TITLE XV
EDUCATION

Chapter 186-C
SPECIAL EDUCATION

Section 186-C:1

    186-C:1 Policy and Purpose. –
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state that:
I. All children in New Hampshire be provided with equal educational opportunities. It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.
II. The rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected.
III. Local school districts, the department of education, and other public agencies or approved programs provide for the education of all children with disabilities.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 1998, 177:1. 2002, 158:1. 2003, 215:3. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:34, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:2

    186-C:2 Definitions. –
In this chapter:
I. "Child with a disability" means any person 3 years of age or older but less than 21 years of age who has been identified and evaluated by a school district according to rules adopted by the state board of education and determined to have an intellectual disability, a hearing impairment including deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, an emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, another health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities, or a child at least 3 years of age but less than 10 years of age, experiencing developmental delays, who because of such impairment, needs special education or special education and related services. "Child with a disability" shall include a child ages 18 to 21, who was identified as a child with a disability and received services in accordance with an individualized education program but who left school prior to his or her incarceration, or was identified as a child with a disability but did not have an individualized education program in his or her last educational institution.
I-a. "Developmentally delayed child" means a child at least 3 years of age or older, but less than 10 years of age, who, because of impairments in development, needs special education or special education and related services, and may be identified as being developmentally delayed provided that such a child meets the criteria established by the state board of education.
I-b. "Division" means the division of learner support, department of education.
II. "Approved program" means a program of special education that has been approved by the state board of education and that is maintained by a school district, regional special education center, private organization, or state facility for the benefit of children with disabilities, and may include home instruction provided by the school district.
III. "Individualized education program" means a written plan for the education of a child with a disability that has been developed by a school district in accordance with rules adopted by the state board of education and that provides necessary special education or special education and related services within an approved program.
IV. "Special education" means instruction specifically designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.
V. (a) "Related services" means:
(1) Suitable transportation to all children with disabilities whose individualized education program requires such transportation. The school district may board a child as close to the place where instruction is to be furnished as possible, and shall provide transportation, if required by the child's individualized education program, from the place where the child is boarded to the place of instruction; and
(2) Such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are specifically required by an individualized education program to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education; and
(3) Services necessary for a child with a disability to benefit from special education and when placement in a residential facility has been made by the legally responsible school district in order to comply with RSA 186-C:9, or when placement has been ordered by a hearings officer or by a court of competent jurisdiction on appeal, pursuant to rules adopted by the state board of education under RSA 186-C:16, IV.
(b) "Related services" shall not include medical services unless such services are necessary for purposes of diagnosis and evaluation.
VI. "Functionally blind" means a pupil who has:
(a) Visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of the best correction for any refractive error, or a limited field of vision in which the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.
(b) A medically indicated expectation of visual deterioration.
(c) A functional limitation resulting from a medically diagnosed visual impairment which restricts the child's ability to read and write standard print at levels expected of other children of comparable ability and grade level.
VII. "Parent" means:
(a) A natural or adoptive parent of a child who has legal custody of the child;
(b) A guardian of a child, but not the state when the state has legal guardianship of the child;
(c) A person acting in the place of a custodial parent or guardian of a child, if no other custodial parent or guardian is available, who is designated in writing to make educational decisions on the child's behalf by such parent or guardian;
(d) A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with RSA 186-C:14; or
(e) A foster parent of a child who has been appointed in accordance with RSA 186-C:14-a.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 1991, 80:1. 1993, 108:1. 1994, 379:12. 1997, 89:1; 114:1. 1998, 177:2. 1999, 107:1. 2002, 205:1. 2003, 215:1. 2008, 52:20, eff. July 11, 2008; 274:29 to 31, 33, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:35 eff. Jan. 1, 2009. 2018, 315:6, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.

Section 186-C:3

    186-C:3 Division of Learner Support; Special Education; Programs and Services. – The department shall hire and assign such personnel or contract for services to perform responsibilities required under state or federal special education law, including, but not limited to, monitoring, compliance, and technical assistance and support to school districts. Special education services of the division of learner support shall be fully coordinated and integrated with the department's general curriculum and instruction activities.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1985, 269:3. 1994, 379:13. 2008, 302:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. 2018, 315:7, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.

Section 186-C:3-a

    186-C:3-a Duties. –
I. The division shall help school districts meet their responsibilities under this chapter and under federal law regarding the education of children with disabilities.
I-a. The special education program of the department of education shall develop and analyze information on issues and problems of regional and statewide importance and on assisting school districts in dealing with these issues and problems. The department shall ensure that the regulation and monitoring of school district activities shall not exceed what is necessary for compliance with this chapter and with state and federal law regarding the education of children with disabilities.
II. The department of education shall collect, organize, and analyze data and information about programs, conditions, instruction, and trends in special education in the state. In addition, the department shall be responsible for monitoring and maintaining information about national and regional trends, instructions and issues affecting special education in New Hampshire. The department shall make this information available to the districts and use this information to:
(a) Assess the needs of school districts for assistance in carrying out their responsibilities for educating children with disabilities;
(b) Identify cost effective and appropriate alternative programs that meet the needs of children with disabilities;
(c) Focus resources on students requiring extensive services;
(d) Develop cost and service level benchmarks for special education in New Hampshire which may be used as reference points by districts to measure the effectiveness of their programs in meeting goals and objectives of the individualized education program; and
(e) Develop and promote evidence-based practices supporting the education of children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, provided that:
(1) If children with disabilities are being placed in out-of-district programs solely due to a lack of qualified personnel, the department shall develop and implement strategies to help address the shortage and increase the capacity of local education agencies to serve children in the schools they would attend if not disabled.
(2) The department shall identify disproportionate representation in out-of-district programs and provide focused technical assistance to help the identified school districts serve children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.
II-a. (a) In addition to the requirements of paragraph II, the department of education shall annually submit a report to the commissioner of the department and the state board of education that:
(1) Shows the identification of children with disabilities analyzed according to the following criteria: age and grade level, and number and percentage of the total number of children with disabilities in each disability category.
(2) Includes expenditures for special education as reported to the department of education by school districts and state and federal revenues for special education received by school districts.
(3) Shows the annual progress and compliance on the state's performance plan required by 20 U.S.C. section 1416(b), 20 U.S.C. section 1412(a)(15), and 20 U.S.C. section 1416(a)(3).
(4) Shows the progress and compliance with the requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. section 6311(b), and RSA 193-E:3 and RSA 193-H:2 with respect to children with disabilities.
(b) These findings shall be reported for the state and for each school district. The commissioner shall make this report available upon request to all legislators, school officials from school districts, school administrative units, cooperative schools, AREA schools, and the general public, and shall make it available in an easily accessible format on the department of education website. In preparing such reports, the department of education shall not disclose personally identifiable information.
III. The department of education shall provide technical assistance and information to the school districts so that the districts may effectively and efficiently identify, clarify and address their specific responsibilities under state and federal special education laws. This assistance shall include the provision of mediation services to resolve special education disputes and the provision of expertise regarding specific educationally disabling conditions. Whenever technical assistance of a specialized nature, beyond that available in the department, is required, the department shall assume a leadership role in identifying sources of such assistance in other state agencies, the federal government, volunteer services or the private sector.
IV. The department of education shall administer those federal and state funding programs for special education assigned to it by law. The department shall also make recommendations to the state board regarding management systems, standard definitions and procedures in order to provide uniform reporting of special education services and expenditures by school districts and school administrative units.
V. The department of education shall monitor the operations of local school districts, regional special education centers, chartered public schools, and private organizations or state programs for the benefit of the education of children with disabilities regarding compliance with state and federal laws regarding the education of students with disabilities. The department's monitoring, regulatory oversight, and program approval shall be structured and implemented in a prudent manner and shall not place an excessive administrative burden on local districts. The department and districts shall approach monitoring and regulation in a constructive, cooperative manner, while also ensuring accountability for failing to meet standards and ensuring that the special education needs of children with disabilities are met.
VI. [Repealed.]
VII. (a) Granite State high school shall submit a plan for department approval to be adopted by November 1, 2009, to meet the special education needs of persons incarcerated in the state prison system.
(b) Each county correctional facility shall designate one person who shall serve as the contact person in all matters related to special education. This person shall:
(1) Provide, on a weekly basis, a list of incarcerated inmates up to the age of 21 who are eligible to receive special education;
(2) Provide the school district with access to the incarcerated inmates with disabilities for the purpose of providing special education to ensure a free and appropriate public education; and
(3) Provide time and space within the correctional facility to allow the school district to provide instruction and any special education and related services pursuant to the person's individualized education program.
(c) County correctional facilities shall be monitored according to the standards set forth in any interagency agreements between the department of education and each county correctional facility.
(d) Granite State high school shall comply with the requirements in RSA 194:60 and shall be monitored in 2010 and subject to onsite monitoring at least annually through 2013.

