CHAPTER 237

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14, DELAWARE CODE, BY PROVIDING FOR CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND MAKING A SUPPLEMENTARY APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend § 1703, Title 14, Delaware Code, in the second paragraph in that section after the sentence ending with the words, "...the unit for classes for the blind shall be eight," by inserting a new sentence to read as follows:

For those children in the classification designated as having "learning disabilities" the unit shall be eight.

Section 2. Amend § 3101, Title 14, Delaware Code, by inserting a new paragraph into that section, immediately following the paragraph beginning with the words "Socially or emotionally maladjusted" and preceding the paragraph beginning with the words "Gifted children" to read as follows:

"Learning disability" means children who exhibit a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological or physiological processes involved in understanding and in using spoken or written languages. These may be manifested in disorders of listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling, or arithmetic. They include, but are not limited to, conditions which have been referred to as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and/or developmental asphasia. They do not include learning problems which are due primarily to visual, hearing, or orthopedic handicaps, to emotional disturbance if these are provided for elsewhere, or to mental retardation, or to environmental disadvantage.

Section 3. Amend § 1703, Title 14, Delaware Code, by inserting into that section and to read as follows:

The State Board of Education shall provide through rules and regulations for the establishment of evaluation and placement committees in the school districts of the State, the purpose of which shall be to evaluate each potential candidate for enrollment in a class in the category known as "learning disabilities" and to recommend appropriate placement to the parents or legal guardian of such potential candidate and to the superintendent of the school district. Each evaluation and placement committee shall contain a psychologist and/or psychiatrist licensed to practice in Delaware. No school district shall be entitled to enroll more than 2% of its enrollment in this category described as "Learning disability". No state expenditure for classes in the category known as "learning disability" shall be authorized unless the qualifications of the teacher and the instructional program shall have been approved by the State Board of Education. In any instance in which such an evaluation and placement committee certifies that a particular child cannot be adequately served in any of the units herein described for handicapped children, including the unit described by the term "learning disabilities" or where such a unit for learning disabilities is not available in the district of residence or a district within reasonable transportation distance of the home of the child, then the committee may recommend to the parents or legal guardian of such child and to the superintendent of the district that the child be authorized to attend a specialized public or private school in Delaware or in another state of the United States and that the district of residence be authorized to include in the budget of that district a separate amount to be drawn from State funds, which may be used to cover the cost of tuition, transportation and housing for such a specialized assignment. Such amounts may be used up to but not in excess of an amount equal to the Delaware average expenditure per pupil as expended from State funds in the prior year. Any amount so authorized and allocated in the budget of the school district, shall not be counted against the allocation otherwise granted to that district for other unit purposes, nor shall the district count said student in the certified count by which units are determined for the school district. When the timing of a pupil evaluation and placement does not coincide with the timing of the budget presentation, then the amounts shall be provided from the Educational Contingency Fund.

Section 4. The sum of $350,000 is hereby appropriated to the "EDUCATIONAL CONTINGENCY FUND, Growth and Upgradingā€”Learning Disabilities" for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970, with the general purpose of carrying out the intent of this bill.

Section 5. The funds appropriated hereby shall be used only for the purpose specified and any unexpended funds shall revert to the General Fund of the State of Delaware on June 30, 1970.

Section 6. This Act shall be known as a Supplementary Appropriation Act and the funds hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the General Fund of the State Treasury from funds not otherwise appropriated.

Approved July 10, 1969.