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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 81. Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia
12/8/2022

8VAC20-81-230. Local educational agency administration and governance.

A. The local educational agency shall ensure that the rights and protections under this chapter are given to children with disabilities for whom it is responsible, including children placed in private schools.

B. Plans, applications, and reports. (§ 22.1-215 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.200 and 34 CFR 300.212)

1. The local educational agency shall prepare annually and submit to the Virginia Department of Education an application for funding under Part B of the Act in accordance with the requirements outlined by the Virginia Department of Education. The annual plan shall include:

a. Assurances that the local educational agency has in effect policies and procedures for the provision of special education and related services in compliance with the requirements of the Act, the policies and procedures established by the Virginia Board of Education, and any other relevant federal and state laws and regulations;

b. A report indicating the extent to which the annual plan for the preceding period has been implemented;

c. Budgets outlining the use of the federal funds; and

d. Any revisions to the local school division's interagency agreement regarding the provision of special education and related services in a regional or local jail, if applicable, in accordance with subdivision G 2 of this section.

2. Prior to submission to the Virginia Department of Education, the annual plan shall be reviewed by the local school division's local advisory committee, and approved by the local school board. State-operated programs and the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton shall submit their annual plan to the state special education advisory committee for review prior to submission to the Virginia Department of Education.

3. The local educational agency shall ensure that the annual plan, and all required special education policies and procedures, including the revisions to those policies and procedures, which are necessary for ensuring a free appropriate public education to a child, are available for public inspection.

C. Provision of or payment for special education and related services. (34 CFR 300.154(b))

1. If any public noneducational agency is otherwise obligated under federal or state law, regulation, or policy to provide or pay for any services that are also considered special education or related services that are necessary for ensuring a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities, the public noneducational agency shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, either directly or through contract or other arrangement. A public noneducational agency may not disqualify an eligible service for Medicaid reimbursement because that service was provided in a school context.

2. If any public noneducational agency fails to provide or pay for the special education and related services described in subdivision 1 of this subsection, the local educational agency shall provide or pay for the services to the child in a timely manner. The local educational agency may then claim reimbursement for the services from the public noneducational agency that failed to provide or pay for the services and that agency shall reimburse the local educational agency in accordance with the terms of the interagency agreement described in subdivision 21 of 8VAC20-81-20.

D. Local advisory committee. A local advisory committee for special education, appointed by each local school board, shall advise the school board through the division superintendent.

1. Membership.

a. A majority of the committee shall be parents of children with disabilities or individuals with disabilities.

b. The committee shall include one teacher.

c. Additional local school division personnel shall serve only as consultants to the committee.

2. The functions of the local advisory committee shall be as follows:

a. Advise the local school division of needs in the education of children with disabilities;

b. Participate in the development of priorities and strategies for meeting the identified needs of children with disabilities;

c. Submit periodic reports and recommendations regarding the education of children with disabilities to the division superintendent for transmission to the local school board;

d. Assist the local school division in interpreting plans to the community for meeting the special needs of children with disabilities for educational services;

e. Review the policies and procedures for the provision of special education and related services prior to submission to the local school board; and

f. Participate in the review of the local school division's annual plan, as outlined in subdivision B 2 of this section.

3. Public notice shall be published annually listing the names of committee members and including a description of ways in which interested parties may express their views to the committee.

4. Committee meetings shall be held at least four times in a school year and shall be open to the public.

E. Regional special education programs. (§ 22.1-218 of the Code of Virginia; Jointly Owned and Operated Schools and Jointly Operated Programs (8VAC20-280))

1. If it becomes necessary for local school divisions to develop regional programs to serve children with disabilities residing within their jurisdiction, such regional programs shall be provided in accordance with the least restrictive environment requirements specified in 8VAC20-81-130.

2. If local school divisions elect to participate in an approved regional program for the provision of special education and related services for certain children with disabilities, a joint board shall be established to manage and control the jointly owned or operated program, center, or school. Establishment of the joint board and administration of the jointly owned and operated program shall be conducted in accordance with the Virginia Board of Education regulations governing such programs.

3. Each joint board shall appoint a qualified director who shall be the administrative head of the regional program. The director shall be responsible for the administration of programs and services that are approved by the joint board.

F. Transition from infant and toddler programs to early childhood special education programs. (34 CFR 300.124)

1. Children who are participating in early intervention programs under Part C of the Act and who will participate in preschool programs under Part B shall be afforded a smooth and effective transition to the preschool programs in a manner consistent with the Virginia lead agency's Part C early intervention policies and procedures.

