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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 01-1030




[22 PA. CODE CHS. 14 AND 342]

Special Education Services and Programs

[31 Pa.B. 3021]

   The State Board of Education (Board) amends Chapter 14 (relating to special education services and programs) and deletes Chapter 342 (relating to standards relating to special education services and programs) to read as set forth in Annex A, under the authority of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. 1-101--26-2606-B) (act).

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 30 Pa.B. 4628 (September 2, 2000) with an invitation to submit written comments within 30 days. In addition, the Board held hearings on the proposed amendments on September 15, 21 and 25, 2000.

   These final-form regulations establish procedures for the identification of students who are disabled and in need of special education services and programs and set forth requirements and procedures for the delivery of those services and programs.

Response to Comments

Adoption by Reference

   Commentators and the House Education Committee recommended that the appropriate text of the Federal regulations from 34 CFR Part 300 (relating to assistance to states for the education of children with disabilities) be incorporated in the text of these final-form regulations. Other commentators supported the choice to adopt by reference. Early in its work, the Board's Standing Committee on Special Education studied and reviewed drafts of efforts to incorporate the Federal regulations in the text of Chapter 14 and determined that doing so would lead to unnecessarily lengthy regulations and lead to possible discrepancies between Federal intent and State intent. As a result, these final-form regulations have been drafted to incorporate Federal regulations by reference, adding in those areas where the Federal regulations require greater detail, when the Commonwealth's statutes or court decisions require specific language and when practices in this Commonwealth are different from those found in other jurisdictions. Federal regulations are adopted by reference in many regulations of this Commonwealth. The revised final-form regulations have added to all Federal regulation references in § 14.102 (relating to purposes) parenthetical descriptions of titles of those sections as provided in the Federal regulations to assist the reader. The Department of Education (Department) has and will continue to develop publications and other media to inform parents, teachers and administrators of their rights and responsibilities under both Federal and State statutes and regulations in regard to children with disabilities. Documents and websites which clearly link Federal and State regulations in a ''side-by-side'' format will be available upon final publication.

Section 14.101 (relating to definitions)

   Defining ''student with a disability''--The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) recommended that a definition of ''student with a disability'' be added for clarification. A definition has been added in this final-form rulemaking. In addition, public commentators and IRRC stated that the proposed rulemaking relying on the Federal definition is less specific than that currently found in Chapter 342 for students with mental retardation, which established an IQ of 80 or higher as a cutoff. By diminishing possible reliance on a single intelligence measure, multidisciplinary evaluation teams will be able to perform comprehensive evaluations, which may include IQ scores, to determine if a student has subaverage general intellectual functioning. Thus the Board elected to rely on the Federal definition.

   Definitions of ''early intervention services'' and ''mutually agreed-upon written arrangements''--IRRC recommended revising the definitions of ''early intervention services'' and ''mutually agreed-upon written arrangements.'' The revised final-form rulemaking has deleted prior definitions and inserted references to the Early Intervention Services System Act (11 P. S. §§ 875-101--875-503) in defining these two terms.

   Definition of ''parent''--IRRC recommended clarifying the role of foster parents in obtaining special education or early intervention services. A definition of parent is added in the revised final-form rulemaking which includes foster parents so that foster parents in this Commonwealth will henceforward be able to act as parents.

Section 14.122 (relating to screening)

   Involvement of parents--Commentators, the House Education Committee and IRRC asked that provisions be added to the screening process requirements that would involve parents in this process. Language has been added in § 14.122(c)(7) (relating to screening).

Section 14.123 (relating to evaluation)

   Group of qualified professionals--IRRC commented that this provision is vague and should be clarified. The professionals involved in each evaluation must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Listing all professionals who might serve would be nearly impossible to identify for the wide range of disabilities, be overly prescriptive and result in unnecessarily large evaluation teams. Ongoing guidance from the Department will be provided to help parents, teachers and administrators understand the professionals needed to evaluate students for disabilities.

   School psychologists--Commentators, the House Education Committee and IRRC asked the Board to restore the requirement for school psychologists to be members of every multidisciplinary evaluation team. Other commentators supported the proposed rulemaking so that school psychologists would not be required to participate in evaluations which might be purely physical in nature (such as, deafness and hard of hearing, speech pathology). The final-form rulemaking has been revised to list those areas where a school psychologist must be part of the evaluation team. Similar language has been added to § 14.124 (relating to reevaluation).

