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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2115         FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1950

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Tom Sannicandro

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to promote inclusive transition programs for students with severe disabilities.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Michael R. Knapik

 

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Cynthia S. Creem

 

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Donald F. Humason, Jr.

4th Hampden

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2115        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1950

By Mr. Sannicandro of Ashland, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1950) of Tom Sannicandro and others relative to transition programs for students with severe disabilities.  Education. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act to promote inclusive transition programs for students with severe disabilities.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              Subject to appropriation the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop and administer a discretionary grant program to provide monies to school districts and state public institutions of higher education partnering together to offer inclusive concurrent enrollment programs for students with disabilities as defined in section 1 of chapter 71B of the General Laws ages 18 to 22, inclusive; provided, that the grant program shall be limited to said students who are considered to have severe disabilities and, in the case of students ages 18 and 19, shall be limited to students with severe disabilities who have been unable to achieve the competency determination necessary to pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam.  The goal of the grant program shall be to meet the transition needs of students with severe disabilities by developing the capacity of school districts, working in partnership with institutes of higher education, to support college success, participation in student life of the college community, competitive employment, and provision of a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.    The department, in consultation with the department of higher education, shall develop guidelines to ensure that the grant program meets this goal and also promotes provision of training and technical assistance for faculty and personnel in state institutions of higher education.

              Students with disabilities participating in the grant program shall be offered enrollment in credit and noncredit courses that include nondisabled students, including enrollment in noncredit courses and credit bearing courses in audit status for students who may not meet course prerequisites and requirements, and the partnering school districts will  ensure provision of  supports and services necessary to facilitate a student’s enrollment.

              The department, in consultation with the department of higher education, shall develop strategies and procedures to help sustain and replicate inclusive concurrent enrollment programs initiated through the department’s discretionary grant program  including but not limited to: continued funding for partnerships of  institutes of higher education and school districts that have developed inclusive concurrent enrollment programs in order to sustain the existing programs and to retain employment specialists to assist students in meeting competitive employment and other transition-related goals;  and adoption of procedures and funding mechanisms to ensure that new partnerships of institutions of higher education and school districts providing inclusive concurrent enrollment programs fully utilize the models and expertise developed in existing partnerships.  The department shall develop a mechanism to encourage existing and new partnerships to expand capacity to respond to individual parents that request an opportunity for their children to participate in the inclusive concurrent enrollment initiative.  Tuition for courses shall be waived by the institutes of higher education for students enrolled through this grant program. 

              The department of elementary and secondary education, in consultation with the department of higher education, shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on education and the joint committee on higher education on the status of the grant program annually on February 15.

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