Source. 1985, 269:3. 1987, 345:7. 1990, 140:2, X, XII. 1994, 379:14, 24, V. 1997, 232:1. 1998, 68:1. 2008, 302:36. 2010, 184:1. 2011, 231:4, eff. June 29, 2011.

Section 186-C:3-b

    186-C:3-b Advisory Committee; Purpose; Membership; Terms; Duties; Meetings. –
I. In accordance with the provisions of 20 U.S.C. section 1412(a)(21) and 34 C.F.R. sections 300.167-300.169, there is established an advisory committee on the education of children/students with disabilities to advise the commissioner of education on issues relating to special education, and to promote communication and cooperation among individuals involved with students with disabilities. In addition, the committee shall review the federal financial participation and the level of state funding to determine their impact on the programs and delivery of services to children/students with disabilities.
II. The committee shall be composed of individuals involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with disabilities. A majority of the committee membership shall be composed of individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. The committee membership shall be as follows:
(a) Individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities, appointed by the governor.
(b) Two members of the house education committee, appointed by the speaker of the house.
(c) Two members of the senate education committee, appointed by the president of the senate.
(d) One representative of a vocational, community, or business organization concerned with the provision of transition services to children/students with disabilities, appointed by the governor.
(e) One state education official, appointed by the governor.
(f) One local educational official, who shall be an administrator, appointed by the governor.
(g) Two teachers, one of whom shall be a special education teacher, appointed by the governor.
(h) One representative of the department of health and human services involved in the financing or delivery of special education or related services to children with disabilities, recommended by the commissioner of the department of health and human services, and appointed by the governor.
(i) One representative of the Disabilities Rights Center, recommended by the Disabilities Rights Center and appointed by the governor.
(j) One representative of the Parent Information Center, recommended by the Parent Information Center and appointed by the governor.
(k) Two individuals with disabilities who may have received special education services, one of whom may be a high school student, appointed by the governor.
(l) One administrator of a public special education program, appointed by the governor.
(m) One representative of an institution of higher education that prepares special education and related services personnel, appointed by the governor.
(n) One representative of a private school approved for special education, appointed by the governor.
(o) One representative of a chartered public school, appointed by the governor.
(p) One individual representing children with disabilities who are home-schooled, appointed by the governor.
(q) One representative from the department of corrections, and one representative from a county correctional facility, both of whom are responsible for administering the provision of special education or special education and related services, appointed by the governor.
(r) A state and a local educational official who are responsible for performing activities under subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. section 11431, et seq, appointed by the governor.
(s) A representative from the department of health and human services responsible for foster care, recommended by the commissioner of the department of health and human services and appointed by the governor.
III. (a) Committee members shall be appointed to staggered 2-year terms, and members may succeed themselves.
(b) A chairperson shall be selected by a majority of the committee members on an annual basis.
IV. The committee shall:
(a) Advise the department of education regarding unmet needs within the state in the education of children/students with disabilities.
(b) Provide an annual report to the governor and the state legislature on the status of education of students with disabilities in New Hampshire.
(c) Comment publicly on the state plan and rules or regulations proposed for issuance by the state regarding the education of children/students with disabilities.
(d) Assist the state in developing and reporting such information and evaluations as may assist the U.S. Secretary of Education in the performance of responsibilities under 20 U.S.C. section 1418 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
(e) Advise the department of education in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in federal monitoring reports.
(f) Advise the department of education in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children/students with disabilities.
V. The committee shall meet at least quarterly or as often as necessary to conduct its business.
VI. The department of education shall provide administrative support for the committee.

Source. 1994, 114:1. 1995, 310:149. 1998, 201:1. 2001, 286:19. 2006, 191:2. 2008, 302:36, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; 354:2, eff. Sept. 5, 2008.

Section 186-C:3-c

    186-C:3-c Supported Decision-Making. – If adult guardianship is being discussed by the IEP team with a student or the student's family, the team shall inform the student and family of the availability of supported decision-making pursuant to RSA 464-D as an alternative to guardianship. This shall be done promptly when guardianship is first discussed. The IEP team shall make available resources to assist in establishing a supported decision-making agreement. If a supported decision-making agreement is executed, the IEP team shall abide by decisions made by the student pursuant to the supported decision-making agreement.

Source. 2021, 206:2, Pt. VI, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 186-C:3-d

    186-C:3-d Alternatives to Guardianship; Information Resources. – The commissioner of the department of education shall develop information resources regarding alternatives to guardianship, including supported decision-making agreements pursuant to RSA 464-D, for children with disabilities who are approaching the age of 18. These resources shall be developed in consultation with New Hampshire disability advocacy organizations and other stakeholders and made available to local education agencies to facilitate their responsibility to provide information to students and families regarding alternatives to guardianship under RSA 186-C:3-c.

Source. 2021, 206:2, Pt. VI, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 186-C:4