Section 14.131 (relating to implementation of the IEP)

   Implementation of the IEP within 10 days--Commentators, the House Education Committee and IRRC recommended that current language requiring the IEP to be implemented within 10 days be restored. The final-form rulemaking has been changed to include that requirement.

Sections 14.141 and 14.142 (relating to educational placement)

   A number of issues regarding educational placement were raised by commentators, the House Education Committee and IRRC. These included: (1) ''recommended'' caseloads; (2) caseload limitations to be followed in intermediate unit (IU)-operated or multidistrict classes; (3) class size limitations; (4) the involvement of parents or teachers in the adoption of district caseloads; (5) caseloads and class sizes for regular education classes in which students with disabilities receive programs and services; and (6) age range limitations for special education classes. Public comments were received that favored educational placement as described in the proposed rulemaking as well as in opposition to it.

   As a result, this final-form rulemaking has been revised in a number of areas. Caseload limitations are now mandatory and a process is established where school districts may request a variance from the caseload limitations by application to the Secretary. As part of the application materials, the district must describe how parents, teachers and others were able to review and offer comments on the requested caseload variance. Language regarding caseload for classes attended by students from more than one district has been clarified to require the caseload of the district in which the class is operated to be applied. IU itinerant services provided to multiple districts must follow caseload limitations.

   Public comments were received that supported the elimination of class size restrictions currently found in Chapter 342. These individuals and organizations supported the flexibility permitted districts to structure and staff the programs and services as required in student IEPs. Other public commentators and the House Education Committee asked the Board to restore class size restrictions to limit possibilities for overcrowding special education classes. The Board's goal in considering changes to the current chart was to strike a balance between students' rights for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and flexibility in staffing and scheduling necessary to provide FAPE effectively and efficiently to all students requiring special education. In its consideration of a variety of options, the Board became convinced that the IEP--the document that identifies the specially-designed instruction necessary for a student to receive FAPE--is the controlling document from which school's schedule staff, programs and services. And with over 220,000 IEPs, many including a variety of instructional and related support requirements, flexibility is important to effectively and efficiently meet the requirements of those plans.

   The original class size restrictions were developed in the 1970s when special education was designed to exclude rather than include children in the general curriculum and when fewer students were identified and served through special education. Since that time, the range and number of disabilities has grown as well as the range and number of educational and professional services that are necessary to address those disabilities. More importantly, the direction for the delivery of special education has changed from exclusion to inclusion.

   The Board found that class size restrictions were incongruent with current practice in the delivery of special education, provided little flexibility for educational purposes, and focused compliance issues on staffing snapshots rather than on whether or not students were meeting the goals of their IEP. The Board believes that compliance should be driven by attention to the student's IEP and the effectiveness of programs designed to help the student achieve the student's goals as outlined in the IEP.

   The Board maintains its choice to eliminate class size restrictions in the final-form regulation for four reasons: (1) there is no Federal requirement to establish class sizes; (2) staffing of classes for students with disabilities must be constructed by schools from the requirements established in student IEPs and cannot be determined effectively as a uniform Statewide standard; (3) caseloads provide general protections to prevent overcrowding; and (4) procedural safeguards ensure that class size cannot serve as an impediment to any student achieving the student's goals as established in the IEP.

   No caseloads or class sizes are established in this final-form rulemaking for regular education classrooms in which students with disabilities are included for most or all of the school day. Doing so would result in class size restrictions for most classes in this Commonwealth, a decision which is currently within the purview of locally-elected school boards.

   Language on age range restrictions in special education has been retained in this final-form rulemaking.

Section 14.143 (relating to disciplinary exclusion)

   Proposed Chapter 14 contained a provision that a disciplinary exclusion of the student with a disability of 15 days or longer constituted a change in placement, triggering the convening of the IEP team. Public comments were received in support of the provision and in opposition. Those commentators requesting a change stated that the provision was in excess of the Federal requirement which stated that disciplinary exclusions which constituted a pattern would constitute a change in placement. The Board did not change the final-form rulemaking because the 15-day limitation creates a clear standard for all to follow.

