Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 64100]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 4. INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES [46000 - 64100]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 30. SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS [56000 - 56865]

  ( Part 30 repealed and added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 797, Sec. 9. )

CHAPTER 4.45. Special Education Programs for Individuals With Exceptional Needs Between the Ages of Three and Five Years, Inclusive [56440 - 56447.1]
  ( Chapter 4.45 added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. )

56440.
  

(a) Each special education local plan area shall submit to the Superintendent, as part of the local plan, information for providing special education and services to individuals with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, who are between the ages of three and five years, inclusive.

(b) All individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, identified in subdivision (a) shall be served by the local educational agencies within each special education local plan area, to the extent required under federal law and pursuant to the local plan and application approved by the Superintendent.

(c) Individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, who are identified by the local educational agency as requiring special education and services shall be eligible for special education and services pursuant to this part.

(d) Special education facilities operated by local educational agencies serving children under this chapter and Chapter 4.4 (commencing with Section 56425) shall meet all applicable standards relating to fire, health, sanitation, and building safety, but are not subject to Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70), 3.5 (commencing with Section 1596.90), or 3.6 (commencing with Section 1597.30) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code.

(e) This chapter applies to all individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 327, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2015.)

56441.
  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that early education programs for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, that provide special education and related services within the typical environment appropriate for young children, and include active parent involvement, may do the following:

(a) Significantly reduce the potential impact of any disabling conditions.

(b) Produce substantial gains in physical development, cognitive development, language and speech development, psychosocial development, and self-help skills development.

(c) Help prevent the development of secondary disabling conditions.

(d) Reduce family stresses.

(e) Reduce societal dependency and institutionalization.

(f) Reduce the need for special class placement in special education programs once a child reaches school age.

(g) Save substantial costs to society and our schools.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 126. Effective January 1, 2007.)

56441.1.
  

(a) Services rendered by state and local agencies serving preschool children with exceptional needs and their families shall be provided in coordination with other state and local agencies. Educational agencies offering similar educational services shall coordinate and not duplicate these services. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall identify similar services by other state and local agencies.

(b) As the preschool child approaches the age to enter an elementary school environment, the child’s preparation shall be geared toward a readiness for kindergarten and later school success.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1168, Sec. 56. Effective September 30, 2002.)

56441.2.
  

An early education program for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five, inclusive, shall include specially designed services to meet the unique needs of preschool children and their families. To meet this purpose, the program focus is on the young child and his or her family and shall include both individual and small group services which shall be available in a variety of typical age-appropriate environments for young children, including the home, and shall include opportunities for active parent involvement.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56441.3.
  

(a) Early education services for preschool children may be provided to individuals or small groups and shall include:

(1) Observing and monitoring the child’s behavior and development in his or her environment.

(2) Presenting activities that are developmentally appropriate for the preschool child and are specially designed, based on the child’s exceptional needs, to enhance the child’s development. Those activities shall be developed to conform with the child’s individualized education program and shall be developed so that they do not conflict with his or her medical needs.

(3) Interacting and consulting with the family members, regular preschool teachers, and other service providers, as needed, to demonstrate developmentally appropriate activities necessary to implement the child’s individualized education program in the appropriate setting pursuant to Section 56441.4 and necessary to reinforce the expansion of his or her skills in order to promote the child’s educational development. These interactions and consultations may include family involvement activities.

(4) Assisting parents to seek and coordinate other services in their community that may be provided to their child by various agencies.

(5) Providing opportunities for young children to participate in play and exploration activities, to develop self-esteem, and to develop preacademic skills.

(6) Providing access to various developmentally appropriate equipment and specialized materials.

(7) Providing related services as defined in Section 300.13 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, that include parent counseling and training to help parents understand the special needs of their children and their children’s development, as that section read on May 1, 1987.

(b) The duration of group services shall not exceed four hours per day unless determined otherwise by the individualized education program team.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56441.4.
  

Appropriate settings for these services include any of the following:

(a) The regular public or private nonsectarian preschool program.

(b) The child development center or family day care home.

(c) The child’s regular environment that may include the home.

(d) A special site where preschool programs for both children with disabilities and children who are not disabled are located close to each other and have an opportunity to share resources and programming.

(e) A special education preschool program with children who are not disabled attending and participating for all or part of the program.

(f) A public school setting which provides an age-appropriate environment, materials, and services, as defined by the superintendent.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 759, Sec. 34. Effective September 21, 1992.)

56441.5.
  

Appropriate instructional adult-to-child ratios for group services shall be dependent on the needs of the child. However, because of the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, who require special education and related services, the number of children per instructional adult shall be less than ratios set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 8264.8 for young children in a regular preschool program. Group services provided to individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, identified as severely disabled pursuant to Section 56030.5 shall not exceed an instructional adult-to-child ratio of one to five.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 386, Sec. 28. Effective January 1, 2016.)

56441.6.
  

Early education services for preschool children shall be provided through a transdisciplinary team approach of professionals as described in Section 56426.6. Responsibilities of early education program staff shall include consultation with regular preschool program providers, consultation with other specialists, assessment services, and direct services.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56441.7.
  

(a) The maximum caseload for a speech and language specialist providing services exclusively to individuals with exceptional needs, between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, as defined in Section 56441.11 or 56026, shall not exceed a count of 40.

(b) The superintendent shall issue caseload guidelines or proposed regulations to local educational agencies for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, by January 1, 1988.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56441.8.
  

Early education services for preschoolers may be provided by any of the following methods:

(a) Directly by a local educational agency.

(b) Through an interagency agreement between a local educational agency and another public agency.