    186-C:4 Repealed by 1994, 379:24, VI, eff. June 9, 1994. –

Section 186-C:5

    186-C:5 Program Approval, Monitoring, and Corrective Action. –
I. (a) The state board of education shall adopt rules establishing a process and standards for the approval and monitoring of programs of education that are maintained by school districts, regional special education centers, and private organizations or state facilities for the benefit of children with disabilities, including chartered public schools, home-based programs and alternative schools or programs; except, however, that approval of education programs for the special district established in RSA 194:60 shall be pursuant to the standards set forth in the interagency agreements between the department of corrections and the department of education.
(b) The division of learner support of the department of education, through its program approval and monitoring process shall determine if a district is making diligent efforts to resolve personnel shortages that result in children with disabilities being placed out of district.
II. The purpose of program approval and monitoring is to ensure that the programs specified in paragraph I comply with applicable federal and state law, including standards related to improving educational results and functional outcomes.
III. Program approval and monitoring shall utilize professionally recognized program evaluation and other verification methods to ensure reliable and valid findings and corrective actions. The department shall develop and apply standards and procedures to determine whether each program specified in paragraph I complies with the requirements of applicable federal and state law. Such standards shall give considerable weight to rigorous benchmarks or performance outcomes and indicators required by federal and state law most relevant to achieving educational results and functional outcomes. Program approval and monitoring shall also include, but not be limited to the following components and processes:
(a) Reporting of outcome or indicator data by school district and non-district programs to the department in a manner and frequency as the department shall determine.
(b) Development and application of methods to ensure the accuracy of all such data including data as entered in student records and as transmitted to the department, to include necessary on-site verification of data.
(c) Determinations by the department as to whether the reported data complies with such standards.
(d) On-site monitoring to further evaluate noncompliance, verify accuracy of data, assess the adequacy of the corrective action plans and their implementation, or other purposes as the department may determine, which may include:
(1) Regular or periodic monitoring.
(2) Special on-site monitoring required as part of the resolution or remediation of a complaint under 34 C.F.R. sections 300.151-152, or based on reliable information received indicating that there is reason to believe that there is noncompliance with standards.
(3) Random or targeted visits which may be unannounced when the department determines that an unannounced visit is needed.
(e) Program monitoring, including the on-site monitoring components, shall use multiple program evaluation techniques in accordance with professionally recognized standards and to achieve the purposes set forth in paragraphs I-III, including, but not limited to, random sampling stratified as necessary to cover discrete sites or programs such as alternative programs or schools.
(f) Program approval and monitoring personnel or teams, which shall be knowledgeable in research-based education, special education practices, professionally recognized program evaluation practices, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and state special education laws and which shall receive appropriate training to participate in the monitoring process. Such personnel or teams for on-site monitoring shall consist of at least one of each of the following: an educator, an educational administrator, and a parent who resides in another school district, who shall receive mileage reimbursement. The department may determine that for certain on-site visits less than a full team is necessary. The department directly or by contract shall develop and train a group of parents on the requisites needed to carry out the monitoring duties. Where volunteers or contracted personnel are used for the non-parent team slots, attempts shall be made to use or balance teams with personnel from non-school district sources such as qualified individuals from higher education. Educators and educational administrators that are used (1) may not review schools in school districts in which they are employed or have been employed in the previous 2 years and (2) may not be from schools which in the current or prior 3 years have been the subject of mandatory technical assistance under subparagraph V(e)(2) or any of the interventions in subparagraphs V(e)(3)-(12). The department shall make available sufficient funds for stipends or similar financial remuneration, in addition to expense reimbursements to ensure that teams have a diversity of perspectives and high quality professional membership. The department of education may contract with an individual or organization which has the requisite expertise and skill to perform the monitoring activities, and who is otherwise independent from school district and non-school district programs in New Hampshire. This subparagraph shall not be construed to preclude individuals who may have performed sporadic or occasional contract or volunteer work for school district or non-school district programs.
IV. The department shall issue a report granting full or conditional approval, or denying, suspending, or revoking approval prior to the expiration of the existing program approval which shall include:
(a) Findings detailing exemplary characteristics and strengths of each program and each instance of noncompliance and failure to meet performance outcome or indicator measures in accordance with standards set forth in paragraph III.
(b) Recommendations for actions needed to correct noncompliance or failure to meet performance outcome or indicator measures.
(c) School districts and non-district programs may appeal decisions granting conditional approval or denying, suspending, or revoking approval pursuant to paragraph VII.
(d) The department may issue reports outside of the regular approval process directing school districts or non-school district programs to take any of the actions set forth in paragraph V.
V. (a) The provisions of this paragraph shall be enforced subsequent to the issuance of an order resulting from a complaint investigated, a due process hearing, or a monitoring activity pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 541-A.
(b) At the conclusion of the time limit specified for the school district, public agency, private provider of special education, or other non-school district based program to have completed the corrective action specified in the orders of compliance, the administrator of the bureau of special education of the department of education shall forward to the commissioner of the department of education a written report indicating the extent to which the agency took corrective action to achieve compliance with state and federal law.
(c) In the event the written report shows that the school district, public agency, private provider of special education, or other non-school district based program has not complied with orders issued by the department, the commissioner of the department of education shall give the written notice of the enforcement action to be taken.
(d) When taking enforcement action, the commissioner of the department of education shall consider:
(1) The severity and length of noncompliance.
(2) Whether a good faith effort was made to correct the problem.
(3) The impact on children who are entitled to a free appropriate public education.
(4) Whether the nature of the noncompliance is individual or systemic.
(e) Enforcement action shall include but not be limited to:
(1) Corrective action plan development, implementation, and monitoring.
(2) Voluntary and mandatory technical assistance as determined by the department.
(3) Mandatory targeted professional development as determined by the department.
(4) Directives ordering specific corrective or remedial actions including compensatory education.
(5) Targeting or redirecting the use of federal special education funds in the areas of concern.
(6) Formal referral to the bureau of credentialing in the department of education for review of compliance with professional licensure or certification requirements.
(7) Ordering the cessation of operations of discrete programs operated by a school district, collaborative program, private provider of special education, public academy, or state facility for the benefit of children with disabilities.
(8) A review of programs which may include a desk audit, scheduled on-site reviews, and unannounced on-site reviews, to ensure compliance. The frequency of the program reviews may, at the discretion of the department, take place weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
(9) Requiring redirection of federal funds to remediate noncompliance of more than one year.
(10) Ceasing payments of state or federal special education funds to the school district or other public agency until the department of education determines the school district or other public agency is in compliance.
(11) Ordering, in accordance with a final state audit report, the repayment of misspent or misapplied state and/or federal funds.
(12) In the case of a school district or other public agency, referring the matter to the department of justice for further action.
(13) In the case of a private provider of special education or other non-school district based program, ordering all school districts with students placed in the private provider of special education to relocate the students for whom each district is responsible to other programs or facilities that are in compliance with state and federal law.
VI. The commissioner shall notify the superintendent and local school board, and post findings and corrective actions recommended on the department Internet website. The commissioner shall also notify the advisory committee on the education of children/students with disabilities of the findings, remedies, and sanctions.
VII. The department shall adopt rules for the school district appeals process for corrective actions imposed under subparagraphs V(a)(5)-(11).
VIII. The commissioner shall employ or contract with a sufficient number of qualified personnel to carry out the activities enumerated in this section, including but not limited to managing, analyzing, and verifying data, coordinating and staffing on-site monitoring teams, preparing reports, including findings and corrective actions, and determining, monitoring, or supervising corrective actions and sanctions.
IX. The department, with input from the advisory committee on the education of children/students with disabilities, shall select and contract with an independent, nationally recognized organization in program evaluation and quality assurance to evaluate in 2010, 2015, and decennially thereafter, the effectiveness of the program approval and monitoring system, including whether it is carrying out activities in RSA 186-C:5 in an efficient manner. Such organization shall submit recommendations for any improvements to the commissioner, the state board of education, the governor, and the general court within 90 days of completing the program evaluation. On or before September 1, 2013, the department shall submit a written response to the report submitted by the organization that conducted the 2012 independent evaluation. The written response shall include a detailed plan for how the department will address the areas identified as needing improvement and the recommendations made in the initial evaluation required under this section. The written response shall include specific steps the department plans to take, along with a timeline for each step. The written response shall also provide an explanation for any actions the department will not implement or complete during the plan's timeframe. On or before December 30, 2013 and June 30, 2014, the department shall submit a report of its progress toward completing its plan. The plan and reports shall be submitted to the governor, to the chairpersons of the senate and house committees with jurisdiction over education policy, to the state advisory committee for the education of children with disabilities established in RSA 186-C:3-b, and to the state board of education. For the 2015 evaluation, the department shall invite the same organization that conducted the 2012 evaluation to respond to a request for proposals. The 2015 evaluation shall include feedback on the steps the department has taken in response to the recommendations in the 2012 report. The department shall provide unimpeded access to all documents requested by the organization, except as otherwise required by law.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 1998, 270:2. 2008, 274:31; 302:39. 2013, 226:1, eff. Sept. 13, 2013. 2018, 315:8, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.

Section 186-C:6

    186-C:6 Repealed by 1994, 134:2, eff. July 22, 1994. –

Section 186-C:7

    186-C:7 Individualized Education Programs. –
I. The development of an individualized education program for each child with a disability shall be the responsibility of the school district in which the child resides or of the school district which bears financial responsibility for the child's education.
II. The parents of a child with a disability have the right to participate in the development of the individualized education program for the child and to appeal decisions of the school district regarding such child's individualized education program as provided in rules adopted in accordance with RSA 541-A by the state board of education.
III. Each child's individualized education program shall include short-term objectives or benchmarks unless the parent agrees that they are not necessary for one or more of the child's annual goals.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1985, 269:5. 1987, 345:1, 4. 1990, 140:2, X; 162:4. 1992, 238:2. 1994, 379:20. 1998, 177:6. 2008, 274:29-32, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:40, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:7-a

    186-C:7-a Interagency Agreement for Special Education. –
I. The commissioner of the department of education, the state board of education, and the commissioner of the department of health and human services shall, consistent with applicable state and federal law, enter into an interagency agreement for the purposes of:
(a) Meeting the multi-service agency needs of children with disabilities in an efficient and effective manner and without delays caused by jurisdictional or funding disputes;
(b) Providing for continuity and consistency of services across environments in which children function; and
(c) Ensuring well-planned, smooth, and effective transitions from early intervention to special education and from special education to postsecondary life.
II. This agreement shall address programs and services for children with disabilities, provided, funded, or regulated by the department and local school districts, and the department of health and human services and its local counterparts, the district offices, the area agencies, and the community mental health centers.
III. The agreement shall address the functions set forth in paragraph I including, but not limited to:
(a) Defining the specific populations to be served.
(b) Identifying and describing the services available through each agency.
(c) Describing the specific programmatic and financial responsibilities of each department, and its divisions, bureaus, and local counterparts.
(d) Estimating the costs of, and source of funds for, all services to be provided by each department.
(e) Implementing methods to ensure prompt and timely initiation of services, including criteria for determining agency responsibility for service provision and payment, which shall include:
(1) A provision permitting a parent or agency, believing that it is not responsible for the services at issue, to request the participation of another potentially responsible agency, provided that in the case of an agency request, the parent or child who has reached majority has been advised of his or her appeal rights and the parent or child, as applicable, consents to the participation of the other agency.
(2) The procedure and criteria, when more than one agency is involved, for determining who should provide and pay for the needed services, such criteria to include a requirement that the school district is responsible to provide and pay for all special education, related services, supplemental aids and services, and accommodations for children with disabilities, unless:
(A) Medicaid is responsible or the department of health and human services or another agency is required to pay; or
(B) Another agency agrees to pay voluntarily or pursuant to an agreement; or
(C) The service is primarily non-educational in nature, involving only care or custodial activities and serves no educational purpose, and does not pertain to curriculum or individualized skills or behavior change or development aimed at enabling a child to function in the school, workplace, home, and community, and are neither related services, supplementary aides, and services, or as defined by state or federal law.
(3) A procedure for dispute resolution, including a provision for binding dispute resolution, which may be initiated by any participating agency, parent, guardian, educational surrogate, or child who has reached the age of majority to determine whether or not the child is entitled to the services in dispute, when service entitlement by all agencies is in dispute, and which agency is responsible to pay and provide the service, when agency financial and programmatic responsibility is in dispute.
(4) When there is a dispute as to financial or programmatic responsibility, a provision that the local school district shall provide the service or otherwise ensure that the service is provided, subject to the local school district's right of reimbursement if another agency is found responsible.
(f) Consistent with federal and state privacy laws, provisions for state and local educational and health and human service agencies to share and exchange necessary child and program specific information and data.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. Nothing in this section shall require:
(a) A parent, guardian, or child to pay for services provided by a local school district or other local or state public educational program, if the services are educational in nature or are otherwise required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1400 et seq.
(b) A local school district to provide any educational services beyond those required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1400 et seq., or this chapter.
(c) The department of health and human services to provide services not otherwise required by other state or federal laws.