Section 14.152 (relating to child find, public awareness and screening)

   Comparability of screening requirements--Public commentators and IRRC pointed out that the public notice requirements seeking to identify children suspected of being disabled were less detailed for early intervention than they were for school age programs. Language has been modified in this final-form rulemaking to be comparable.

Section 14.162 (relating to scope of appellate panel review)

   Language has been added to this section to clarify the scope of review by the panel of hearing officers to reflect Federal regulations.

Representation in Due Process Hearings

   Commentators and the House Education Committee questioned the change directed by the Office of Attorney General regarding representation at due process hearings. Additional consultation affirms the position taken by the Office of Attorney General and described in the proposed rulemaking. As a result, no change is found in this final-form rulemaking. Some commentators stated that this provision would require parents to engage the services of attorneys to participate in due process hearings. Nothing in the final-form rulemaking limits parents' rights to represent themselves and the interests of their children in due process hearings.

Further Response to Public Comment

   A document containing detailed response to comments not included here was mailed to all public commentators and provided to the Governor's Office, Standing Committees and IRRC. A copy is available from Peter H. Garland, Executive Director, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 787-3787 or TDD (717) 787-7367.

Affected Parties

   Students who need or may need special education services and programs are affected by these final-form regulations. The final-form regulations also affect parents and guardians of those students by guaranteeing their participation in the process of determining services and programs that best meet the needs of their child. School districts and intermediate units are affected through compliance with the final-form regulations.

Cost and Paperwork Estimates

   These regulations provide procedures for consistent implementation of existing Federal and Commonwealth law and regulation. Adopting these revisions to Chapter 14 may result in savings by changing the reevaluation requirement from every 2 years to every 3 years (except for students who are mentally-retarded). This change could result in an approximate annual Statewide savings of $4.75 million for school districts.

   School districts will experience additional costs over time in complying with new Federal requirements (that is, the requirement that regular education teachers participate in IEP meetings) that might minimize the potential savings described in this Preamble. New Federal regulations have created additional paperwork requirements including regarding student goals and benchmarks in the IEP, and the more frequent issuance of procedural safeguards notices related to IEP team meetings, reevaluation, and in certain disciplinary situations.

Effective Date

   These final-form regulations will become effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Sunset Date

   The effectiveness of Chapter 14 will be reviewed by the Board every 4 years, in accordance with the Board's policy and practice respecting all regulations promulgated by the Board. Thus, no sunset date is necessary.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on August 23, 2000, the Board submitted a copy of the proposed rulemaking published at 30 Pa.B. 4628 (September 2, 2000) to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Education for review and comment.

   In compliance with section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board also provided IRRC and the Committees with copies of the comments received as well as other documentation. In preparing the final-form regulations, the Board considered the comments received from IRRC, the Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), the final-form regulations were deemed approved by the Senate Education Committee on February 26, 2001, and deemed approved by the House Education Committee on February 14, 2001. IRRC met on March 8, 2001, and disapproved the final-form regulations in accordance with section 6(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.6(a)).

   Under section 7(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.7(a)), the Board, on March 15, 2001, served notice that the final-form regulations would be revised and promulgated under section 7(c) of the Regulatory Review Act. On March 20, 2001, the Board submitted the agency report and the revised final-form regulations under section 7(c) of the Regulatory Review Act to the Office of the Governor, Senate Education Committee, House Education Committee and IRRC.

   Under section 7(c) of the Regulatory Review Act the revised final-form rulemaking was approved by the Senate Education Committee on March 21, 2001, and deemed approved by the House Education Committee. IRRC met on April 5, 2001, and approved the revised final-form regulations.

Contact Person

   The official responsible for information on the promulgation of these revised final-form regulations is Peter H. Garland, Executive Director, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 787-3787 or TDD (717) 787-7367. The contact person for the implementation of these revised final-form regulations is Frances Warkomski, Director, Bureau of Special Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 783-2311 or TDD (717) 787-7367.

   The Federal regulations adopted by reference herein may be found at htm, or by requesting a copy from Dr. Warkomski.

   Alternative formats of the regulations (such as, Braille, large print, cassette tape) can be made available to members of the public upon request to Dr. Warkomski at the telephone numbers and address previously listed.


   The Board finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of the intention to adopt these regulations was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.

   (3)  The regulations are necessary and appropriate for the administration of the act.


