Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 71B of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the definition "School age child with special needs", as amended by section 136 of chapter 138 of the acts of 1991, and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-
"School age child with special needs", a school age child who, because of a disability consisting of a developmental delay or an intellectual, sensory, neurological, emotional, communication, physical, specific learning or health impairment or combination thereof, is unable to progress effectively in regular education and requires special education services in order to successfully develop the child's individual educational potential; provided, however, that no child shall be determined to be a student with special needs solely because the child's behavior violates the school's disciplinary code; and provided, further, that use of the word disability in this section shall not be used to provide a basis for labeling or stigmatizing the child or defining the needs of the child, and shall in no way limit the services, program, and integration opportunities provided to the child.
SECTION 2. The department of education shall issue proposed guidelines and regulation changes to ensure clarity and consistency of application of chapter seventy-one B of the General Laws in local school districts no later than March thirty-first, nineteen hundred and ninety-two. Changes in guidelines and regulations shall take effect on September first, nineteen hundred and ninety-two.
SECTION 3. The provisions of this act shall apply to any child who is referred for evaluation or re-evaluation on or after September first, nineteen hundred and ninety-two for the purposes of determining whether such child shall receive special education.
SECTION 4. Section one of this act shall take effect on September first, nineteen hundred and ninety-two.