The information below pertains to Arizona school districts.
Need RFP for therapist services in the Special Ed Program:
Q: In the Special Education program, is a district required to issue an RFP for services provided by a therapist (e.g. occupational, speech, physical) even if ADE compiles an approved list of vendors or facilities?
A: Yes. ACC R7-2-1002 states that the School District Procurement Rules apply to every expenditure of public monies, including federal assistance monies and grants. The district should follow procurement rules specified in A.R.S. 15-213 for the procurement of all services when the total procurement cost exceeds the competitive sealed bidding threshold. If the procurement involves the expenditure of federal assistance or contract monies, the district should also comply with all applicable federal law and authorized regulations that are not presently reflected in the procurement rules. Based on this, a district is required to follow proper procurement procedures for obtaining the services of a therapist for a special education child. The IEP typically states that a therapist be provided; rather than name the therapist that must be used.
Q: Is the district required to follow procurement rules for special education private placement?
A: No, the Arizona Procurement Rules, R7-2-1002 section D8 exempts the placement of pupils in a private school that provides special education services as prescribed in the pupil’s individualized education program (IEP).
Need parental approval?
Q: Can a school place a child in the special education program without parental approval?
Special education file when student withdraws:
Q: Can a district send a student’s special education file to another district when the student withdraws?
A: Yes. However, a copy of all applicable information must be retained to document placement during the time the student was enrolled and the records should be maintained in accordance with records management guidelines.
Maintenance of Effort – Special Education Cluster federal funds:
Q: A district wants to charge OT/PT and Speech Therapists’ salaries to the M&O Special Education program, instead of the IDEA federal grant, and teachers’ salaries to the IDEA federal grant instead of to the M&O Special Education program, where they were charged the previous year. Is this acceptable?
A: The requirement for maintenance of effort for the IDEA federal grant does not require a position by position review. As long as the district expends more in the current year on special education from local sources than in the previous year, the maintenance of effort test has been met.
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