   The Board, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Board, 22 Pa. Code Chapters 14 and 342, are amended by deleting §§ 14.1--14.8, 14.21--14.25, 14.31--14.39, 14.41--14.45, 14.51--14.56, 14.61--14.68, 14.71--14.74, 342.1--342.8, 342.21--342.25, 342.31--342.39, 342.41--342.46, 342.51--342.56, 342.61--342.68 and 342.71--342.74; and by adding §§ 14.101--14.104, 14.121--14.124, 14.131--14.133, 14.141--14.144, 14.151--14.158, 14.161--14.162 to read as set forth at Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for review and approval as to legality and form as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director of the Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order is effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commision relating to this document, see 31 Pa.B. 2238 (April 21, 2001).)

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 6-270 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A





14.1--14.8.         (Reserved).
14.21--14.25.         (Reserved).
14.31--14.39.         (Reserved).
14.41--14.45.         (Reserved).
14.51--14.56.         (Reserved).
14.61--14.68.         (Reserved).
14.71--14.74.         (Reserved).


14.103.Terminology related to Federal regulations.
14.104.Educational plans.


14.121.Child find.


14.133.Behavior support.


14.141.Terminology related to educational placement.
14.142.Caseload for special education.
14.143.Disciplinary placements.


14.152.Childfind, public awareness and screening.
14.155.Range of services.
14.156.System of quality assurance.
14.157.Exit criteria.
14.158.Data collection.


14.161.Prehearing conferences.
14.162.Impartial due process hearing and expedited due process hearing.


§§ 14.1--14.8.  (Reserved).

§§ 14.21--14.25.  (Reserved).

§§ 14.31--14.39.  (Reserved).

§§ 14.41--14.45.  (Reserved).

§§ 14.51--14.56.  (Reserved).

§§ 14.61--14.68.  (Reserved).

§§ 14.71--14.74.  (Reserved).

§ 14.101.  Definitions.

   In addition to the definitions in § 14.102 and 14.103 (relating to purposes; and terminology related to Federal regulations) the following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act--The Early Intervention Services System Act (11 P. S. §§ 875-101--875-503).

   Agency--An intermediate unit, school district, approved private school, State-operated program or facility or other public (excluding charter schools under 24 P. S. §§ 17-1701-A--17-1732-A) or private organization providing educational services to children with disabilities or providing early intervention services.

   Age of beginners--The minimum age established by the school district board of directors for admission to the district's first grade under § 11.15 (relating to admission of beginners).

   Department--The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

   Developmental areas--Cognitive, communicative, physical, social/emotional and self-help.

   Developmental delay--A child who is less than the age of beginners and at least 3 years of age is considered to have a developmental delay when one of the following exists:

   (i)  The child's score, on a developmental assessment device, on an assessment instrument which yields a score in months, indicates that the child is delayed by 25% of the child's chronological age in one or more developmental areas.

   (ii)  The child is delayed in one or more of the developmental areas, as documented by test performance of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on standardized tests.

   ESY--Extended school year.

   Early intervention agency--An intermediate unit, school district or licensed provider which has entered into a mutually agreed upon written arrangement with the Department to provide early intervention services to eligible young children in accordance with the act.

   Early intervention services--As defined in the act.

   Eligible young child--A child who is less than the age of beginners and at least 3 years of age and who meets the criteria in 34 CFR 300.7 (relating to a child with a disability).

   IEP--Individualized education program.

   IST--Instructional support team.

   MDT--Multidisciplinary team.

   Mutually agreed-upon written arrangement--As defined in the act.

   Parent--The term as defined in 34 CFR 300.20 (relating to parent) and also includes individuals appointed as foster parents under 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 6301--6311 (relating to the Juvenile Act).

   Secretary--The Secretary of the Department.

   Student with a disability--A child of school age who meets the criteria in 34 CFR 300.7 (relating to a child with a disability).

§ 14.102.  Purposes.

   (a)  It is the intent of the Board that children with disabilities be provided with quality special education services and programs. The purposes of this chapter are to serve the following:

   (1) To adopt Federal regulations by incorporation by reference to satisfy the statutory requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1400--1419) and to ensure that:

   (i)  Children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education which is designed to enable the student to participate fully and independently in the community, including preparation for employment or higher education.