2. The local school division shall participate in transition planning conferences when notified by the designated local Part C early intervention agency (not less than 90 days and not more than nine months before the child is eligible for preschool services), in accordance with § 1437(a)(9) of the Act, and its federal implementing regulations.

3. A child with a disability whose second birthday falls on or before September 30 may begin attending Part B preschool programs at the start of the school year if:

a. The child meets the Part B eligibility criteria; and

b. An IEP has been developed and signed by the parent(s).

G. Programs for children with disabilities in regional or local jails. (34 CFR 300.101 and 34 CFR 300.102)

1. Each local school division with a regional or local jail in its jurisdiction shall be responsible for the provision of special education and related services to all eligible children with disabilities incarcerated in the jail for more than 10 calendar days.

2. Each local school division with a regional or local jail in its jurisdiction shall establish an interagency agreement with the sheriff or jail administrator responsible for the regional or local jail. The interagency agreement shall address staffing and security issues associated with the provision of special education and related services in the jail. A copy of any revisions to this agreement shall be submitted with the annual plan specified in subsection B of this section.)

H. Each local educational agency shall cooperate with the U.S. Department of Education's efforts under § 1308 of the ESEA to ensure the linkage of records pertaining to migratory children with disabilities for the purpose of electronically exchanging, among the states, health and educational information regarding those children. (34 CFR 300.213)

I. Early Intervening Services. Each local educational agency shall implement early intervening services in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-81-260 H. (34 CFR 300.226)

J. Access to instructional materials.

1. Each local educational agency shall ensure that children with disabilities who need instructional materials in accessible formats are provided those materials in a timely manner. (34 CFR 300.172(b) and (c))

2. To meet the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection for blind persons or other persons with print disabilities, the local educational agency may coordinate with the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). (34 CFR 300.172(a) and (c))

a. The local educational agency shall provide an assurance to the Virginia Department of Education that the local educational agency will provide instructional materials to blind persons or other persons with print disabilities in a timely manner. This assurance shall be provided as part of the Annual Plan requirements outlined in subsection B of this section.

b. Each local educational agency shall inform the Virginia Department of Education on an annual basis whether or not it chooses to coordinate with the NIMAC.

c. If the local educational agency coordinates with the NIMAC, the agency, as part of any print instructional materials adoption process, procurement contract, or other practice or instrument used for the purchase of print instructional materials, shall enter into a written contract with the publisher of the print instructional materials to do the following:

(1) Require the publisher to prepare and, on or before delivery of the print instructional materials, provide to the NIMAC electronic files containing the contents of the print instructional materials using the NIMAS; or

(2) Purchase instructional materials from the publisher that are produced in, or may be rendered in, specialized formats.

d. The requirements of subdivision J 2 c of this section shall apply to print instructional materials published after July 19, 2006.

3. Nothing in this subsection relieves a local educational agency of its responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities who need instructional materials in accessible formats, but who are not included under the definition of blind or other persons with print disabilities or who need materials that cannot be produced from NIMAS files, receive those instructional materials in a timely manner. (34 CFR 300.172(b))

4. Definitions applicable to this subsection.

a. The term "timely manner" has the same meaning as the defined in 8VAC20-81-10.

b. The term, "blind or other person with print disabilities" means children with disabilities who qualify to receive books and other publications produced in specialized formats. A child with a disability qualifies under this provision if the child meets one of the following criteria: (2 USC § 135a; 36 CFR 701.6(b)(1) and 34 CFR 300.172(a) and (e))

(1) Blind person whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees;

(2) Person whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material;

(3) Person certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitation; or

(4) Person certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.

c. The term "competent authority" is defined as follows: (2 USC § 135a; 36 CFR 701.6(b)(2))

(1) In cases of blindness, visual disability or physical limitations: doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents).

(2) In the case of a reading disability from organic dysfunction: doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

d. The term "print instructional materials" means printed textbooks and related printed core materials that are written and published primarily for use in elementary school and secondary school instruction and are required by the Virginia Department of Education or the local educational agency for use by students in the classroom. (20 USC § 1474(e)(3)(C))

e. The term "specialized formats" has the meaning given the term in 17 USC § 121(d)(3), and means Braille, audio, or digital text that is exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities, and with respect to print instructional materials, include large print formats when such materials are distributed exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities. (20 USC § 1474(e)(3)(D); 34 CFR 300.172(e))

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-214 of the Code of Virginia; 20 USC § 1400 et seq.; 34 CFR Part 300.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 7, 2009.

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