Source. 1985, 269:5. 1990, 140:2, X. 1998, 195:1. 2008, 274:31; 302:41. 2012, 264:1, I, eff. Aug. 17, 2012.

Section 186-C:7-b

    186-C:7-b Braille Instruction for Functionally Blind Pupils. –
In developing the individualized education program for a functionally blind pupil, there shall be:
I. A presumption that proficiency in Braille reading and writing is essential for the pupil's satisfactory educational progress. Every functionally blind pupil shall be entitled to Braille reading and writing instruction unless all members of the pupil's special education team concur that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate for the pupil.
II. Instruction in Braille shall be provided by a teacher certified by the state department of education to teach pupils with visual impairment.
III. An initial learning media assessment by a teacher certified in the education of pupils with visual impairment shall be conducted. This assessment shall be conducted every 3 years and reviewed annually.

Source. 1997, 114:2, eff. July 1, 1997.

Section 186-C:7-c

    186-C:7-c Rate Setting. –
I. The division of learner support of the department of education shall ensure that each school district develops approved programs for children with disabilities in the school district.
II. The division of learner support of the department of education shall set an approved rate for private providers of special education services pursuant to RSA 21-N:6, II.
III. Such rates shall be sufficient to reflect costs and expenses of comparable or similar programs in the region or state and sufficient to provide children with disabilities with a free appropriate public education.
IV. No provider shall charge the department of education or any school district in this state an amount in excess of the rate established by the division of learner support of the department of education.

Source. 2008, 302:8, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. 2018, 315:3, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.

Section 186-C:8

    186-C:8 Collaborative Programs. –
I. School districts or school administrative units, or both, may enter into cooperative agreements in order to provide approved programs for educating children with disabilities. The state board of education, when appropriate because of a low incidence of a disabling condition, high cost of services, or scarcity of trained personnel, shall encourage such cooperative agreements and shall serve as a source of information, advice and guidance to school districts, school administrative units, or both.
II. The state board of education, together with representatives of neighboring states, shall study the feasibility of interstate agreements for the provision of services to children with disabilities.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1985, 269:6. 1990, 140:2, X, XII. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:42, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:9

    186-C:9 Education Required. – Each child who is determined by the local school district, or special school district established under RSA 194:60, as having a disability in accordance with RSA 186-C:2 and in need of special education or special education and related services shall be entitled to attend an approved program which can implement the child's individualized education program. Such child shall be entitled to continue in an approved program until such time as the child has acquired a regular high school diploma or has attained the age of 21, whichever occurs first, or until the child's individualized education program team determines that the child no longer requires special education in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 1998, 270:3. 2008, 302:42, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:9-a

    186-C:9-a Repealed by 2008, 302:33, I, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. –

Section 186-C:10

    186-C:10 Responsibility of School District. – A school district shall establish an approved program or programs for children with disabilities, or shall enter into cooperative agreements with other districts to provide approved programs for children with disabilities, or shall pay tuition to such an approved program maintained by another school district or by a private organization.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:43, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:10-a

    186-C:10-a Retention of Individualized Education Programs. –
I. Upon a student's graduation from high school, his or her parents may request the local education agency in writing to have the student's records and final individualized education program destroyed at that time or request that the records be retained until the student's twenty-sixth birthday. The parents may, at any time prior to the student's twenty-sixth birthday, request, in writing, that the records be retained until the student's thirtieth birthday.
II. Absent any request by a student's parents at the time of graduation, the local education agency shall destroy a student's records and final individualized education program within a reasonable time after the student's twenty-sixth birthday, provided that all such records be destroyed by the student's thirtieth birthday.

Source. 2018, 76:1, eff. July 24, 2018.

Section 186-C:11

    186-C:11 Repealed by 2008, 302:33, II, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. –

Section 186-C:12

    186-C:12 Federal Assistance. – The state board of education is authorized to cooperate with the federal government or any agency of the federal government in the development of any plan for the education of children with disabilities and to receive and expend, in accordance with such plan, all funds made available to the state board of education from the federal government or any of its agencies, from the state, or from other sources. The school districts of the state are authorized to receive, incorporate in their budgets, and expend for the purposes of this chapter such funds as may be made available to them through the state board of education from the federal government or any of its agencies.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:44, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:13

    186-C:13 Liability for Expenses. –
I. All expenses incurred by a school district in administering the law in relation to education for children with disabilities in need of special education and related services shall be paid by the school district where the child resides, except as follows:
(a) When a child with a disability in need of special education and related services is placed in a home for children or health care facility as defined in RSA 193:27, the liability for expenses for such child shall be determined in accordance with RSA 193:29.
(b) When a child with a disability in need of special education and related services is placed in a state facility, the liability for expenses for such child shall be determined in accordance with RSA 186-C:19.
II. For the purposes of meeting the financial obligation for expenses incurred under this chapter, a school district may exceed its annual budget to the extent of additional special education aid which the district has actually received from the state after the annual school district budget was approved.
III. No school district shall be required to pay the expenses of the education program of a child adjudicated under RSA 169-B, 169-C, or 169-D except as provided by RSA 186-C. The sending district shall be notified of a court ordered placement of a child adjudicated under the provisions of RSA 169-B, 169-C, or 169-D, and may submit recommendations to the court concerning the financial impact of the placement on the sending district and the appropriateness of the placement.
IV. When a child is enrolled pursuant to 193:3, IV, the district in which the child resides shall retain the liability for expenses as set forth in this section.

Source. 1981, 352:2; 568:142; 574:6. 1982, 39:1. 1985, 313:2; 368:3. 1990, 140:2, X. 1998, 177:3. 2008, 274:30, 31; 302:45. 2010, 316:3, eff. Sept. 11, 2010.