   (ii)  The rights of children with disabilities and parents of these children are protected.

   (2)  To adopt, except as expressly otherwise provided in this chapter, the requirements of 34 CFR Part 300 (relating to assistance to states for the education of children with disabilities) as published at 64 FR 12418--12469 (March 12, 1999). The following sections are incorporated by reference.

   (i)  34 CFR 300.4--300.6 (defining the terms ''act''; ''assistive technology device''; and ''assistive technology service'').

   (ii)  34 CFR 330.7(a) and (c) (defining the term ''child with a disability'').

   (iii)  34 CFR 300.8--300.24 (defining the terms ''consent''; ''day''; ''business day''; ''school day''; ''educational service agency''; ''equipment''; ''evaluation''; ''free appropriate public education''; ''include''; ''individualized education program''; ''individualized education program team''; ''individualized family service plan''; ''local educational agency''; ''native language''; ''parent''; ''personally identifiable''; ''public agency''; ''qualified personnel''; and ''related services'').

   (iv)  34 CFR 300.26 (defining the term ''special education'').

   (v)  34 CFR 300.28 and 300.29 (defining the terms ''supplementary aids and services''; and ''transition services'').

   (vi)  34 CFR 300.121--300.125 (relating to free appropriate public education (FAPE); exception to FAPE for certain ages; full educational opportunity goal (FEOG); FEOG--timetable; and child find).

   (vii)  34 CFR 300.138 and 300.139 (relating to participation in assessments; and reports relating to assessments).

   (viii)  34 CFR 300.300 (relating to provision of FAPE).

   (ix)  34 CFR 300.302--300.309 (relating to residential placement; proper functioning of hearing aids; full educational opportunity goal; program options; nonacademic services; physical education; assistive technology; and extended school year services).

   (x)  34 CFR 300.311(b) and (c) (relating to FAPE requirements for students with disabilities in adult prisons).

   (xi)  34 CFR 300.313 (relating to children experiencing developmental delays).

   (xii)  34 CFR 300.320 and 300.321 (relating to initial evaluations; and reevaluations).

   (xiii)  34 CFR 300.340 (relating to definitions related to IEPs).

   (xiv)  34 CFR 300.342--300.346 (relating to when IEPs must be in effect; IEP meetings; IEP team; parent participation; and development, review and revision of IEP).

   (xv)  34 CFR 300.347 (a), (b) and (d) (relating to content of IEP).

   (xvi)  34 CFR 300.348--300.350 (relating to agency responsibilities for transition services; private school placements by public agencies; and IEPs--accountability).

   (xvii)  34 CFR 300.401 (regarding responsibility of state educational agency in connection with children with disabilities in private schools placed or referred by public agencies).

   (xviii)  34 CFR 300.403 (relating to placement of children by parents if FAPE is at issue).

   (xix)  34 CFR 300.450--300.462 (relating to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools).

   (xx)  34 CFR 300.500--300.515 (regarding certain due process procedures for parents and their children).

   (xxi)  34 CFR 300.519--300.529 (relating to discipline procedures).

   (xxii)  34 CFR 300.531--300.536 (regarding certain procedures for evaluation and determination of eligibility).

   (xxiii)  34 CFR 300.540--300.543 (relating to additional procedures for evaluating children with specific learning disabilities).

   (xxiv)  34 CFR 300.550--300.553 (relating to least restrictive environment (LRE) including general LRE requirements; continuum of alternative placements; placements; and nonacademic settings).

   (xxv)  34 CFR 300.560--300.574(a) and (b) (providing for confidentiality of information).

   (xxvi)  34 CFR 300.576 (relating to disciplinary information).

   (3)  To specify how the Commonwealth will meet its obligations to suspected and identified children with disabilities who require special education and related services.

   (4)  To provide to the Commonwealth, through the Department, general supervision of services and programs provided under this chapter.

   (b)  To provide services and programs effectively, the Commonwealth will delegate operational responsibility for school aged students to its school districts to include the provision of child find duties prescribed by 34 CFR 300.125(a) (relating to child find).

§ 14.103.  Terminology related to Federal regulations.

