DAR File No. 41093
This rule was published in the January 1, 2017, issue (Vol. 2017, No. 1) of the Utah State Bulletin.
Special Needs Scholarships - Funding and Procedures
Notice of Proposed Rule
DAR File No.: 41093
Filed: 12/14/2016 03:02:02 PM
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
Rule R277-602 is amended to clarify provisions for student and private school eligibility for participation in the Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Summary of the rule or change:
The responsibilities of parents, local education agencies, the Utah State Board of Education, and private schools that receive special needs scholarship funding are amended to clarify program requirements. Technical and conforming changes are also made.
Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
- Art X, Sec 3
- Section 53A-1a-707
- Section 53A-1-401
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
The changes to Rule R277-602 are for clarification purposes, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to the state budget.
The changes to Rule R277-602 are for clarification purposes, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to local government.
The changes to Rule R277-602 are for clarification purposes, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to small businesses.
persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:
The changes to Rule R277-602 are for clarification purposes, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
The changes to Rule R277-602 are for clarification purposes, which likely will not result in any compliance costs for affected persons.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
To the best of my knowledge, there should be no fiscal impact on businesses resulting from the amendments to this rule.
Sydnee Dickson, State Superintendent
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:Education
250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
- Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
This rule may become effective on:
Angela Stallings, Deputy Superintendent, Policy and Communication
R277. Education, Administration.
R277- 602. Special Needs Scholarships - Funding and Procedures.
R277-602-1. Authority and Purpose.
(1) This rule is authorized by:
(a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision of the public school system under the Board;
(b) Subsection 53A-1a-706(5)(b), which provides for Board
rules to establish timelines for payments to private
schools; (c) Title 53A, Chapter 15, Part 15, Background Checks,
which provides for criminal background checks and ongoing
monitoring for employees and volunteers;]
d]) Section 53A-1a-707, which [ provides for Board rules about]
eligibility of students[
for scholarships and the application process for
students] to participate in the scholarship program;
(e) Subsection 53A-1-401(3), which allows the Board to
adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities.]
(2) The purpose of this rule is to:
(a) outline responsibilities of a parent,
and] an eligible private school [ that accepts a scholarship from a special needs
student ]and the Board in providing choice for a parent of
a special needs student who chooses to have a student served in a
private school; and
(b) provide accountability for the citizenry in the administration and distribution of the scholarship funds.
(1) "Appeal" means an opportunity to discuss or contest a final administrative decision consistent with and expressly limited to the procedures of this rule.
(2) "Appeals Committee" means a committee comprised of:
(a) the special needs scholarship coordinator;
(b) the [
USOE] Special Education Director;
(c) one individual appointed by the
or designee]; and
(d) two Board-designated special education advocates.
(3) "Assessment" means a formal testing procedure carried out under prescribed and uniform conditions that measures a student's academic progress, consistent with Subsection 53A-1a-705(1)(f).
(4) "Assessment team" means the individuals designated under Subsection 53A-1a-703(1).
(5) "Days" means school days unless specifically designated otherwise in this rule.
(6) "Eligible student" means a student who meets the qualifications described in Section 53A-1a-704.
(7) "Enrollment" means that:
(a) the student has completed the school enrollment process;
(b) the school maintains required student enrollment information and documentation of age eligibility;
(c) the student is scheduled to receive services at the school;
(d) the student attends regularly; and
(e) the school has accepted the student consistent with Rule R277-419 and the student's IEP.
(8) "Final administrative action" means the
concluding action under Title 53A, Chapter 1a, Part 7, Carson Smith
Scholarships for Students with Special Needs Act and this
9]) "Private school that has previously served a student
with a disability" means a school that:
(a) has enrolled a student within the last three years under the special needs scholarship program;
(b) has enrolled a student within the last three years who has received special education services under an Individual Services Plan (ISP) from an LEA where the school is geographically located; or
(c) can provide other evidence to the Board that is determinative of having enrolled a student with a disability within the last three years.
10]) "Warrant" means payment by check to a private
R277-602-3. Parent Responsibilities and Payment Provisions.
If the student is enrolled in a public school or was
enrolled in a public school in the year previous to the year in
which the scholarship is sought, the parent shall submit an
application, available from the Superintendent or online, to the
LEA within which the parent resides.]
a]) [ Consistent with the timeline provided in Subsection
53A-1a-704(4), the parent shall complete all required information
on the application and submit,] with the application
i]) the parent is a resident of the state;
ii]) the student is at least three years of age before
September 2 of the year of enrollment;
iii]) the student is not more than 21 years of age and has not
graduated from high school;
(iv) the student has satisfied Subsection (1) or (2);
v]) the student has official acceptance at an eligible
private school, as [ established by] Section 53A-1a-705.
(b) The parent shall sign the acknowledgments and refusal
to consent to services on the application form consistent with
c]) Any intentional falsification, misinformation, or
incomplete information provided on the application may result in
the cancellation of the scholarship to the student and non-payment
to the private school.
