Section 236.025, Florida Statutes 2001
236.025 Revised funding model for exceptional student education programs.--
(1) The revised funding model for exceptional student education programs is designed to: be better for students than the existing funding system by encouraging school districts and schools to identify and implement educationally effective instructional delivery models; simplify funding by utilizing two weighted cost factors and a guaranteed allocation; provide fiscal support for exceptional students in general education classes; be outcome driven; be revenue neutral; and reduce the paperwork burden associated with state funding. This funding model is designed to support both traditional and new service delivery models along the continuum of services required for exceptional students. It is the intent of the Legislature, through the General Appropriations Act, to minimize the fiscal impact on school districts of the implementation of this funding model.
(2)(a) The revised funding model uses existing basic, at-risk, and vocational Florida Education Finance Program cost factors, two exceptional education cost factors, and a guaranteed allocation for exceptional student education programs. Exceptional education cost factors are determined by using a matrix of services to document the services that each exceptional student will receive. The nature and intensity of the services indicated on the matrix shall be consistent with the services described in each exceptional student's individual education plan.
(b) In order to generate funds using one of the two weighted cost factors, a matrix of services must be completed at the time of the student's initial placement into an exceptional student education program and at least once every 3 years by personnel who have received approved training. Nothing listed in the matrix shall be construed as limiting the services a school district must provide in order to ensure that exceptional students are provided a free, appropriate public education.
(c) Students identified as exceptional, in accordance with chapter 6A-6, Florida Administrative Code, who do not have a matrix of services as specified in paragraph (b) shall generate funds on the basis of full-time-equivalent student membership in the Florida Education Finance Program at the same funding level per student as provided for basic students. Additional funds for these exceptional students will be provided through the guaranteed allocation designated in subsection (3).
(3) For students identified as exceptional who do not have a matrix of services, there is created a guaranteed allocation to provide these students with a free appropriate public education, in accordance with s. 230.23(4)(m) and rules of the state board, which shall be allocated annually to each school district in the amount provided in the General Appropriations Act. These funds shall be in addition to the funds appropriated on the basis of full-time-equivalent student membership in the Florida Education Finance Program, and the amount allocated for each school district shall not be recalculated during the year. These funds shall be used to provide special education and related services for exceptional students.
(4) The Department of Education shall revise its monitoring systems for exceptional student education programs to include a review of delivery of services as indicated on the matrix of services.
(5) The Department of Education shall adopt rules necessary to implement the revised funding model.
History.--s. 41, ch. 97-307; ss. 5, 6, 66, ch. 2000-171; s. 3, ch. 2000-181.