   For purposes of interfacing with 34 CFR Part 300 (relating to assistance to states for the education of children with disabilities), the following term applies, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Local educational agency--Where the Federal provision uses the term ''local educational agency,'' for purposes of this chapter, the term means an intermediate unit, school district, State operated program or facility or other public organization providing educational services to children with disabilities or providing early intervention services. Applicability of this term to public charter schools is found in Chapter 711 (relating to charter school services and programs for children with disabilities).

§ 14.104.  Educational plans.

   (a)  Each school district shall develop a special education plan aligned with the strategic plan of the school district under § 4.13 (relating to strategic plans). The special education plan shall be developed every 3 years consistent with the 3-year review cycle of the strategic plan of the school district. The Secretary will prescribe the format, content and time for submission of the special education plan.

   (b)  Each school district's special education plan shall specify special education programs that operate in the district and those that are operated in the district by the intermediate units, area vocational technical schools and other agencies.

   (c)  Each school district's special education plan shall include procedures for the education of all students with a disability who are residents of the district including those receiving special education in approved private schools and students with a disability who are nonresidents placed in private homes or institutions in the school district under sections 1305, 1306 and 1306.2 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 13-1305, 13-1306 and 13-1306.2).

   (d)  Each intermediate unit shall prepare annually and submit to the Secretary a special education plan specifying the special education services and programs to be operated by the intermediate unit. The Secretary will prescribe the format, content and time for submission of the intermediate units' plans.

   (e)  Each early intervention agency shall develop an early intervention special education plan every 3 years.

   (f)  The Department will approve plans in accordance with the following criteria:

   (1)  Services and programs are designed to meet the needs of students identified as children with disabilities within the school district or intermediate unit or eligible young children within the early intervention agency.

   (2)  The full range of services and programs under this chapter are available to children with disabilities and eligible young children.

   (3)  The plan meets the specifications defined in this chapter and the format, content and time for submission of the agency plans prescribed by the Secretary.

   (g)  Portions of the plans that do not meet the criteria for approval will be disapproved. Prior to disapproval, Department personnel will discuss disapproved portions of the plan and suggest modifications with appropriate intermediate unit or school district personnel. Portions of the plan that are not specifically disapproved will be deemed approved.

   (h)  When a portion of an intermediate unit, school district or early intervention plan is disapproved, the Department will issue a notice specifying the portion of the plan disapproved, and the rationale for the disapproval and the opportunity for a hearing under 2 Pa.C.S. §§ 501--508 and 701--704 (relating to the Administrative Agency Law) and 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to General Rules of Administrative Practice Procedure). If requested, the Department will convene a hearing within 30-days after the receipt of the request. The Department will render a decision within 30-days following the hearing.


§ 14.121.  Child find.

   (a)  In addition to the requirements incorporated by reference in 34 CFR 300.125(a)(1)(i) (relating to child find), each school district shall adopt and use a public outreach awareness system to locate and identify children thought to be eligible for special education within the school district's jurisdiction.

   (b)  Each school district shall conduct awareness activities to inform the public of its early intervention and special education services and programs and the manner in which to request services and programs.

   (c)  Each school district shall provide annual public notification, published or announced in newspapers or other media, or both, with circulation adequate to notify parents throughout the school district of child identification activities and of the procedures followed to ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to students with disabilities or eligible young children in accordance with this chapter.

§ 14.122.  Screening.

   (a)  Each school district shall establish a system of screening to accomplish the following:

   (1)  Identify and provide initial screening for students prior to referral for a special education evaluation.

   (2)  Provide peer support for teachers and other staff members to assist them in working effectively with students in the general education curriculum.

   (3)  Conduct hearing and vision screening in accordance with section 1402 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 14-1402) for the purpose of identifying students with hearing or vision difficulty so that they can be referred for assistance or recommended for evaluation for special education.

   (4)  Identify students who may need special education services and programs.

   (b)  Each school district shall implement a comprehensive screening process. School districts may implement instructional support according to Department guidelines or an alternative screening process. School districts which elect not to use instructional support for screening shall develop and implement a comprehensive screening process that meets the requirements specified in subsections (a) and (c).

   (c)  The screening process shall include:

   (1)  For students with academic concerns, an assessment of the student's functioning in the curriculum including curriculum-based or performance-based assessment.

   (2)  For students with behavioral concerns, a systematic observation of the student's behavior in the classroom or area in which the student is displaying difficulty.