Section 186-C:14

    186-C:14 Surrogate Parents. –
I. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to protect the educational rights of eligible children with disabilities.
II. Definitions. The following words as used in this section shall be construed as follows:
(a) "Surrogate parent" shall mean a person appointed to act as a child's advocate in place of the child's biological or adoptive parents or guardian in the educational decision-making process.
(b) "Educational decision-making process" shall include identification, evaluation, and placement as well as the hearing, mediation, and appeal procedures.
(c) [Repealed.]
(d) [Repealed.]
III. Determining Need.
(a) When a child with a disability, as defined in RSA 186-C:2, needs special education and the parent or guardian of the child is unknown or after reasonable efforts cannot be located, or the child is in the legal custody of the division of children, youth, and families, the commissioner, or designee, may appoint a surrogate parent who shall represent the child in the educational decision-making process, provided that for a child in the legal custody of the division of children, youth, and families, a judge overseeing the child's case pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1415(b)(2)(A)(i), may appoint a surrogate parent.
(b) In the case of a child who is an unaccompanied youth as defined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. section 11434a(6), the school district shall appoint a surrogate parent pursuant to this section.
IV. Appointment of Surrogate. Appointment of a surrogate parent under this section shall be effective until the child reaches 18 years of age, and may be extended by order of the commissioner until the child graduates from high school or reaches 21 years of age, whichever occurs first. If the surrogate parent resigns, dies or is removed, the commissioner of the department of education or designee, or the court with jurisdiction over the child's case, may appoint a successor surrogate parent in the same manner as provided in paragraph III.
V. Right of Access. When a surrogate parent is appointed, the surrogate parent shall have the same right of access as the natural parents or guardian to all records concerning the child. These records shall include, but not be limited to, educational, medical, psychological and health and human service records.
VI. Limited Liability. No surrogate parent appointed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph III or IV shall be liable to the child entrusted to the surrogate parent or the parents or guardian of such child for any civil damages which result from acts or omissions of such surrogate parent which may arise out of ordinary negligence. This immunity shall not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross, willful, or wanton negligence.
VII. Rules. The state board of education shall adopt rules necessary for the administration of the provisions of this section.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1986, 223:16. 1988, 172:1-3. 1990, 140:2, X. 1996, 195:1. 1998, 177:4. 2002, 158:2, 3. 2004, 99:3. 2008, 274:30, 31, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:46, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:14-a

    186-C:14-a Foster Parent Representation of Foster Children With Disabilities. –
I. A foster parent or parents may be appointed by the commissioner of the department of education that he or she has the knowledge and skills to represent the child adequately in services or designee, or by the director of a child placing agency licensed under RSA 170-E that has placed the child with the foster parent or parents, to make educational decisions on behalf of a foster child for the duration of the foster placement, provided that:
(a) The birth parents' parental rights have been terminated by a court of law or by death; and
(b) Each such foster parent:
(1) Is in an ongoing, long-term parental relationship with the child, as determined by the commissioner of the department of education or the child placing agency;
(2) Is willing to make the educational decisions required of parents under state and federal law;
(3) Has no interest that would conflict with the interests of the child; and
(4) Has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner of the department of education that he or she has the knowledge and skills to represent the child adequately in educational decision-making.
II. A foster parent appointment pursuant to this section shall supersede the appointment of a surrogate parent under RSA 186-C:14.
III. A foster parent acting as a parent shall have the same right of access as the birth parents or guardians to all records concerning the child. These records shall include, but are not limited to, educational, medical, psychological, and health and human service records.
IV. No foster parent appointed to act in the capacity of a parent under this section shall be liable to the child entrusted to the foster parent or the parents or guardian of such child for any civil damages which result from acts or omissions of such foster parent which may arise out of ordinary negligence. This immunity shall not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross, willful, or wanton negligence.
V. The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, necessary for the implementation of this section.

Source. 2002, 205:2. 2004, 99:3. 2008, 302:14-16, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:15

    186-C:15 Length of School Year. –
I. The length of the school year and school day for a child with a disability shall be the same as that provided by the local school district for a child without a disability of the same age or grade, except that the local school district shall provide an approved program for an extended period when the child's individualized education program team determines that such services are necessary to provide the child with a free appropriate public education.
II. The length of the school year and school day for a preschool child with a disability shall be determined by the child's individualized education program team and shall not be governed by the school district's school calendar. A free appropriate public education shall be provided to a preschool child with a disability as of the child's third birthday and when the child's individualized education program team determines that services are necessary to provide a free appropriate public education to the child.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 2008, 274:30, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:47, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:16

    186-C:16 Rulemaking. –
The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, and consistent with the provision of a free appropriate public education, relative to:
I. Developing individualized education programs;
II. Approving and monitoring special education programs;
III. Reporting the number of children with disabilities in a school district;
IV. Requesting administrative due process hearings and appealing a final administrative decision;
V. Determining eligibility for participation in approved programs;
VI. Appointing surrogate parents;
VII. Determining the length of the school year for children with disabilities; and
VIII. Other matters related to complying with provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1981, 352:2. 1990, 140:2, X. 1992, 114:1. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:48, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:16-a

    186-C:16-a Special Education Hearing Officers. – Hearing officers appointed by the department of education to hear special education impartial due process appeals shall have the authority to compel the attendance of witnesses in accordance with RSA 516:1 including issuing subpoenas for parents who are representing themselves. Any costs incurred in issuing a subpoena shall be the responsibility of the party requesting the subpoena, unless otherwise determined by the hearing officer. The state board of education may adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to implement the provisions of this section, including guidelines to be used for consideration by the hearing officers in determining the responsibility of costs of the subpoena. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any justice from issuing a subpoena for such hearing in accordance with RSA 516:3.

Source. 1991, 325:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

Section 186-C:16-b

    186-C:16-b Due Process Hearing; Appeal. –
I. Any action against a local school district seeking to enforce special education rights under state or federal law shall be commenced by requesting an administrative due process hearing from the department of education within 2 years of the date on which the alleged violation was or reasonably should have been discovered.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, any action against a local school district to recover the costs of a unilateral special education placement shall be commenced by requesting an administrative due process hearing from the department of education within 90 days of the unilateral placement.
III. Where the parent, legal guardian or surrogate parent has not been given proper written notice of special education rights pursuant to 20 U.S.C. section 1415(d), including notice of the time limitations established in this section, such limitations shall run from the time notice of those rights is properly given. The department of education shall make available a model notice of rights which school districts may use as one means of complying with this paragraph.
III-a. In all hearings the school district shall have the burden of proof, including the burden of persuasion and production, of the appropriateness of the child's program or placement, or of the program or placement proposed by the public agency. This burden shall be met by a preponderance of the evidence.
IV. An appeal from a final administrative decision in a special education due process hearing to a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to 20 U.S.C. section 1415(i)(2)(A) shall be commenced within 120 days from receipt of the final decision. All such decisions shall be sent certified mail, return receipt requested.
V. An action pursuant to 20 U.S.C. section 1415(i)(3) seeking reimbursement for attorney's fees or seeking reimbursement for expert witness fees shall be commenced within 120 days from receipt of the final decision in accordance with RSA 186-C:16-b, IV. All such decisions shall be sent certified mail, return receipt requested.
(a) The court may award reimbursement to a parent of a child with a disability for expert witness fees incurred as part of a due process complaint at which the parent was the prevailing party and when the court determines that a school has not acted in good faith in developing or implementing a child's individualized education program, including appropriate placement.
(b) The court may deny or reduce reimbursement of expert witness fees if the hearing officer determines:
(1) The expert witness was not a necessary component to the parent's complaint.
(2) The expert witness fee exceeds an amount that is reasonable, given the type and location of the service provided and the skill, reputation, and experience of the expert witness.
(3) The parent, or the parent's attorney, did not provide notice to the school district of their intent to have the expert witness participate in the due process hearing.
VI. Where a unilateral placement has been made, without the school district of residence being offered a reasonable opportunity to evaluate the child and to develop an individualized education program, reimbursement may not be sought for any costs incurred until the school district is given an opportunity to evaluate the child and develop an individualized education program.

Source. 1992, 114:2. 2008, 274:32, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:19, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. 2021, 158:1, eff. July 29, 2021.

Section 186-C:16-c

    186-C:16-c Rules Exceeding State or Federal Minimum Requirements. –
I. Whenever the state board of education proposes to adopt or amend any special education rule which exceeds the minimum requirements of state or federal law, the state board shall, in addition to the provisions of RSA 541-A, issue a report of all such proposed rules which meets the following requirements:
(a) For each rule or proposed rule contained in the report, the state board shall include the rule number, the nature of the rule, any state minimum requirement exceeded, any federal minimum requirement exceeded, and the reasons for exceeding those minimum requirements.
(b) The report shall be issued to the chairpersons of the house and senate education committees.
(c) A copy of the report shall be distributed to the superintendent of each school district in the state.
II. By December 1 of each year, the commissioner of the department of education shall issue a report of all special education rules, proposed or adopted, which exceed the minimum requirements of state or federal law. This report shall meet the requirements of paragraph I.

Source. 2012, 210:1, eff. June 13, 2012.

Section 186-C:17

    186-C:17 Limitation of Provisions. – Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing any public official, agent, or representative, in carrying out any of the provisions of this chapter to take charge of any child over the objection of either of the parents of such child, or of the person standing in loco parentis to such child except pursuant to a proper court order.

Source. 1981, 352:2, eff. July 1, 1981.

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.

