Sections 20 through 31 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the Regional Education Service Center Act.
The purposes of the Regional Education Service Center Act are:
1. To expand the services of the Regional Education Service Centers, personnel, and certain selected material to ensure that students with learning difficulty or exceptional capability which shall include any gifted child will receive proper screening, diagnosis, and evaluation or consultation in order to benefit from an appropriate public education;
2. To provide an educational screening program for students in every school district in the state and services to assist in the identification, location and evaluation of children with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services in accordance with the IDEA; and
3. To provide Regional Education Service Centers to assist and coordinate with local educational agencies for educational evaluation and in meeting their obligations for child identification in accordance with federal requirements under the IDEA.
It is not the intent of the Regional Education Service Center Act to supplant present or future special education appropriations or to reduce the number of present or proposed special education classes.
It is intended by the Regional Education Service Center Act that the State of Oklahoma meet its responsibility to ensure that every student in the public schools throughout the state has the opportunity to receive an appropriate education for the benefit of his future life in society.
It is further intended by the Regional Education Service Center Act that guidelines shall be promulgated to permit curriculum materials to be utilized by the student’s teacher for such period of time as is necessary to assist said student during the school year.
As used in the Regional Education Service Center Act, except as the context may otherwise require:
1. “Regional education service centers” means educational, administrative, service and evaluation centers, hereinafter referred to as “centers” or “service centers”;
2. “Department” means the State Department of Education;
3. “Board” means the Oklahoma State Board of Education;
4. “IDEA” means the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), P.L. No. 101-476;
5. “Educational screening” means the implementation of accepted procedures for identification of children who may have special learning needs and may be eligible for special education and related services in accordance with the IDEA;
6. “Evaluation” means procedures used in accordance with federal laws and regulations to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs. The term means procedures used selectively with an individual child and does not include basic tests administered to or procedures used with all children in a school, grade, or class. Provided, however, that no child shall be initially evaluated whose parent or legal guardian has not filed a written consent for such evaluation with the local board of education; and
7. “Readiness screening” means the implementation of procedures for assessing readiness for first grade as provided in Section 1210.282 of this title.
Qualifications for all personnel to be employed in the service centers shall be determined by the State Board of Education and in accordance with the IDEA.
There shall be at least twenty (20) service centers which shall provide the services described herein to all the school districts in the state.
Every service center shall offer the schools and school districts which they serve professional assistance in the efforts which are aimed toward the improvement of instruction for students. Each center shall provide the following services:
1. Evaluation services for the purposes of identification, evaluation and placement of children in special education programs, which shall be in accordance with the federal regulations promulgated under the IDEA, and in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act;
2. Implementation of effective procedures, media, and equipment for acquiring and disseminating significant information and materials in accordance with the federal regulations promulgated under the IDEA;
3. Individualized learning plans, which shall include prescriptive teaching plans to teachers, for students who are having learning problems; consultation for educators and parents working with or having students with learning problems; providing special education material for special education teachers; and providing special education material on a prescriptive basis to the classroom teacher who has students with learning problems and consultation services and interpretation of evaluation data to assist parents and multidisciplinary teams in making educational placement decisions and planning for effective educational interventions in the least restrictive environment;
4. Assistance for organizing staff development, including the offering at each Center of conferences, institutes, and other in-service training for educators working with students with special needs; assistance in these programs for emphasizing the awareness, utilization and adaptation of appropriate materials, learning theory, research findings, and other appropriate topics, to assist in implementation of federal regulations concerning the comprehensive system of personnel development for educators and disseminating information to parents; and
5. Coordination and collaboration with public agencies and local school districts which are responsible for providing evaluation and other special education or related services to children with disabilities as provided under Section 1001 et seq. of Title 74, Section 13-101 et seq. of Title 70 and Section 601.41 et seq. of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and in accordance with the federal regulations for interagency agreements promulgated pursuant to the IDEA. Such coordination shall include cooperative efforts of local districts joining with the service center staff to engage in any educational activities to increase the learning opportunities for teachers and any and every student in the public schools in the service center area.
