[esd-dir] OSL&P: Revised ODE Guidance: LTCT Facilities Children Placed by Parents
Laura.Allran at ode.state.or.us
Wed Apr 7 15:05:56 PDT 2010
TO: All District and ESD Special Education Directors
The message below is being forwarded to you on behalf of:
Nancy Latini, PhD
Student Learning & Partnerships
April 7, 2010
This went out to all superintendents this afternoon and I wanted to be sure you saw a copy.
Nancy Latini, PhD
Student Learning & Partnerships
RE: REVISED ODE GUIDANCE: Long Term Care and Treatment Facilities Children Placed by Parents
The Oregon Department of Education (Department) has recently become aware of issues related to the way public education is made available to children who are placed in psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) by their parents or guardians. After reviewing the applicable state and federal laws and considering Departmental policy relating to the provision of public education to students in PRTFs within Oregon, the Department has decided to issue revised guidance concerning the responsibility of Oregon school districts to provide public education to resident children placed in PRTFs by their parents.
Prior Department Guidance Regarding Children Placed in PRTFs by Parents
The Department has not previously issued guidance to school districts concerning this issue. However, the Department has issued guidance to local educational agencies in the State that provide educational services to Long-Term Care and Treatment (LTCT) students that included information about children placed in PRTFs by their parents.
LTCT students are children placed in PRTFs by State agencies such as the Oregon Department of Human Services or the Oregon Youth Authority. LTCT students are provided a public education by local educational agencies that contract with the Department to provide educational services at specific PRTFs throughout the State. In a 2008 memo to these contract service providers, the Department discussed the provision of public education to children placed by their parents in PRTFs serviced by the providers.
The memo suggested to the service providers that they inform the parents of parentally-placed PRTF children of the option to enroll their children in the district in which the PRTF is located as out-of-district, tuition students. Though the 2008 memo did not explicitly state that children placed by their parents in PRTFs were not entitled to a public education in Oregon, it implied that the parents of such children had opted out of public education in the State. The Department's recent review has caused us to revise this guidance.
Revised Department Guidance
Under Oregon law, children in PRTFs are residents of the school district in which their parents or persons in a parental relationship to the child reside. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the district in which a parentally-placed PRTF child's parents reside to provide a public education to such children.
In practice, this means that the child's resident district is often different than the district in which the PRTF is located. For example, a child whose parents reside in District A but is placed in a PRTF located in District B remains a resident of District A for the purposes of Oregon school residency. In this situation, it is the responsibility of District A under Oregon law to provide a public education to the child regardless of the physical distance separating Districts A and B.
As discussed above, prior Department guidance implied that, in situations where a parent places a child in a PRTF outside of their resident district, the resident district no longer had an obligation to provide a public education to the child. However, the language of the Oregon school residency statute, read in conjunction with the anti-discrimination provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not allow Oregon school districts to exclude children from public education as a result of a parental decision to place a child in a residential treatment facility for psychiatric/medical purposes. Therefore, the Department advises school districts to make a public education available to resident children placed by their parents in PRTFs regardless of where the PRTF is located.
The Department recognizes the difficulty of providing educational services to students who are not physically present within school district boundaries. In order to lessen the burden of providing public education to students in PRTFs, the Department is implementing the following procedures with regard to children placed in PRTFs by their parents:
* Department contractors who are currently responsible for providing public education to LTCT students will immediately notify children's resident school districts when Oregon children are placed by their parents in PRTFs covered by an LTCT contract.
* LTCT contractors will provide educational services to all children placed in the facilities that are served pursuant to Department contracts.
* The resident district will consider the child enrolled in the district for purposes of accounting and distribution of state school funds. Districts will be able to report those students on their ADM count upon notification from the LTCT contractor.
* The resident district will enter into an agreement with the Department's contracted LTCT educational service provider to provide services to the parentally-placed child at the PRTF.
This arrangement is intended to be an interim solution to the problem of providing public education to children who are physically removed from their resident school district for the purpose of receiving psychiatric/medical care. This solution will ensure that all children in LTCT facilities, regardless of how they were placed in the facility, will receive a public education from the current LTCT contractors and that the children's resident districts will forward the appropriate state school funds to the contractors. The Department will instruct LTCT contractors to begin educating children placed in covered PRTFs by their parents on or before April 15, 2010. These provisions apply to students parentally-placed in residential programs and to those placed in day treatment.
The Department is currently working with the Oregon State Legislature and a group of stakeholders to identify and implement a permanent solution that reduces the burden on Oregon school districts while still providing public education to all eligible children in the State.
If you have any difficulty viewing this document, please contact Laura Allran at laura.allran at state.or.us<mailto:laura.allran at state.or.us> or 503-947-5674.
Messages to and from this e-mail address may be made available to the public under Oregon law.
===========End of Message============
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
the sender immediately and delete the communication and any attachments.
This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the ESD-dir