   (3)  An intervention based on the results of the assessments under paragraph (1) or (2).

   (4)  An assessment of the student's response to the intervention.

   (5)  A determination as to whether the student's assessed difficulties are due to a lack of instruction or limited English proficiency.

   (6)  A determination as to whether the student's needs exceed the functional ability of the regular education program to maintain the student at an appropriate instructional level.

   (7)  Activities designed to gain the participation of parents.

   (d)  If screening activities have produced little or no improvement within 60 school days after initiation, the student shall be referred for evaluation under § 14.123 (relating to evaluation).

   (e)  Screening activities do not serve as a bar to the right of a parent to request an evaluation, at any time, including prior to or during the conduct of screening activities.

§ 14.123.  Evaluation.

   (a)  The group of qualified professionals, which reviews the evaluation materials to determine whether the child is a child with a disability under 34 CFR 300.534(a)(1) (relating to determination of eligibility), shall include a certified school psychologist when evaluating a child for autism, emotional disturbance, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, other health impairments, specific learning disability or traumatic brain injury.

   (b)  In addition to the requirements incorporated by reference in 34 CFR 300.531--300.535, the initial evaluation shall be completed and a copy of the evaluation report presented to the parents no later than 60 school days after the agency receives written parental consent.

§ 14.124.  Reevaluation.

   (a)  The group of qualified professionals, which reviews the evaluation materials to determine whether the child is a child with a disability under 34 CFR 300.536 (relating to reevaluation), shall include a certified school psychologist when evaluating a child for autism, emotional disturbance, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, specific learning disability and traumatic brain injury.

   (b)  In addition to the requirements incorporated by reference in 34 CFR 300.536 (relating to reevaluation), a reevaluation report shall be provided to the parents within 60 school days from the date that the request for reevaluation was received from the parent or teacher, or from the date that a determination is made by the agency that conditions warrant a reevaluation.

   (c)  Students with disabilities who are identified as mentally retarded shall be reevaluated at least once every 2 years.


§ 14.131.  IEP.

   (a)  In addition to the requirements incorporated by reference, the following provisions apply to IEPs:

   (1)  Copies of the comprehensive evaluation report shall be disseminated to the parents at least 10 school days prior to the meeting of the IEP team. A parent may waive this provision.

   (2)  The IEP of each student shall be implemented as soon as possible but no later than 10 school days after its completion.

   (3)  If a student with a disability moves from one school district in this Commonwealth to another, the new district shall implement the existing IEP to the extent possible or shall provide the services and programs specified in an interim IEP agreed to by the parents. The interim IEP shall be implemented until a new IEP is developed and implemented or until the completion of due process proceedings under this chapter.

   (4)  If a student with a disability moves into a school district in this Commonwealth from another state, the new school district may treat the student as a new enrollee and place the student into regular education and it is not required to implement the student's existing IEP.

   (5)  Every student receiving special education and related services provided for in an IEP developed prior June 9, 2001, shall continue to receive the special education and related services under that IEP subject to the terms, limitations and conditions set forth in law.

   (b)  In addition to the requirements incorporated by reference in 34 CFR 300.29, 300.344(b) and 300.347(b) (relating to transition services; IEP team; and content of IEP), each school district shall designate persons responsible to coordinate transition activities.

§ 14.132.  ESY.

   This section sets forth the standards for determining whether a student with disabilities requires ESY as part of the student's program.

   (1)  At each IEP meeting for a student with disabilities, the school districts shall determine whether the student is eligible for ESY services and if so, make subsequent determinations about the services to be provided.

   (2)  In considering whether a student is eligible for ESY services, the IEP team shall consider the following factors, however, no single factor will be considered determinative:

   (i)  Regression--whether the student reverts to a lower level of functioning as evidenced by a measurable decrease in skills or behaviors which occurs as a result of an interruption in educational programming.

   (ii)  Recoupment--whether the student has the capacity to recover the skills or behavior patterns in which regression occurred to a level demonstrated prior to the interruption of educational programming.

   (iii)  Whether the student's difficulties with regression and recoupment make it unlikely that the student will maintain the skills and behaviors relevant to IEP goals and objectives.

   (iv)  The extent to which the student has mastered and consolidated an important skill or behavior at the point when educational programming would be interrupted.