A Regional Education Service Center cannot conduct or use, for any purpose, projective psychological, personality or adjustment tests designed to collect information relative to a pupil’s personality, environment, home life, parental or family relationships, economic status, religious beliefs, patriotism, sexual behavior or attitudes, or sociological problems. October 21, 1977 (AG Op. No. 77-234)
A. Each service center shall provide assistance and training in analysis of educational screening to schools within the area which the center serves. The service centers shall assist school districts in initiating referrals for comprehensive evaluations for the purpose of identifying children who may be eligible for special education and related services.
B. Educational screening shall be conducted by the public schools.
C. The service centers shall conduct evaluations upon referral.
D. Prior written notice and parent consent for evaluation shall be in accordance with the provisions of the IDEA.
Responsibility to provide student screening and evaluation services lies with Regional Education Service Center. Regional Educational Service Center has final authority to decide whether child takes additional testing or evaluation. July 27, 1977 (AG Op. No. 77-196)
The results of individual student screening shall be confidential, except that information and results shall on request be made available to parents either visually or in written form and to professional personnel involved in the education of the students, as determined by the Board. Provided, however, students shall not be subjected to individual evaluation without prior written parental permission except for re-evaluations required pursuant to the IDEA. In no case shall the results of any individual student screening or evaluation by center personnel be made a part of the student’s permanent in-school records. Such individual student records shall be destroyed when the information contained therein is no longer necessary for carrying out the purposes of this act or when the student reaches the age of eighteen (18), whichever is earlier. Provided, however, on written request of a parent or legal guardian, such information may be forwarded to a center serving a receiving school district. Educational screening and evaluations shall be maintained in accordance with the federal regulations for confidentiality under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the IDEA. The disclosure, transfer, maintenance, destruction, amendment, parental or student rights to access, inspection and review of such records and parental consent for disclosure and transfer of such records shall be in accordance with these federal laws and state law.
A. The board of education for each school district in the state shall implement a system to provide educational screening as required in this section.
B. The service centers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that educational screening is implemented in each public school in the state for all first grade students in each school year. The service centers shall provide assistance and training to school districts for implementation of effective procedures for educational screening and analysis of the results.
C. Second grade through twelfth grade students shall be educationally screened as needed or upon request of a parent, legal guardian, or teacher pursuant to regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education.
D. Students entering the public school system from another state or from within the state without previous educational screening shall be educationally screened within six (6) months from the date of such entry.
E. No child shall be educationally screened whose parent or legal guardian has filed written objection with the local school district.
The State Board of Education is hereby authorized to promulgate rules as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act. The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules for the staffing and operation of the service centers, including safeguards to assure the uniform application and availability of all services of the service centers to all students within the area served by the service centers. The rules shall further provide for the withholding of funds by the State Board of Education from any of the service centers to assure compliance with the rules. The State Board of Education shall promulgate uniform rules for the testing of students.
The State Board of Education, regional service center or local school district shall furnish curriculum materials for local school districts for use by the students participating in the programs. All such materials shall be delivered to the local school district by the service centers and shall remain in the local school district as long as prescribed by the regional service center.
The regional education service centers shall acquire and disseminate significant information, materials and equipment in accordance with the IDEA.
The service centers shall provide and assist in coordinating for the provision of workshops, short courses, and training within the respective regions and in cooperation with local schools, professional developments centers, organizations, public agencies, and institutions of higher education in accordance with the comprehensive system of personnel development requirements under the IDEA.
The State Board of Education may establish and operate Service Centers by contract with any independent school district in the state.
Preschool children, ages three (3) through five (5) years, and students enrolled in K-12 in the public school system of Oklahoma who are suspected of having disabilities which may require special education and related services may utilize the services provided in this act. The service centers and local school districts shall coordinate with the program established pursuant to the Early Intervention Act, Section 13-121 et seq. of this title, in the evaluation and identification of infants and toddlers who may be eligible at the age of three (3) years for special education and related services through the schools.
The provisions of this act shall be accumulative to existing laws and shall not be construed to repeal, amend or otherwise modify any of said laws.
A. The State Board of Education shall develop and implement a readiness screening program to screen students enrolled in kindergarten in the public schools of the state for readiness prior to entry into first grade in a public school. Results of the screening shall be made available to the child’s parent or legal guardian, teacher and school district administration.
B. The service centers shall provide assistance and training to local schools to ensure effective procedures for readiness screening prior to first grade. Current knowledge and research information concerning screening procedures, readiness, and disabilities in early childhood shall be disseminated by the service centers.