SECTION 1. Chapter 71B of the General Laws, is hereby further amended by inserting after Section 5C the following section:- Section 5D. The Commonwealth shall fully fund municipalities for the cost of transportation of a special education student to an out-of-district program; and provided, further, that the private transporter of the child accepts rates of payment for such transportation as determined by the department of elementary and secondary education. Said funding shall be in addition to amounts distributed pursuant to chapter 70 and shall not be included in the calculation of base aid, as defined in said chapter 70, for any subsequent fiscal year. The department of elementary and secondary education shall define those costs associated with providing transportation for pupils to out-of-district programs that shall be eligible for reimbursement under this program. The board of elementary and secondary education shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing a process by which school districts may seek and accept reimbursement from insurers and similar third party payors for health care goods or services provided under an individualized education plan which constitute medically necessary treatment for disease, illness, injury, or bodily dysfunction.
SECTION 2. Section 3 of chapter 70 of the General Laws, is hereby amended by inserting at the end the following:
“The foundation funding formula shall make the following changes:
1. Increase the average tuition to $35,000
2. The special education enrollment shall be adjusted for in district students to 4% and 5% for vocational students.”
SECTION 3. That a special commission is hereby established for the purpose of conducting an investigation and study of residency with regards to students that are transient as they pertain to education and fiscal and programmatic process. The commission shall study and recommend strategies that address fiscal and programmatic responsibility. The commission shall make recommendations on defining residency as it pertains to these students.
The commission shall consist of the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on education, who shall serve as co-chairs of the commission or the chairs designee; 1 member to be appointed by the senate minority leader; 1 member to be appointed by the house minority leader; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or the commissioner’s designee; and 2 persons to be appointed by the governor. All appointments shall be made not later than 30 days after the effective date of this resolve. The chairpersons shall meet with the commission not later than 60 days after the effective date of this resolve.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any general special law to the contrary, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is hereby authorized and directed to standardize the qualifications of special education dispute arbitrators.
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