SCS/SB 436 - Subject to appropriations, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall implement a pilot program requiring the department to designate a System Point of Entry (SPOE) to hire by July 1, 2008, one or more providers of early intervention services under the First Steps Program. By June 30, 2008, the contract for the designated SPOE shall be altered for the purpose of allowing the SPOE to directly hire providers of early intervention services. Such providers shall only serve those areas identified by the SPOE as being underserved due to lack of providers. Preference shall be given to vendor-based providers. By September 1, 2010, the designated SPOE shall conduct a study of the effect of hiring the providers under this act and submit the study to the Department, the State Interagency Coordinating Council and the General Assembly.
Also, the Department shall implement another pilot program allowing the Regional Interagency Coordinating Council (RICC) of the Greater St. Louis SPOE to hire a part-time child-find coordinator to conduct the child-find requirements of the First Steps program. The part-time child-find coordinator shall be hired, selected, and employed by the RICC of the Greater St. Louis SPOE by July 1, 2008. By September 1, 2010, the Greater St. Louis SPOE shall conduct a study on the effect of hiring the child-find coordinator and submit the study to the Department, the State Interagency Coordinating Council and the General Assembly.
This act establishes the "Part C Early Intervention Pilot Program Fund" for implementing the programs. The provisions of the pilot programs shall expire on September 1, 2011.
This act also changes the phrase "handicapped" in the special education statute to "children with disabilities."
The provisions of this act are substantially similar to HCS/SS/SB 112 (2007).