   (v)  The extent to which a skill or behavior is particularly crucial for the student to meet the IEP goals of self-sufficiency and independence from caretakers.

   (vi)  The extent to which successive interruptions in educational programming result in a student's withdrawal from the learning process.

   (vii)  Whether the student's disability is severe, such as autism/pervasive developmental disorder, serious emotional disturbance, severe mental retardation, degenerative impairments with mental involvement and severe multiple disabilities.

   (3)  Reliable sources of information regarding a student's educational needs, propensity to progress, recoupment potential and year-to-year progress may include the following:

   (i)  Progress on goals in consecutive IEPs.

   (ii)  Progress reports maintained by educators, therapists and others having direct contact with the student before and after interruptions in the education program.

   (iii)  Reports by parents of negative changes in adaptive behaviors or in other skill areas.

   (iv)  Medical or other agency reports indicating degenerative-type difficulties, which become exacerbated during breaks in educational services.

   (v)  Observations and opinions by educators, parents and others.

   (vi)  Results of tests including criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based assessments, ecological life skills assessments and other equivalent measures.

   (4)  The need for ESY services will not be based on any of the following:

   (i)  The desire or need for day care or respite care services.

   (ii)  The desire or need for a summer recreation program.

   (iii)  The desire or need for other programs or services which, while they may provide educational benefit, are not required to ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education.

§ 14.133.  Behavior support.

   (a)  Positive rather than negative measures shall form the basis of behavior support programs. Behavior support programs include a variety of techniques to develop and maintain skills that will enhance an individual student's or young child's opportunity for learning and self-fulfillment. The types of intervention chosen for a particular student or young child shall be the least intrusive necessary.

   (b)  Notwithstanding the requirements incorporated by reference in 34 CFR 300.24(b)(9)(vi), (13)(v), 300.346(a) (2)(i) and (d) and 300.520(b) and (c) (relating to related services; development, review, and revision of IEP; and authority of school personnel), with regard to a child's behavior, the following words and terms when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Aversive techniques--Deliberate activities designed to establish a negative association with a specific behavior.

   Behavior support--The development, change and maintenance of selected behaviors through the systematic application of behavior change techniques.

   Positive techniques--Methods which utilize positive reinforcement to shape a student's behavior, ranging from the use of positive verbal statements as a reward for good behavior to specific tangible rewards.

   Restraints--Devices and techniques designed and used to control acute or episodic aggressive behaviors or to control involuntary movements or lack of muscular control due to organic causes or conditions. The term includes physical and mechanical restraints.

   (c)  Restraints to control acute or episodic aggressive behavior may be used only when the student is acting in a manner as to be a clear and present danger to himself, to other students or to employees, and only when less restrictive measures and techniques have proven to be or are less effective. The use of restraints to control the aggressive behavior of an individual student shall cause a meeting of the IEP team to review the current IEP for appropriateness and effectiveness. The use of restraints may not be included in the IEP for the convenience of staff, as a substitute for an educational program, or employed as punishment.

   (d)  Mechanical restraints, which are used to control involuntary movement or lack of muscular control of students when due to organic causes or conditions, may be employed only when specified by an IEP and as determined by a medical professional qualified to make the determination, and as agreed to by the student's parents. Mechanical restraints shall prevent a student from injuring himself or others or promote normative body positioning and physical functioning.

   (e)  The following aversive techniques of handling behavior are considered inappropriate and may not be used by agencies in educational programs:

   (1)  Corporal punishment.

   (2)  Punishment for a manifestation of a student's disability.

   (3)  Locked rooms, locked boxes or other locked structures or spaces from which the student cannot readily exit.

   (4)  Noxious substances.

   (5)  Deprivation of basic human rights, such as withholding meals, water or fresh air.

   (6)  Suspensions constituting a pattern under § 14.143(a) (relating to disciplinary placement).

   (7)  Treatment of a demeaning nature.

   (8)  Electric shock.

   (f)  Agencies have the primary responsibility for ensuring that behavior management programs are in accordance with this chapter, including the training of personnel for the use of specific procedures, methods and techniques, and for having a written policy on the use of behavior management techniques and obtaining parental consent prior to the use of highly restraining or intrusive procedures.

   (g)  In accordance with their plans, agencies may convene human rights committees to oversee the use of restraining or intrusive procedures and restraints.

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