facility, were not actually identified as being a student with a disability and did not have an IEP. This exception does not apply to a student who had been identified as a student with a disability and had received services in accordance with an IEP but left school prior to incarceration or did not have an IEP in their last educational setting but who had actually been identified as a student with a disability.

 B.Students who have graduated high school with a standard high school diploma. (The term standard high school diploma does not include an alternative degree that is not fully aligned with the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives, such as a certificate or a general educational development credential (GED).)

 C.Students ages three (3) through five (5) who are eligible under developmental delay, but who receive early intervention services from West Virginia Birth to Three program, or

 D.Students removed from school for disciplinary reasons for less than eleven (11) cumulative school days in a school year.