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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Section 1003.57, Florida Statutes 2004

1003.57  Exceptional students instruction.--Each district school board shall provide for an appropriate program of special instruction, facilities, and services for exceptional students as prescribed by the State Board of Education as acceptable, including provisions that:

(1)  The district school board provide the necessary professional services for diagnosis and evaluation of exceptional students.

(2)  The district school board provide the special instruction, classes, and services, either within the district school system, in cooperation with other district school systems, or through contractual arrangements with approved private schools or community facilities that meet standards established by the commissioner.

(3)  The district school board annually provide information describing the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and all other programs and methods of instruction available to the parent of a sensory-impaired student.

(4)  The district school board, once every 3 years, submit to the department its proposed procedures for the provision of special instruction and services for exceptional students.

(5)  No student be given special instruction or services as an exceptional student until after he or she has been properly evaluated, classified, and placed in the manner prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education. The parent of an exceptional student evaluated and placed or denied placement in a program of special education shall be notified of each such evaluation and placement or denial. Such notice shall contain a statement informing the parent that he or she is entitled to a due process hearing on the identification, evaluation, and placement, or lack thereof. Such hearings shall be exempt from the provisions of ss. 120.569, 120.57, and 286.011, except to the extent that the State Board of Education adopts rules establishing other procedures and any records created as a result of such hearings shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The hearing must be conducted by an administrative law judge from the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services. The decision of the administrative law judge shall be final, except that any party aggrieved by the finding and decision rendered by the administrative law judge shall have the right to bring a civil action in the circuit court. In such an action, the court shall receive the records of the administrative hearing and shall hear additional evidence at the request of either party. In the alternative, any party aggrieved by the finding and decision rendered by the administrative law judge shall have the right to request an impartial review of the administrative law judge's order by the district court of appeal as provided by s. 120.68 Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, during the pendency of any proceeding conducted pursuant to this section, unless the district school board and the parents otherwise agree, the student shall remain in his or her then-current educational assignment or, if applying for initial admission to a public school, shall be assigned, with the consent of the parents, in the public school program until all such proceedings have been completed.

(6)  In providing for the education of exceptional students, the district school superintendent, principals, and teachers shall utilize the regular school facilities and adapt them to the needs of exceptional students to the maximum extent appropriate. Segregation of exceptional students shall occur only if the nature or severity of the exceptionality is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

(7)  In addition to the services agreed to in a student's individual education plan, the district school superintendent shall fully inform the parent of a student having a physical or developmental disability of all available services that are appropriate for the student's disability. The superintendent shall provide the student's parent with a summary of the student's rights.

History.--s. 151, ch. 2002-387.