Section 186-C:19

    186-C:19 Children With Disabilities in Certain State Facilities. –
I. For a child with a disability in a state facility, the school district responsible for selecting and funding the child's special education or special education and related services shall be as follows:
(a) If such child is in the legal custody of the parent, the school district in which the child's parent resides shall be the liable school district.
(b) If such child is not in the legal custody of the parent, or if the parent resides outside the state, the school district in which the child most recently resided other than in a state facility, home for children or health care facility as defined in RSA 193:27 shall be the liable school district.
(c) For the purposes of this section a parent shall not have legal custody if legal custody has been awarded to some other individual or agency, even if that parent retains residual parental rights. An award of legal custody by a court of competent jurisdiction, in this state or any other state, shall determine legal custody under this section.
II. For a child with a disability in a state facility, the responsible school district shall be liable for all expenses incurred in administering the law in relation to children with disabilities.
III. Nothing in paragraphs I or II of this section shall diminish the responsibility of the financially liable school district as defined in paragraphs I and II to develop and implement an individualized education program or to fulfill its obligations under other sections of this chapter for a child with a disability in a state facility, regardless of whether such child was initially placed by a school district, the parent or some other agent.
IV. "State facility" as used in this section means any state operated facility for children and youth with disabilities.

Source. 1982, 39:2. 1985, 195:7; 241:3; 355:1, 2. 1988, 107:5. 1990, 140:2, X. 2008, 274:30 to 33, eff. July 1, 2008; 302:49, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:19-a

    186-C:19-a Children with Disabilities at the Youth Development Center, County Correctional Facilities and the Youth Services Center. –
I. For a child with a disability at the youth development center or county correctional facilities, or who is placed at the youth services center maintained by the department of health and human services while awaiting disposition of the court following arraignment pursuant to RSA 169-B:13, the school district responsible for the development of an individualized education program and the child's special education expenses shall be as follows:
(a) If such child is in the legal custody of the parent, the school district in which the child's parent resides shall be responsible.
(b) If such child is not in the legal custody of the parent or if the parent resides outside the state, the school district in which the child most recently resided other than in a state institution, home for children or health care facility as defined in RSA 193:27 shall be responsible.
(c) For the purposes of this section a parent shall not have legal custody if legal custody has been awarded to some other person or agency, even if that parent retains residual parental rights. An award of legal custody by a court of competent jurisdiction, in this state or in any other state, shall determine legal custody under this section.
II. The school district liability for educational expenses for a child with a disability in the youth development center or county correctional facilities, or who is placed in the youth services center while awaiting disposition of the court following arraignment pursuant to RSA 169-B:13, shall not exceed the state average elementary cost per pupil, as determined by the state board of education for the preceding school year.

Source. 1983, 458:10. 1985, 241:4. 1987, 402:24. 1990, 3:57, 58; 140:2, X. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 181:9. 1997, 337:1. 1998, 270:4. 2001, 286:19. 2008, 274:30-32, eff. July 1, 2008.

Section 186-C:19-b

    186-C:19-b Liability for Children With Disabilities in Certain Court Ordered Placements. –
I. (a) As used in this section "children in placement for which the department of health and human services has financial responsibility" means all children receiving special education or special education and related services whose placements were made pursuant to RSA 169-B, 169-C, or 169-D, except children at the youth development center and children placed at the youth services center maintained by the department of health and human services while awaiting disposition of the court following arraignment pursuant to RSA 169-B:13.
(b) In the case of an out-of-district placement, the appropriate court shall notify the department of education on the date that the court order is signed, stating the initial length of time for which such placement is made. This subparagraph shall apply to the original order and all subsequent modifications of that order.
II. The school district liability for expenses for special education or for special education and related services for a child with a disability in placement for which the department of health and human services has financial responsibility shall be limited to 3 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil, for the school year preceding the year of distribution. The liability of a school district under this section shall be prorated if the placement is for less than a full school year and the district shall be liable for only the prorated amount. This section shall not limit a school district's financial liability for children who receive special education or special education and related services in a public school or program identified in RSA 186-C:10.
(a) Any costs of special education or special education and related services in excess of 3 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution shall be the liability of the department of education. Costs for which the department of education is liable under this section shall be paid to education service providers by the department of education. The department of education shall develop a mechanism for allocating the funds appropriated for the purposes of this section.
(b) The department of health and human services shall be liable for all court-ordered costs pursuant to RSA 169-B:40, 169-C:27, and 169-D:29 other than for special education or special education and related services.
(c) The department of education shall distribute special education payments under subparagraph II(a) within 60 days of receipt of invoice from the school district. School districts shall submit education service providers costs to the department within 30 days of receipt of such costs. The department shall then verify the cost and distribute the appropriate amounts to the education service provider.
III. The department of education shall by rules adopted under RSA 541-A establish the rates charged by education service providers to the department of education or to school districts for children with disabilities in placement for which the department of health and human services has financial responsibility.
IV. The department of education is authorized to receive and take appropriate action on complaints regarding the failure to provide necessary special education or special education and related services to children with disabilities in placement for which the department of health and human services has financial responsibility.
V. All appropriations made for the purposes of funding court-ordered placements shall be nonlapsing.

Source. 1986, 223:15. 1987, 402:25. 1990, 3:59; 140:2, X; 162:2. 1991, 324:4. 1992, 238:5. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 181:10; 308:20; 310:181. 2001, 286:19. 2005, 10:1. 2008, 274:30, 31, 33, eff. July 1, 2008.

Section 186-C:20

    186-C:20 Special Education Program of the Youth Services Center. – Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the expenses for a child with a disability receiving services at the special education program at the youth services center maintained by the department of health and human services shall be the responsibility of the liable school district so assigning the child. Such a school district shall pay the rate established for the special education program of the center.

Source. 1982, 39:2. 1985, 195:8. 1990, 3:60; 140:2, X. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 181:11. 2001, 286:19. 2008, 274:30; 302:50. 2017, 195:2, eff. Sept. 3, 2017.

Section 186-C:21

    186-C:21 Repealed by 2011, 231:2(5), eff. Dec. 31, 2011. –

Section 186-C:22

    186-C:22 Repealed by 2007, 328:3, eff. July 1, 2007. –

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Section 186-C:23

    186-C:23 Alternative Dispute Resolution. –
I. In order to encourage informal resolution of differences of opinion regarding the provision of special education, the following methods of alternative dispute resolution shall be available to parents and school districts:
(a) Neutral conference.
(b) Mediation.
(c) [Repealed.]
II. To assist parents and schools, this subdivision requires the local education agency to notify the department of education in writing that an individualized education program, educational placement, identification, or evaluation of a child has been rejected by the parent, and establishes a 30-day period for discussion beginning on the date such notice is received by the department of education. Immediately following notification, the department shall communicate to the parent a description of the alternative dispute resolution process. While the use of these informal resolution procedures is strongly encouraged, it is not mandatory for either party. If this option is chosen by both parties, the department shall, during the 30-day period, schedule and conduct an alternative dispute resolution conference. The conference shall not be used to delay a due process hearing; however, both parties may agree to postpone the hearing pending a resolution.
III. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings shall be confidential and shall not impair the right of the participants to demand a due process hearing. Information, evidence, or the admission of any party shall not be disclosed or used in any subsequent proceeding. Statements made and documents prepared by a party, attorney, or other participant in aid of such proceeding shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed. In addition, the parties shall not introduce into evidence in any subsequent proceeding the fact that there was an alternative dispute resolution proceeding or any other matter concerning the conduct of such proceedings. The authority of the department of education in alternative dispute resolution proceedings initiated under this section shall be limited to the provisions of paragraphs I and II.
IV. There shall be no record made of any alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
V. Evidence that would otherwise be admissible in a due process hearing or in a subsequent court hearing shall not be rendered inadmissible as a result of its use in an alternative dispute resolution proceeding.

Source. 1990, 162:1. 1994, 223:2. 2005, 10:2. 2008, 302:20. 2015, 24:1, eff. July 4, 2015.

Section 186-C:23-a

    186-C:23-a Local School District Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs. –
I. Each school district in New Hampshire is encouraged to develop options for alternative dispute resolutions which can be utilized at the local district level. A plan outlining these methods may be submitted to the department of education for review. The department shall provide technical assistance at the request of the school districts in developing and implementing these alternative dispute resolution options.
II. Local school districts and parents are encouraged to submit to the department of education information relating to methods of alternative dispute resolution which have proven to be effective. Pursuant to RSA 21-N:7, II, the department shall develop a system whereby such information can be collected, compiled, and disseminated to local school districts.

