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Section 1

ak dept education

special ed handbook

As a component of public school funding, a district is eligible for special needs funding. Special needs funding is based on the funding formula established under AS 14.17. Districts receive a block grant for funding of special education, ELL, vocational education, and gifted education. Consequently, funding for special education is no longer based solely on the number of children in particular service categories (e.g., resource room, self-contained).

Intensive Funding

In addition to funds a district receives through the block grant, a district may request funding for children with disabilities whose needs are so severe as to require complete modification of their school day. This is referred to as "intensive funding". Children must be enrolled by the last day of the count period in order to be counted for intensive funding for that school year.

Children for whom the District receives intensive funding may receive services in a regular or self-contained classroom if the program being provided for the child is described on the child's IEP and the services are provided by a qualified special education teacher. Any services provided by a regular classroom teacher or paraprofessional must be under the daily supervision of a qualified special education teacher.

Criteria for Intensive Funding

A child with a disability may be counted for intensive funding if the child's individualized educational program meets ALL of the following criteria:
  1. Direct daily instruction by a certified special education teacher.
  2. Provision of multiple services including related services. (This means that in addition to special education and special transportation, the child must also be receiving at least one related service involving instruction. (i.e. speech and language services, audiology services, psychological services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreation, therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes, school health services and social work services in schools).
  3. All services not provided by a certified special education teacher are supervised by at least one certified special education teacher or related service provider.
  4. Continuous special education programming. (This means that the child needs specially designed instruction for the entire school day.)
  5. Assistance and training in two or more basic self help, daily living, or adaptive skills, appropriate to the age of the child.
  6. That individual care will be provided to the student for the student’s entire school day by staff who are trained to meet the student’s individual needs.
  7. When the student needs transportation, (the student will receivespecial transportation), except that this transportation requirement does not apply in the case of a student who has received special transportation for at least a year and no longer needs it.
Note: A district may seek a Department waiver, for one year, from one or more of the requirements listed above if the District needs additional funding for a child whose IEP Team has determined that the child's educational program includes high-cost services that do not meet the intensive funding criteria. The application must be in writing and include:
  • A statement of the component or components to be waived and the reason why the waiver is sought
  • The child's IEP
  • Any additional information that the Department determines is necessary to address a particular child's needs

For funding purposes, the following situations serve as exceptions to the above criteria and are allowable for intensive funding:
  1. A child eligible for special education who is blind or deaf-blind and must read Braille
  2. A child who needs and receives full-time services of a deaf education interpreter or tutor
  3. A child whose IEP Team determines that out-of-state residential placement is necessary
  4. A child who has a disability that prevents him or her from attending a regular or special education program even with the aid of special transportation, and the IEP Team's evaluation and the IEP indicate that a home-based or health-care-facility-based instructional program is appropriate to meet the child's needs.
A child may not be counted as receiving intensive services if the child is placed in a detention facility, or is receiving home-based instruction solely because of a disciplinary problem.

Note: Districts should exercise caution when counting children for intensive funding. When the Department conducts an entitlement review, it may be determined that the program provided for a child does not meet the above criteria. If that is the case, the District will be required to pay back the funds. When determining whether to count a child for intensive funding, the District should carefully consider the specific needs of the child that require the additional funds.

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