The initial application process is used to determine whether a child meets the definition of a qualified special education child. The reapplication process for succeeding years is used primarily to identify continued eligibility and interest in the program.
(1) If the parent of a child who meets all of the criteria in paragraphs (B)(1) to (B) (5) of this rule wishes to have the child participate in the autism scholarship program, the parent must complete and submit an annual application for the scholarship, along with all required information, in accordance with rules of the state board of education and guidelines established by the Ohio department of education.
(2) As part of the annual application process, the parent shall provide a signed written consent that requires the school district of residence to release the following records to the alternative public provider or the registered private provider who will be implementing the child's individualized education program (IEP):
(a) The current IEP;
(b) The evaluation team report of the current evaluation;
(c) All progress reports and interim reports from the previous school year;
(d) The previous year's IEP.
(3) To document the department's practices regarding eligibility for a scholarship during the current fiscal year, the deadline for receipt of applications for students older than age three is March 31st of each year. The deadline for receipt of applications for newly eligible students turning three is May 31st of each year.
(4) Applications received after the deadlines stated in paragraph (A)(3) shall be processed for the next fiscal year, beginning on July 1st.
Eligibility is determined by the following criteria:
(1) The child is between the ages of three and twenty-one years, inclusive;
(2) The child either was enrolled in the school district in which the child is entitled to attend school (school district of residence) in any grade from preschool through twelve in the school year prior to the year in which a scholarship is first sought for the child or is eligible to enter school in any grade preschool through twelve in the school district in which the child is entitled to attend school (school district of residence) in the school year in which a scholarship is first sought for the child. For the purposes of this paragraph, a child is entitled to attend preschool if he or she satisfies the requirements in paragraph 3301-51-01(A)(50) of the Administrative Code.
(C) Written notification of approval or disapproval
(1) Once a child has been approved or disapproved to receive a scholarship through the autism scholarship program, the child's parent shall be notified of the approval or disapproval, in writing, by the Ohio department of education.
(2) Scholarships awarded under the autism scholarship program shall be valid from the date of the Ohio department of education's written notification of approval to the end of the scholarship year, provided all program requirements have been met.
(3) No scholarship funds shall be expended for services the child received prior to the parent of the child receiving written notification from the Ohio department of education that the child has been approved for a scholarship and prior to placement of the child with an alternative public provider or registered private provider.
(D) New application after exiting program
A parent of a child who has exited the program and wishes to return must reapply by submitting a new application in accordance with rules of the state board of education and guidelines established by the Ohio department of education.
The district of residence of a recipient of an autism scholarship shall promptly notify the department of education when a child in its district has withdrawn from the autism scholarship program and returned to the district of residence.
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 04/07/2017 and 06/23/2022
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3301.07, 3310.41
Rule Amplifies: 3310.41
Prior Effective Dates: 1/8/2004, 7/1/2009