Source. 1994, 223:3, eff. May 27, 1994. 2018, 315:4, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.

Section 186-C:23-b

    186-C:23-b Neutral Conference. –
I. Neutral conference shall consist of an informal, abbreviated presentation of case facts and issues by the parties to a neutral who is responsible for reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the case and issuing a recommendation. If the neutral conference is selected, the department of education shall provide the parties with resumes of 5 neutrals. The parties shall agree to the selection of one neutral to preside at the conference. Following such selection, the department shall schedule the neutral conference and shall provide the parties with the neutral's name and address, the time, date, and place of the neutral conference, and the date by which the parties shall furnish the neutral with required information and documentation.
II. (a) Not less than 5 days prior to the neutral conference, the parties shall submit to the neutral and exchange a summary of the significant aspects of their case. The parties shall attach to the summary copies of all documents on which they rely. Such summaries shall be not more than 4 pages.
(b) Parties shall not communicate with the neutral concerning their case.
(c) At the neutral conference, the parties shall be present and shall have authority to authorize settlement.
(d) If the neutral deems it necessary, such neutral may request additional written information prior to the conference from either party. At the neutral conference, the neutral may address questions to the parties and shall allow each party no more than 30 minutes to complement their written summaries with a brief oral statement. The conference shall be limited to not more than 2 hours.
(e)(1) At the conclusion of the oral statements, the neutral shall issue an oral opinion to the parties. The opinion shall contain a suggested settlement or disposition and the reasons therefor.
(2) If the neutral conference results in agreement, the conclusions shall be incorporated into a written binding agreement signed by each party.
(3) If the neutral conference does not result in agreement, the neutral shall document only the date and the participants at the meeting. No other record of the neutral conference shall be made. The neutral shall not be called as a witness at any additional proceedings in the specific case in which such neutral participated.
(4) The neutral shall advise the department of education that the neutral conference has taken place.
III. (a)(1) The neutral who presides at a conference shall have experience with children with disabilities and shall have knowledge of special education law, rules, and regulations.
(2) The neutral shall not have personal knowledge of the student or involvement with the school district.
(3) [Repealed.]
(b) Upon receipt of notice of appointment in a case, the neutral shall disclose any circumstances likely to create a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest, a reasonable inference of bias, or to prevent the process from proceeding as scheduled. If the neutral withdraws, has a conflict of interest, or is otherwise unavailable, another shall be appointed by the commissioner of education.
(c) The participants and counsel shall recognize that the neutrals shall not be acting as legal advisors or legal representatives.
IV. The department of education shall evaluate the effectiveness of the alternative dispute resolution procedures annually and shall report its findings to the State Advisory Council required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Source. 1994, 223:3. 1997, 89:2. 2008, 302:27, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 186-C:24

    186-C:24 Mediation; Procedure. –
I. When disputes arise under this chapter, mediation shall be available through the office of the commissioner, department of education. Mediation shall be provided in accordance with the following:
(a) Attempts to resolve conflicts between the parent or parents and a school district are encouraged.
(b) Either party may be accompanied and advised at mediation by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to the needs of children with disabilities. At least 5 days prior to the mediation conference, the mediator shall contact the parties to determine whether either party will be accompanied by an individual with special knowledge or training and shall notify the other party if such an individual will be in attendance.
II. Mediation shall be provided as follows:
(a) A request for mediation shall be made in writing by either party to the commissioner of education. The mediation request shall specify the issue or issues in dispute and the relief sought;
(b) A mediation conference shall be conducted within 30 calendar days after receipt of a written request at which time:
(1) Issues shall be determined;
(2) Options explored; and
(3) Mediation attempts made within New Hampshire law.
(c) The role of the mediator shall be:
(1) To facilitate communication.
(2) To define the issues and explore alternatives.
(3) To remain neutral.
(d) The mediation conference shall be:
(1) Informal; and
(2) Held at a time and place reasonably convenient and mutually agreeable to the parties in the dispute.
(e) If the mediation results in agreement, the conclusions shall be incorporated into a written binding agreement signed by each party. If the mediation does not result in agreement, the mediator shall document the date and the participants at the meeting. No other record of the mediation shall be made. The mediator shall not be called as a witness in any additional proceedings in the specific case that the mediator mediates.
(f) The mediator may terminate the mediation after at least one meeting if in the mediator's judgment the parties are not making progress toward resolving the issue or issues in dispute.
(g) Pending the outcome of mediation, no change shall be made to a pupil's classification, program or placement, unless both parties agree to the change.
III. The commissioner shall:
(a) Appoint impartial mediators.
(b) Assure that mediators receive appropriate training.
(c) Assign mediators on a regional basis.

Source. 1990, 162:1. 1996, 195:3. 2008, 302:28, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Medicaid to Schools Program

Section 186-C:25

    186-C:25 Medicaid to Schools Program Established. –
I. The department of health and human services Medicaid reimbursement program shall be known as the "Medicaid to schools" program, providing medical assistance for covered services furnished to children with disabilities who are enrolled in Medicaid. The purpose of the program is to seek any and all Medicaid reimbursement for medical and health-related services provided by local school districts and school administrative units to children with disabilities which are reimbursable under federal law but which were previously fully funded by such districts or administrative units. The program shall be voluntary and is designed to assist children with disabilities by maintaining them in their own homes and communities. The program shall be administered in the same, or similar, manner as the Medicaid to schools for medical services program established in RSA 167:3-k. This subdivision is intended to provide Medicaid funding for services which, in the absence of such funding, nevertheless qualify as special education or related services under this chapter. It is not the intention of this subdivision to increase school district responsibility or liability beyond what is required by other sections of this chapter.
II. A reimbursable service under this section shall be:
(a) A covered New Hampshire Medicaid state plan service determined by a Medicaid qualified provider to meet accepted standards of medical practice for the service, or such other necessary health care, diagnostic services, treatment, and other measures described in section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act through the Early and Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit if medically necessary, meaning that the item or service is reasonably calculated to prevent, diagnose, correct, cure, alleviate, or prevent the worsening of conditions that endanger life, cause pain, result in illness or infirmity, threaten to cause or aggravate a handicap, or cause physical deformity or malfunction, and no other equally effective course of treatment is available or suitable for the student or individual requesting the medically necessary service;
(b) Provided to a Medicaid enrolled child after obtaining parental consent;
(c) Provided by a Medicaid qualified provider; and
(d) Provided in compliance with applicable state and federal law and rules.
(e) Services delivered through telehealth, as defined in RSA 167:4-d.
III. Services provided under this subdivision shall:
(a) Offer the least restrictive setting for children receiving the services.
(b) Be in addition to any special education program as defined in the New Hampshire rules for the education of children with disabilities.
III-a. Any provider who orders, refers, prescribes, renders, or provides services under this section shall do so in accordance with the relevant health professional practice act and regulations including, but not limited to, RSA 137-F, RSA 317-A, RSA 326-B, RSA 326-C, RSA 326-E, RSA 326-F, RSA 326-H, RSA 327, RSA 328-A, RSA 328-D, RSA 328-F, RSA 329, RSA 329-B, RSA 330-A, and RSA 330-C.
IV. The commissioner of the department of health and human services, after consultation with the commissioner of the department of education, shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
(a) State plans and reimbursement procedures necessary for local school districts or school administrative units to receive appropriate Medicaid reimbursement for eligible services under paragraph II of this section that are provided or paid for by school districts or school administrative units. Such rules shall recognize the financial obligation of the department of health and human services, and that any disputes between the department of health and human services and a school district or school administrative unit regarding whether such reimbursement is required shall be resolved pursuant to RSA 186-C:7-a.
(b) Monitoring mechanisms to ensure that services provided under this subdivision meet the requirements of paragraph III of this section. Monitoring responsibilities shall be consistent with the jurisdiction of the different departments.
(c) A financial mechanism by which the federal mandatory matching requirement is met through collection, or other means, of 50 percent of the cost of allowable services from local school districts and/or school administrative units.
V. The commissioner of the department of health and human services, after consultation with the commissioner of the department of education, shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to further defining services eligible for medicaid reimbursement under this subdivision.
VI. New Hampshire local school districts or school administrative units shall be the enrolled Medicaid providers for the purpose of administration and billing.
VII. Beginning on September 1, 2018, the commissioner of the department of health and human services shall submit an annual report to the senate president, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees regarding the total cost of the Medicaid to schools program and the number of students who received services through the program during the prior school year.

