TITLE XV
EDUCATION

CHAPTER 186-C
SPECIAL EDUCATION

Section 186-C:18

    186-C:18 State Aid. –
I. [Repealed.]
II. [Repealed.]
III. (a) The state board of education through the commissioner, department of education, shall distribute aid available under this paragraph as entitlement to such school districts as have a special education pupil for whose costs they are responsible, for whom the costs of special education in the fiscal year exceed 31/2 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution. If in any year, the amount appropriated for distribution as special education aid in accordance with this section is insufficient therefor, the appropriation shall be prorated proportionally based on entitlement among the districts entitled to a grant. If there are unexpended funds appropriated under this paragraph at the end of any fiscal year, such funds shall be distributed for court-ordered placements under RSA 186-C:19-b. The state may designate up to $250,000 of the funds which are appropriated as required by this paragraph, for each fiscal year, to assist those school districts which, under guidelines established by rules of the state board of education, may qualify for emergency assistance to mitigate the impact of special education costs. The state may designate up to an additional $250,000 of the funds which are appropriated under this paragraph for each fiscal year for any community of 1,000 or fewer residents to mitigate the impact of special education costs when emergency assistance is necessary to prevent significant financial harm to such district or community. Upon application to the commissioner of education, and approval by the commissioner, such funds may be accepted and expended by school districts in accordance with this chapter; provided, however, that if a school district has received emergency assistance funds for certain children with disabilities, it shall not receive special education aid for those same children with disabilities. If any of the funds designated for emergency assistance under this paragraph are not used for such emergency assistance purposes, the funds shall be used to assist school districts in meeting special education cost increases in their special education programs as provided by this paragraph.
(b) The school district shall be liable for 31/2 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution, plus 20 percent of the additional cost, up to 10 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution.
(c) The department of education shall be liable for 80 percent of the cost above the 31/2 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution, up to 10 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution. The department of education shall be liable for all costs in excess of 10 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution.
IV. The state shall appropriate an amount for each fiscal year to assist special education programs that are statewide in their scope, and that meet the standards for such programs established by the state board of education. Funds under this paragraph shall be administered and distributed by the state board of education through the commissioner.
V. The state board of education shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to:
(a) Prescribing the forms to be used to apply for any benefit covered by any other subparagraph of this paragraph;
(b) Administering and distributing aid;
(c) [Repealed.]
(d) School districts applying for special education aid under paragraph III;
(e) School districts identifying special education costs under paragraph III;
(f) Establishing standards for statewide special education programs under paragraph IV.
VI. The state board of education shall distribute through the commissioner:
(a) Special education aid payments under paragraph III on or before January 1, provided that school districts shall annually submit their special education costs for the immediately preceding school year to the state board of education by July 31. The state board of education shall then verify the cost and distribute the appropriate amounts for the previous year on or before January 1 of each year.
(b) Aid to statewide special education programs under paragraph IV.
VII. In Cheshire county, upon request of such a school district and upon approval by the county convention, the county may raise and appropriate funds to pay a portion of such costs for special education under this section.
VIII. A school district shall raise, appropriate and expend funds, reflecting the total cost in meeting special education student costs as provided under this section, including the school district and department of education liability. A school district may issue reimbursement anticipation notes as provided for in RSA 198:20-d to be redeemed upon receipt of reimbursement from the state. The department of education shall be liable for the cost of the school districts borrowing of any funds for special education student costs over 31/2 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution.
IX. When a student for whom a district receives state aid for special education under this section transfers to another school district during the school year, both the district liability and the reimbursement under this section shall be prorated among such districts. This proration shall be based upon the number of school days that the student was a resident of each district.
X. Unexpected special education costs incurred by a school district which are eligible for reimbursement from the state pursuant to RSA 186-C:18, III and which could not be identified prior to the adoption of the local district budget shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 32:8, RSA 32:9 and RSA 32:10.
XI. (a) The state board of education, through the commissioner of the department of education, shall distribute to school districts the lesser of 3.5 percent or $1,000,000 in special education aid funds appropriated in the fiscal year, to establish or support school district-based programs for children with disabilities who have been in out-of-district programs in the previous school year. Funds shall be distributed to school districts as reimbursement for the establishment or support of such programs and shall be applied to the greater of the following:
(1) Supplemental costs incurred by the school district for educating the child within a local school district program; or
(2) The amount the school district received to educate the child in an out-of-district program, with the school district receiving in year one, 70 percent of the special education aid the school district received from the previous school year, which would constitute the base year; in year 2, 50 percent of the special education aid the school district received during the base year, and in year 3, 30 percent of the special education aid the school district received during the base year.
(b) The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, establishing procedures pursuant to this paragraph for reimbursement to school districts.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1982, 39:11. 42:63. 1985, 244:6-8, 15, X; 320:1. 1987, 294:5, 6. 1988, 222:1. 1989, 357:1, 2. 1990, 140:2, X. 1992, 238:1, 3. 1996, 195:2. 1998, 243:1. 1999, 341:1, 2. 2001, 56:1. 2003, 215:2. 2008, 274:31; 302:21. 2011, 224:227. 2017, 156:96-100, eff. July 1, 2017. 2021, 209:2, Pt. IV, Sec. 1, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.