(c) Through a contract with another public agency pursuant to Section 56369.

(d) Through a contract with a certified nonpublic, nonsectarian school; or nonpublic, nonsectarian agency pursuant to Section 56366.

(e) Through a contract with a nonsectarian hospital in accordance with Section 56361.5.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 756, Sec. 32. Effective October 9, 1991.)

56441.9.
  

Contracts or agreements with agencies identified in Section 56441.8 are strongly encouraged when these services are currently provided by another agency, and when found to be a cost-effective means of providing the services. The placement of an individual preschool child under any of these contracts shall not require specific approval by the governing board of the school district or the county superintendent of schools.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56441.11.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, the special education eligibility criteria in subdivision (b) shall apply to preschool children, between the ages of three and five years.

(b) A preschool child, between the ages of three and five years, qualifies as a child who needs early childhood special education services if the child meets the following criteria:

(1) Is identified as having one of the following disabling conditions, as defined in Section 300.8 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or an established medical disability, as defined in subdivision (d):

(A) Autism.

(B) Deaf-blindness.

(C) Deafness.

(D) Hearing impairment.

(E) Intellectual disability.

(F) Multiple disabilities.

(G) Orthopedic impairment.

(H) Other health impairment.

(I) Emotional disturbance.

(J) Specific learning disability.

(K) Speech or language impairment in one or more of voice, fluency, language and articulation.

(L) Traumatic brain injury.

(M) Visual impairment.

(N) Established medical disability.

(2) Needs specially designed instruction or services as defined in Sections 56441.2 and 56441.3.

(3) Has needs that cannot be met with modification of a regular environment in the home or school, or both, without ongoing monitoring or support as determined by an individualized education program team.

(4) Meets eligibility criteria specified in Section 3030 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(c) A child is not eligible for special education and services if the child does not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria and his or her educational needs are due primarily to:

(1) Unfamiliarity with the English language.

(2) Temporary physical disabilities.

(3) Social maladjustment.

(4) Environmental, cultural, or economic factors.

(d) For purposes of this section, “established medical disability” means a disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome that the individualized education program team determines has a high predictability of requiring special education and services.

(e) When standardized tests are considered invalid for children between the ages of three and five years, alternative means, including scales, instruments, observations, and interviews, shall be used as specified in the assessment plan.

(f) In order to implement the eligibility criteria in subdivision (b), the Superintendent shall do all of the following:

(1) Provide for training in developmentally appropriate practices, alternative assessment, and placement options.

(2) Provide a research-based review for developmentally appropriate application criteria for young children.

(3) Provide program monitoring for appropriate use of the eligibility criteria.

(g) If legislation is enacted mandating early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.), the Superintendent shall reconsider the eligibility criteria for preschool children, between the ages of three and five years, and recommend appropriate changes to the Legislature.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 186, Sec. 57. Effective January 1, 2017.)

56441.13.
  

The superintendent shall provide training and technical assistance for the implementation of early education programs for preschool children with exceptional needs, and shall develop:

(a) Methods and models for modifications to the regular program prior to referral.

(b) Guidelines for program providers.

(c) Curriculum and content for programs.

(d) Personnel standards for program providers.

(e) A plan to meet the unique needs of preschool children who require special education services and who are limited-English proficient and of diverse cultural backgrounds.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56441.14.
  

Criteria and options for meeting the special education transportation needs of individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five, inclusive, shall be included in the local transportation policy required pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 56195.8.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 854, Sec. 59. Effective January 1, 1998. Repealed conditionally as prescribed by Section 56449.)

56442.
  

The superintendent shall ensure that state preschool programs and programs for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, provided pursuant to this part, are coordinated at the state and local levels.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56443.
  

(a) The department shall amend its interagency agreement with the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, Region IX, Head Start, United States Department of Health and Human Services, to permit a local educational agency to contract with a Head Start program for special education and services for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years pursuant to this part.

(b) Apportionments allocated to Head Start programs for special education and services to individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years shall supplement and not supplant funds for which the Head Start programs are eligible, or are already receiving, from other funding sources.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 56, Sec. 74. Effective January 1, 2008.)

56445.
  

(a) Prior to transitioning an individual with exceptional needs from a preschool program to kindergarten, or first grade as the case may be, an appropriate reassessment of the individual shall be conducted pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 56320) of Chapter 4 to determine if the individual is still in need of special education and services.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that gains made in the special education program for individuals who received special education and services, in accordance with this chapter, are not lost by too rapid a removal of individualized programs and supports for these individuals.

(c) As part of the transitioning process, a means of monitoring continued success of the child shall be identified by the individualized education program team for those children of kindergarten or first grade equivalency who are determined to be eligible for less intensive special education programs.

(d) As part of the exit process from special education, the present performance levels and learning style shall be noted by the individualized education program team. This information shall be made available to the assigned regular education teacher upon the child’s enrollment in kindergarten or first grade as the case may be.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

56446.
  

Public special education funding shall not be used to purchase regular preschool services or to purchase any instructional service other than special education and services permitted by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 89, Sec. 42. Effective June 30, 1998. Operative July 1, 1998, by Sec. 62 of Ch. 89.)

56447.1.
  

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the responsibility of noneducational public agencies in the State of California from providing or paying for some or all of the costs of a free appropriate public education for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit a noneducational public agency to reduce medical and other assistance available or to alter eligibility under Titles V and XIX of the Social Security Act (Subchapter V (commencing with Section 701) and Subchapter XIX (commencing with Section 1396) of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code) with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education for individuals with exceptional needs between the ages of three and five years, inclusive, within the State of California.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 311, Sec. 6.5. Effective July 30, 1987.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC