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S.B. 240 Enrolled

             1     

CARSON SMITH SCHOLARSHIP AMENDMENTS

             2     
2014 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: J. Stuart Adams

             5     
House Sponsor: Gregory H. Hughes

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies provisions of the Carson Smith Scholarships for Students with
             10      Special Needs Act.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    changes requirements relating to the application deadline for the Carson Smith
             14      Scholarship Program; and
             15          .    makes technical changes.
             16      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22           53A-1a-704 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 366
             23     
             24      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             25          Section 1. Section 53A-1a-704 is amended to read:
             26           53A-1a-704. Scholarship program created -- Qualifications.
             27          (1) The Carson Smith Scholarship Program is created to award scholarships to students
             28      with disabilities to attend a private school.
             29          (2) To qualify for a scholarship:


             30          (a) the student's custodial parent or legal guardian shall reside within Utah;
             31          (b) the student shall have one or more of the following disabilities:
             32          (i) an intellectual disability;
             33          (ii) a hearing impairment;
             34          (iii) a speech or language impairment;
             35          (iv) a visual impairment;
             36          (v) a serious emotional disturbance;
             37          (vi) an orthopedic impairment;
             38          (vii) autism;
             39          (viii) traumatic brain injury;
             40          (ix) other health impairment;
             41          (x) specific learning disabilities; or
             42          (xi) a developmental delay, provided the student is at least five years of age, pursuant
             43      to Subsection (2)(c), and is younger than eight years of age;
             44          (c) the student shall be at least five years of age before September 2 of the year in
             45      which admission to a private school is sought and under 19 years of age on the last day of the
             46      school year as determined by the private school, or, if the individual has not graduated from
             47      high school, will be under 22 years of age on the last day of the school year as determined by
             48      the private school; and
             49          (d) except as provided in Subsection (3), the student shall:
             50          (i) be enrolled in a Utah public school in the school year prior to the school year the
             51      student will be enrolled in a private school;
             52          (ii) have an IEP; and
             53          (iii) have obtained acceptance for admission to an eligible private school.
             54          (3) The requirements of Subsection (2)(d) do not apply in the following circumstances:
             55          (a) the student is enrolled or has obtained acceptance for admission to an eligible
             56      private school that has previously served students with disabilities; and
             57          (b) an assessment team is able to readily determine with reasonable certainty:


             58          (i) that the student has a disability listed in Subsection (2)(b) and would qualify for
             59      special education services, if enrolled in a public school; and
             60          (ii) for the purpose of establishing the scholarship amount, the appropriate level of
             61      special education services which should be provided to the student.
             62          [(4) (a) To receive a scholarship, the parent of a student shall submit an application for
             63      the scholarship to the school district within which the student is enrolled:]
             64          [(i) at least 60 days before the date of the first scholarship payment; and]
             65          [(ii) that contains an acknowledgment by the parent that the selected school is qualified
             66      and capable of providing the level of special education services required for the student.]
             67          [(b) The board may waive the 60-day application deadline.]
             68          (4) (a) To receive a full-year scholarship under this part, a parent of a student shall
             69      submit to the school district where the student is enrolled an application on or before the
             70      August 15 immediately preceding the first day of the school year for which the student would
             71      receive the scholarship.
             72          (b) The board may waive the full-year scholarship deadline described in Subsection
             73      (4)(a).
             74          (c) An application for a scholarship shall contain an acknowledgment by the parent that
             75      the selected school is qualified and capable of providing the level of special education services
             76      required for the student.
             77          (5) (a) The scholarship application form shall contain the following statement:
             78          "I acknowledge that:
             79          (1) A private school may not provide the same level of special education services that
             80      are provided in a public school;
             81          (2) I will assume full financial responsibility for the education of my scholarship
             82      student if I accept this scholarship;
             83          (3) Acceptance of this scholarship has the same effect as a parental refusal to consent
             84      to services pursuant to Section 614(a)(1) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20
             85      U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.; and


             86          (4) My child may return to a public school at any time."
             87          (b) Upon acceptance of the scholarship, the parent assumes full financial responsibility
             88      for the education of the scholarship student.
             89          (c) Acceptance of a scholarship has the same effect as a parental refusal to consent to
             90      services pursuant to Section 614(a)(1) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20
             91      U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.
             92          (d) The creation of the scholarship program or granting of a scholarship does not:
             93          (i) imply that a public school did not provide a free and appropriate public education
             94      for a student; or
             95          (ii) constitute a waiver or admission by the state.
             96          (6) (a) A scholarship shall remain in force for three years.
             97          (b) A scholarship shall be extended for an additional three years, if:
             98          (i) the student is evaluated by an assessment team; and
             99          (ii) the assessment team determines that the student would qualify for special education
             100      services, if enrolled in a public school.
             101          (c) The assessment team shall determine the appropriate level of special education
             102      services which should be provided to the student for the purpose of setting the scholarship
             103      amount.
             104          (d) A scholarship shall be extended for successive three-year periods as provided in
             105      Subsections (6)(a) and (b):
             106          (i) until the student graduates from high school; or
             107          (ii) if the student does not graduate from high school, until the student is age 22.
             108          (7) A student's parent, at any time, may remove the student from a private school and
             109      place the student in another eligible private school and retain the scholarship.
             110          (8) A scholarship student may not participate in a dual enrollment program pursuant to
             111      Section 53A-11-102.5 .
             112          (9) The parents or guardians of a scholarship student have the authority to choose the
             113      private school that will best serve the interests and educational needs of that student, which


             114      may be a sectarian or nonsectarian school, and to direct the scholarship resources available for
             115      that student solely as a result of their genuine and independent private choices.
             116          (10) (a) A school district or charter school shall notify in writing the parents or
             117      guardians of students enrolled in the school district or charter school who have an IEP of the
             118      availability of a scholarship to attend a private school through the Carson Smith Scholarship
             119      Program.
             120          (b) The notice described under Subsection (10)(a) shall:
             121          (i) be provided no later than 30 days after the student initially qualifies for an IEP;
             122          (ii) be provided annually no later than February 1 to all students who have an IEP; and
             123          (iii) include the address of the Internet website maintained by the board that provides
             124      prospective applicants with detailed program information and application forms for the Carson
             125      Smith Scholarship Program.
             126          (c) A school district, school within a school district, or charter school that has an
             127      enrolled student who has an IEP shall post the address of the Internet website maintained by the
             128      board that provides prospective applicants with detailed program information and application
             129      forms for the Carson Smith Scholarship Program on the school district's or school's website, if
             130      the school district or school has one.


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