SB 436 - Under the provisions of this act, the Missouri Sunset Act shall not apply to the early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities (the First Steps program).
Subject to appropriations, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall implement a pilot program requiring the Southwest System Point of Entry (SPOE) to hire by January 1, 2008, one or more providers of early intervention services under the First Steps Program. By December 31, 2007, the contract for the Southwest SPOE shall be altered for the purpose of allowing the SPOE to either contract with SB 40 Boards for providers of early intervention services or 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. By September 1, 2009, the Southwest 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 child-find coordinator to conduct the child-find requirements of the First Steps program. The child-find coordinator shall be hired, selected, and employed by the RICC of the Greater St. Louis SPOE by January 1, 2008. By September 1, 2009, 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, 2010.
This act also provides that as to special education diagnostic reports, any outside evaluation information furnished by the parent may be considered by the team in the initial eligibility team meeting between all the affected parties for children transitioning into Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act program.
When a child receiving early intervention services under the First Steps program reaches the age of three years during a regular school year, the school district shall allow the child to continue receiving such services with the First Steps provider upon the parent's request, unless such continuation would result in a cost which exceeds the district's cost of providing that same service. A school district shall give the provider an opportunity to adjust its charges so that the charges are less than the district's cost of providing that same service. The parent's request shall be received six months prior to the child's third birthday or when the child enters the First Steps program, whichever is later.