(2) If the student was not enrolled in a public school in
the year previous to the year in which the scholarship is sought,
the parent shall submit an application to the school district
responsible for child find under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1414. (a) The parent shall complete all required information on
the application and submit, with the application, documentation
that: (i) the parent is a resident of the state; (ii) the student is at least three years of age before
September 2 of the year of enrollment; (iii) the student is not more than 21 years of age and
has not graduated from high school; (iv) the student has satisfied Subsection (1) or (2);
and (v) the student has official acceptance at an eligible
private school, as established by Section 53A-1a-705. (b) The parent shall sign the acknowledgments and refusal
to consent to services on the application form consistent with
c]) The parent shall participate in an assessment team
determin[ e][ : (i) if a student would qualify for special education
services; and (ii) the level of services for which the student would be
eligible if enrolled in a public school].
3])(a) The [ Board] shall make a scholarship payment in
accordance with Section 53A-1a-706.
The] parent shall, consistent with Subsection 53A-1a-706(8),
endorse the warrant received by the private school from the
Superintendent no more than 15 calendar days after the private
school's receipt of the warrant.
4])(a) [ The] parent shall notify the Board in writing within five days
if the student does not continue in enrollment in an eligible
private school for any reason, including:
(i) parent or student choice;
(ii) suspension or expulsion of the student; or
(iii) the student [
misses more than] 10
(b) If [
the] student does not continue in enrollment, the [ Board] may
modify the payment to the private school[
5]) [ The] parent shall cooperate and respond within 10 days to an
enrollment cross-checking request from the [ Board].
6]) The parent shall notify the [ Board] in writing by [ March] 1 annually to indicate the student's continued
R277-602-4. LEA Responsibilities.
(1) An LEA that receives a student's scholarship application consistent with Subsection 53A-1a-704(4) shall
an] application to the [ Board] no more than 10 days following receipt of the
(2) The LEA that receives a student's scholarship
a]) verify enrollment of the student seeking a scholarship in
a previous school year within a reasonable time following contact
by the [ Board];
b]) verify the existence of the student's IEP and level
of service to the Superintendent within a reasonable time;
c]) provide personnel to participate on an assessment team
to[ determine: (i)(A) if a student who was previously enrolled in a
private school that has previously served a student with a
disability would qualify for special education services if
enrolled in a public school; and (B) the appropriate level of special education services
that would be provided were the child enrolled in a public school
for purposes of determining the scholarship amount consistent with
Subsection 53A-1a-706(2); or]
if] a student
previously receiv[ ing] a special needs scholarship is entitled to receive the
scholarship during the subsequent eligibility period.
(3) A special needs scholarship student
may not [
enroll in an LEA for dual enrollment or] an extracurricular
, consistent with the parent's assumption of
full responsibility for a student's services under Subsection
(4) An LEA shall cooperate with the [
Board] in cross-checking special needs scholarship
student enrollment information[ , as requested by the Board]
(5)(a) An LEA shall provide written notice to a parent of a student who has an IEP of the availability of a scholarship to attend a private school in accordance with Subsection 53A-1a-704(10).
(b) The written notice shall consist of the following statement: A local education agency is required by Utah law, Subsection 53A-1a-704(10), to inform parents of students with IEPs enrolled in public schools, of the availability of a scholarship to attend a private school through the Carson Smith Scholarship Program.
R277-602-5. State Board of Education Responsibilities.
(1) No later than April 1, the [
Board] shall provide an application containing
acknowledgments required under Subsection 53A-1a-704(5), for a
parent seeking a special needs scholarship:
(b) at the Board office; and
(c) at LEA offices.
(2) The [
Board] shall provide a determination that a private
school meets the eligibility requirements of Section 53A-1a-705 as
soon as possible but no more than 30 calendar days after the
private school submits an application and completes documentation
(3) The [
(a) provide reasonable timelines within the application for satisfaction of private school requirements;
(b) issue letters of warning;
(c) require the school to take corrective
action within a time frame set by the [
(d) suspend the school from the program consistent with Section 53A-1a-708;[
(e) impose a penalty as the Board determines appropriate
under the circumstances;]
f]) establish an appropriate penalty for a private school
that fails to
e] an affidavit under Section 53A-1a-708;
(ii) administer [
an ]assessments or report an assessment to a parent or assessment team under
(iii) employ teachers with credentials required under Subsection 53A-1a-705(g);
e] to a parent relevant credentials of teachers under
Subsection 53A-1a-705(i); or
e] a completed criminal background and ongoing monitoring
under Title 53A, Chapter 15, Part 15, Background Checks and take
appropriate action consistent with information received; [ and]
g]) initiate a complaint and hold an administrative hearing,
as appropriate, and consistent with this rule.
(4) The [
Board] shall make a list of eligible private schools
updated annually and available no later than June 1 of each
The Board shall provide information about an approved
scholarship and availability and level of funding to a scholarship
applicant parent no later than March 1 of each year].