Source. 1990, 272:1. 1995, 310:151. 2008, 302:26. 2017, 187:2, eff. Aug. 28, 2017. 2020, 6:2, eff. Mar. 9, 2020; 27:34, eff. July 21, 2020.

Section 186-C:26

    186-C:26 Repealed by 2008, 302:33, III, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. –

Section 186-C:27

    186-C:27 Repealed by 2008, 302:33, IV, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. –

Section 186-C:28

    186-C:28 Repealed by 2008, 302:33, V, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. –

Section 186-C:28-a

    186-C:28-a Repealed by 2019, 46:2, eff. Nov. 1, 2019. –

Medicaid-Funded Services

Section 186-C:29

    186-C:29 Medicaid-Funded Services. –
I. Medicaid-funded services that are provided as part of a child's individualized education program (IEP) shall be provided for the sole purpose of enabling the child to benefit from special education or to receive a free and appropriate public education. If a child receives Medicaid-funded services as part of the child's special education program and also receives the same or similar medical services outside of his or her special education program, the services that are provided outside of the child's special education program shall not be considered to be duplicative provided such services are medically necessary and not inconsistent with federal Medicaid law. Medicaid-funded services that are provided as part of a child's individualized education program shall not be considered to be duplicative services if the child receives the same or similar medical services outside of his or her special education program, provided both services are medically necessary and not inconsistent with federal Medicaid law.
II. Services are considered to be Medicaid-funded if they are funded in full or in part by Medicaid.
III. Medicaid providers, managed care providers, or private providers receiving full or partial payment through Medicaid shall not require a parent to provide a copy of a child's individualized education program as a prerequisite to determining if a child is eligible for Medicaid-funded services that are not being provided as part of a child's individualized education program.
IV. Upon request from the state Medicaid agency or its agent, the local education agency shall provide a list of related services specified in the child's IEP that are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.

Source. 2014, 211:1, eff. Sept. 9, 2014.

Commission to Study Issues Relating to Students Receiving Special Education Services While Attending a Chartered Public School

Section 186-C:30

    186-C:30 Repealed by 2015, 120:2, eff. Nov. 1, 2016. –

Deaf Children's Bill of Rights

Section 186-C:31

    186-C:31 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "American Sign Language" means the visual/gestural language used by deaf people in the United States and Canada, with semantic, syntactic, morphological, and phonological rules which are distinct from English.
II. "Deaf student" means an individual who has a severe or complete absence of auditory sensitivity which adversely affects educational performance and which is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification.
III. "English sign systems" means sign systems developed for educational purposes, which use manual signs in English word order, sometimes with added affixes which are not present in American Sign Language.
IV. "Hard of hearing student" means an individual who has some absence of auditory sensitivity with residual hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, which adversely affects a child's educational performance but which is not included under the definition of "deaf student" in this section.
V. "Individualized education plan (IEP)" means a written educational plan developed for a student eligible for special education services pursuant to RSA 186-C and the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1400, et seq.
VI. "Primary communication mode, style, and language" means the communication mode, style, and language which is preferred by and most effective for a particular student, as determined by appropriate language assessment undertaken by individuals proficient in the communication mode, style, or languages being assessed. Communication mode may include one or more of the following systems or methods of communication applicable to deaf or hard of hearing children:
(a) American Sign Language;
(b) Cued speech;
(c) English-or other spoken language-based manual or sign systems; or
(d) Oral, aural, or speech-based training.

Source. 2019, 217:1, eff. July 12, 2019.

Section 186-C:32

    186-C:32 Deaf Children's Bill of Rights. –
I. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to appropriate screening and assessment of hearing and vision capabilities and language and communication needs at the earliest possible age and to the continuation of intermittent screening services throughout their educational experience.
II. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have a right to early interventions to provide for the acquisition of a solid language base developed at the earliest possible age. Any infant with a documented hearing loss, prior to demonstration of any developmental delay, shall qualify for services as determined by the infant's individualized family service plan team.
III. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to an education in which their parents or guardians have full informed participation in determining the extent, content, and purpose of all their educational planning and programs.
IV. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to placement in the least restrictive educational environment and services based on their unique communication, language, and educational needs, consistent with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1400, et seq.
V. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to an education in which their communication mode, style, and language is respected, used, and developed to an appropriate level of proficiency.
VI. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to a high-quality, ongoing and fluid means of communication, both inside and outside the classroom.
VII. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing shall have the opportunity to choose from a variety of language modes and languages and technologies to enhance language learning. They have a right to teachers or interpreters proficient in appropriate language modes and certified in appropriate language modes if certification is available.
VIII. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to an education in which teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, related service providers, and assessors understand the unique nature of deafness, are specifically trained to work with deaf and hard of hearing students, and can communicate spontaneously and fluidly with these children.
IX. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to contact with and to be exposed to adult role models who are deaf or hard of hearing.
X. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to receive an education with a sufficient number of language mode peers with whom they can communicate directly and who are the same, or approximately the same, age and ability, whenever possible.
XI. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to direct and appropriate access to all components of the educational process, including recess, lunch, and extracurricular, social, and athletic activities.
XII. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right to a placement best suited to their individual needs, including, but not limited to age, hearing loss, academic level, modes of communications, style of learning, motivational levels and family support.

Source. 2019, 217:1, eff. July 12, 2019.

Section 186-C:33

    186-C:33 Right of Parents or Guardians of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. –
The parents or guardians of deaf or hard of hearing children have a right to balanced and complete information regarding:
I. Their child's educational and communication needs.
II. Available programmatic, placement, and resource options.
III. Support services and advocacy resources from private and public agencies and institutions.
IV. Available resources pertaining to hearing loss and the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Source. 2019, 217:1, eff. July 12, 2019.

Section 186-C:34

    186-C:34 Rulemaking. –
The department of education and the department of health and human services shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A to implement this chapter. At a minimum, such rules shall address:
I. Qualifications of personnel providing professional services to deaf and hard-of-hearing children within the school system.
II. Composition of the individualized family service plan team and the individualized education plan team.
III. The individualized communication plan for every deaf and hard-of-hearing student.
IV. Procedures and materials for assessment and placement.
V. Psychological counseling and mental health services.
VI. Evaluation of the effectiveness of programs for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Source. 2019, 217:1, eff. July 12, 2019.

Section 186-C:35

    186-C:35 Advisory Council Established. –
There is hereby established an advisory council on the education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
I. Members of the council shall be as follows:
(a) One professional with experience in using assistive technology.
(b) Two teachers of the deaf, one of whom is a regular and effective user of American Sign language and one of whom is a regular and effective user of oral/aural or speech based English.
(c) Two parents of deaf or hard of hearing students, one of whom is a regular and effective user of American sign language and one of whom is a regular and effective user of oral/aural or speech based English.
(d) Two representatives of the deaf and hard of hearing community, one of whom is a user of American sign language and one of whom is a user of oral/aural or speech based English.
(e) One administrator of a college or university program in interpreter training.
(f) One director of special education in a public school system.
(g) One public school administrator.
(h) One member of the New Hampshire Speech-Language-Hearing Association, appointed by the association.
(i) One representative of the department of health and human services familiar with services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(j) One representative of the early hearing detection and intervention program, in the department of health and human services, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(k) One representative of the department of education, division of special education, appointed by the commissioner of the department of education.
(l) One member of the New Hampshire Association or Audiologists, appointed by the association.
(m) One member of the New Hampshire Association of the Deaf, appointed by the association.
II. The commissioner of the department of education shall appoint the members under subparagraphs I(a)-I(c) and the commissioner of the department of health and human services shall appoint the members under subparagraphs I(d)-I(g). Each member shall serve a 2-year term.
III. The members of the council shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the council shall be called by the member appointed under subparagraph I(a). The first meeting of the council shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.
IV. The council shall advise the department of education and the department of health and human services on the needs and services provided to deaf and hard of hearing children in New Hampshire. In addition to such duties as may be assigned by the departments, the council shall determine the number of children within the state who are identified as being deaf and hard of hearing, the number of those children currently receiving services from both public and private agencies, the types of services being received, the types of services requested by parents or guardians, and areas of need.
V. On or before November 1, the council shall submit an annual report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the education committees in the house and senate, the New Hampshire commission on deafness and hearing loss established in RSA 125-Q, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library.

Source. 2019, 217:1, eff. July 12, 2019.