Information Update Bulletin 94.06

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JUNE 1994

TO: District Administrators, CESA Administrators, CHCEB Administrators, Directors of Special Education, Directors of Pupil Services and Other Interested Parties
FROM: Juanita S. Pawlisch, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy
SUBJECT: Revisions to Chapter 115 Wis. Stats., Wisconsin Act 283, Interagency Collaboration in the Evauation of Young Children with Disabilities

There is increasing recognition of the need for collaboration among public agencies in serving children and their families. Recent changes in state and federal legislation have supported collaboration between agencies serving young children with disabilities. Many communities have recognized this need and collaborative efforts are occurring between local education agencies (LEAs) {including cooperative educational service agencies (CESAs), and county handicapped children's education boards (CHCEBs)}, county birth to three programs, Head Start programs and tribal schools.

As the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) worked together on the state level, and as local communities worked to collaborate in the implementation of various federal and state regulations in serving young children with disabilities, certain barriers to collaboration became apparent. Of primary concern was that state law did not authorize a collaborative evaluation process for young children with suspected disabilities. Agencies had differing sets of legal requirements to follow and were unable to utilize staff from the different agencies in an effective and non-duplicative manner.

Recognizing these identified barriers DPI worked with DHSS, school districts, county birth to three agencies, Head Start, tribal schools and the legislature to establish greater flexibility among agencies in evaluating children. As a result, the Wisconsin legislature recently enacted Wisconsin Act 283, codified as s.115.85(5), Wis. Stats. This new law permits local agencies to enter into agreements to collaborate in evaluations for young children. The law addresses two areas. The first relates to the use of LEA staff in evaluations of infants and toddlers. The second relates to the utilization of county birth to three, Head Start and tribal school staff as members of a LEA multidisciplinary team (M-Team) as well as their participation in the development of individualized education programs (IEPs).

Specifically, this legislation allows a LEA, CESA or CHCEB to enter into an agreement with a county birth to three administrative lead agency which would allow the school employees to participate in the performance of multidisciplinary evaluations and the development of individualized family service plans (ISFP) under s.51.44, Wis. Stats. Under this type of agreement, the school employees may be utilized as members of the early intervention evaluation team and IFSP team. School employees would not be bound by PI 11, Wis. Adm. Code, special education procedures and would follow the early intervention procedures utilized by the county in accordance with s.51.44, Wis. Stats., and HSS 90, Wis. Admin. Code.

In addition, this legislation allows a LEA, CESA or CHCEB to enter into an agreement with a county birth to three administrative lead agency, Head Start program, or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) affiliated tribal school to use individuals employed by or under contract with any of the latter agencies as team members in the performance of LEA M-Team evaluations and the development of IEPs. Under this type of agreement, the school district may utilize staff from these other agencies for purposes of the evaluation and IEP development processes. This will facilitate the involvement of other agencies' staff and reduce the need to duplicate personnel from particular disciplines. For example, a student attending a tribal school Head Start program is suspected of having a speech and language disability and is referred to the LEA for a M-Team evaluation. The tribal school Head Start program employs a speech and language pathologist. The LEA could agree to use this tribal school speech and language pathologist in place of the LEA speech pathologist during the M-Team process provided the person meets the qualified personnel certification requirements of DPI.

This legislation allows local agencies to work together to determine the specific extent and terms of such collaboration. Agencies may agree to collaborate on all evaluations, on a case by case basis, or on a discipline specific basis. For example, discipline specific agreements may recognize that the LEA has a teacher for children with are deaf who could be utilized for birth to three evaluations. These agreements may also define specific processes that would be used, financial obligations for each agency, dispute resolution procedures, or other areas relevant to local needs.

We are confident that as local agencies enter into or become involved in these collaborative evaluations, the process will reduce duplication and provide quality comprehensive evaluations for young children with disabilities and their families. For additional strategies related to collaboration, refer to DPI Information Update Bulletin Nos. 90.6 and 93.6 regarding collaboration with birth to three programs and No. 92.11 regarding collaboration with Head Start.

Questions regarding this bulletin can be directed to Jenny Lange, Consultant Early Childhood Exceptional Educational Needs at (608) 267-9172 or Jill Haglund, Consultant Early Intervention at (608) 267-9625, TDD (608) 267-2427 or by writing to the Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy, Bureau for Exceptional Children, 126 South Webster Street, P. O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707.

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Attachments: Wisconsin Act 283


 

STATE OF WISCONSIN
 

 

1993 Assembly Bill 893Date of enactment: April 13, 1994
Date of publication*: April 27, 1994

 

 

 

1993 Wisconsin Act 283

 

 

 

AN ACT to create 115.85 (5) of the statutes, relating to collaborative agreements regarding participation in multidisciplinary evaluations of children.

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
    SECTION 1. 115.85 (5) of the statutes is created to read:
    115.85 (5) COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENTS. (a) A school board, cooperative educational service agency and county handicapped children's education board may enter into an agreement with a county administrative agency, as defined in s. HSS 90.03 (10), Wis. adm. code, to allow the employes of the school board, agency or county handicapped children's education board to participate in the performance of multidisciplinary evaluations and the development of individualized family service plans under s. 51.44.
    (b) A school board, cooperative educational service agency and county handicapped children's education board may enter into an agreement with a county administrative agency, as defined in s. HSS 90.03 (10), Wis. adm. code, a head start agency under 42 USC 9836 or a tribal school affiliated with the bureau of Indian affairs to allow the individuals employed by or under contract with any of the latter agencies to participate as team members in the performance of multidisciplinary team evaluations under s. 115.80 (3) (b) and in the development of individualized education programs under s. 115.80 (4).

*Section 991.ll, Wisconsin Statutes 1991-92: Effective date of acts. "Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partioal veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated" by the secretary of state [the date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment.] {C}


For questions about this information, contact the Special Education Team, (608) 266-1781.