(6) The [
Board] shall mail a scholarship payment directly to
a private school [ as soon as reasonably possible consistent] with Subsection 53A-1a-706(8)
(7) If an annual legislative appropriation is inadequate to
cover all scholarship applicants and documented levels of service,
the Board shall establish by rule a lottery system for determining
the scholarship recipients, with preference provided for under
Subsection 53A-1a-706(1)(e). (8) The Board shall verify and cross-check, using USOE
technology services, special needs scholarship student enrollment
information consistent with Subsection 53A-1a-706(7).]
R277-602-6. Responsibilities of Private Schools that Receive Special Needs Scholarships.
A private school that intends to enroll a scholarship
submit an application by the deadline established in Section 53A-1a-705 .
(2) A private school shall submit an application and
appropriate documentation for eligibility to receive a special
needs scholarship student to the Superintendent on forms designated
by the Superintendent.]
(3) A private school shall satisfy criminal background
check and ongoing monitoring requirements for an employee and a
volunteer consistent with Title 53A, Chapter 15, Part 15,
A private school that seeks to enroll a special needs
scholarship student shall, in concert with the parent seeking a
special needs scholarship for a student, initiate the assessment
team meetings required under Section 53A-1a-704.
a]) A private school shall schedule a meeting at a time and
location mutually acceptable to the private school, the applicant
parent, and participating public school personnel.
(b) Designated private school and public school personnel
shall maintain documentation of the meeting and the decision made
for a student.]
Except as provided by Subsection (4)(c)(ii), a] private school and public school shall confidentially
maintain documentation regarding a [ required ]assessment team meeting, including
(A) a meeting for a student denied a scholarship or service; and
(B) a student admitted into a private school and the student's level of service.
(ii) Upon request by the Superintendent, a
private school and public school shall provide the documentation
described in Subsection ([
4])(c)(i) to the Superintendent for purposes of determining
student scholarship eligibility or for verification of
5]) A private school that receives a scholarship payment[ under this rule] shall provide complete student
records in a timely manner to another private school or a public
school that requests student records if a parent transfers a
student under Subsection 53A-1a-704(7).
6]) A private school shall notify the Board within five days
if the student does not continue in enrollment in an eligible
private school for any reason, including:
(a) parent or student choice;
(b) suspension or expulsion of the student; or
(c) the student [
misses more than] ten
days[ of school].
7]) A private school shall satisfy health and safety laws and
codes required by Subsection 53A-1a-705(1)(d), including:
(a) the adoption of emergency preparedness response plans that include training for school personnel and parent notification for fire drills, natural disasters, and school safety emergencies; and
(b) compliance with Rule R392-200, Design, Construction, Operation, Sanitation, and Safety of Schools.
8])(a) An approved eligible private school that changes
ownership shall submit a new application for eligibility to receive
[ a Carson Smith] scholarship payment from the [ Board]:
(i) that demonstrates that the school continues to meet the eligibility requirements of this rule; and
(ii) within 60 calendar days of the date that an agreement is signed between previous owner and new owner.
(b) If the Superintendent does not receive
the application within the time described in Subsection ([
(i) the new owner of the school is
presumed ineligible to receive continued [
Carson Smith] scholarship payments from the
(ii) at the discretion of the Board, the Superintendent may reclaim any payments made to a school within the previous 60 calendar days;
(iii) the private school is not an eligible school;
iv]) the private school shall submit a new application for[ Carson Smith] eligibility
the requirements and timelines of this rule.
R277-602-7. Special Needs Scholarship Appeals.
(1)(a) A parent of an eligible student or a parent of a prospective eligible student may appeal only the following actions under this rule:
(i) an alleged violation by the Superintendent of Sections 53A-1a-701 through 710 or this rule; or
(ii) an alleged violation by the Superintendent of a required timeline.
(b) An appellant has no right to additional elements of due process beyond the specific provisions of this rule.
(2) The Appeals Committee may not grant an appeal contrary to Sections 53A-1a-701 through 53A-1a-710.
(3) A parent shall submit an appeal:
(a) in writing to the [
USOE] Special Needs Scholarship Coordinator at: Utah
State [ Office] of Education, 250 East 500 South, P.O. Box 144200,
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200; and
(b) within 15 calendar days of written
notification of the final administrative [
(4)(a) The appeal opportunity does not include an investigation required under or similar to an IDEA state complaint investigation.
(b) Nothing in the appeals process established under this rule shall be construed to limit, replace, or adversely affect parental appeal rights available under IDEA.
(5) The Appeals Committee shall:
(a) consider an appeal within 15 calendar days of receipt of the written appeal;
(b) transmit the decision to a parent no more than ten calendar days following consideration by the Appeals Committee; and
(c) finalize an appeal as expeditiously as possible in the joint interest of schools and students involved.
(6) The Appeals Committee's decision
the] final administrative action.
KEY: special needs students, scholarships
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [
October 8, 2015]
Notice of Continuation: August 13, 2015
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X Sec
53A-1a-706(5)(b); Title 53A, Chapter 15, Part 15;] 53A-1a-707; 53A-1-401[ (3)]
More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.
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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.