Chapter 28A.155 RCW

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Sections

28A.155.010Purpose.
28A.155.020Administration of program in the office of the superintendent of public instructionAdoption of definitions by ruleLocal school district powers not limited.
28A.155.030Division administrative officerDuties.
28A.155.040Authority of districtsParticipation of department of social and health services.
28A.155.045Certificate of individual achievement.
28A.155.050Services through special excess cost aid programsApportionmentAllocations from state excess funds.
28A.155.060District authority to contract with approved agenciesApproval standards.
28A.155.065Early intervention servicesAccounting of expenditures.
28A.155.070Services to students of preschool age with disabilitiesApportionmentAllocations from state excess cost funds.
28A.155.080Appeal from denial of educational program.
28A.155.090Superintendent of public instruction's duty and authority.
28A.155.100Sanctions applied to noncomplying districts.
28A.155.105Braille instructionDefinitions.
28A.155.115Braille instructionAssessmentProvision in student's curriculum.
28A.155.140Curriculum-based assessment procedures for early intervening services.
28A.155.160Assistive devices and servicesInteragency cooperative agreementsDefinitions.
28A.155.170Graduation ceremony.
28A.155.190Information on autism.
28A.155.200Condensed compliance reportsSecond-class districts.
28A.155.210Use of restraint or isolationRequirement for procedures to notify parent or guardian.
28A.155.220High school transition servicesInteragency agreementsEducation data center to monitor certain outcomesAnnual report by superintendent of public instruction.
28A.155.230Student language.


Purpose.

It is the purpose of RCW 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160, 28A.160.030, and 28A.150.390 to ensure that all children with disabilities as defined in RCW 28A.155.020 shall have the opportunity for an appropriate education at public expense as guaranteed to them by the Constitution of this state and applicable federal laws.

NOTES:

Severability1971 ex.s. c 66: "If any provision of this 1971 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1971 ex.s. c 66 § 13.]
Effective date1971 ex.s. c 66: "This 1971 amendatory act will take effect July 1, 1973." [ 1971 ex.s. c 66 § 14.]



Administration of program in the office of the superintendent of public instructionAdoption of definitions by ruleLocal school district powers not limited.

There is established in the office of the superintendent of public instruction an administrative section or unit for the education of children with disabilities who require special education.
Students with disabilities are those children whether enrolled in school or not who through an evaluation process are determined eligible for special education due to a disability.
In accordance with part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education improvement act and any other federal or state laws relating to the provision of special education services, the superintendent of public instruction shall require each school district in the state to insure an appropriate educational opportunity for all children with disabilities between the ages of three and twenty-one, but when the twenty-first birthday occurs during the school year, the educational program may be continued until the end of that school year. The superintendent of public instruction, by rule, shall establish for the purpose of excess cost funding, as provided in RCW 28A.150.390, 28A.160.030, and 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160, functional definitions of special education, the various types of disabling conditions, and eligibility criteria for special education programs for children with disabilities, including referral procedures, use of positive behavior interventions, the education curriculum and statewide or district-wide assessments, parent and district requests for special education due process hearings, and procedural safeguards. For the purposes of RCW 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160, an appropriate education is defined as an education directed to the unique needs, abilities, and limitations of the children with disabilities who are enrolled either full time or part time in a school district. School districts are strongly encouraged to provide parental training in the care and education of the children and to involve parents in the classroom.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the establishment or continuation of existing cooperative programs between school districts or contracts with other agencies approved by the superintendent of public instruction, which can meet the obligations of school districts to provide education for children with disabilities, or prohibit the continuation of needed related services to school districts by the department of social and health services.
This section shall not be construed as in any way limiting the powers of local school districts set forth in RCW 28A.155.070.

NOTES:

Finding2015 c 206: "The legislature finds that there is no educational or therapeutic benefit to children from physically restraining or isolating them as part of their public school programs when not necessary for immediate safety. The use of seclusion or restraints in nonemergency situations poses significant physical and psychological danger to students and school staff. The legislature declares that it is the policy of the state of Washington to prohibit the planned use of aversive interventions, to promote positive interventions when a student with disabilities is determined to need specially designed instruction to address behavior, and to prohibit schools from physically restraining or isolating any student except when the student's behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm to that student or another person." [ 2015 c 206 § 1.]
Effective date1985 c 341 §§ 4 and 13: "Sections 4 and 13 of this act shall take effect August 1, 1985." [ 1985 c 341 § 18.]
Severability1984 c 160: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1984 c 160 § 6.]
SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Division administrative officerDuties.

The superintendent of public instruction shall employ an administrative officer of the division. The administrative officer, under the direction of the superintendent of public instruction, shall coordinate and supervise the program of special education for eligible children with disabilities in the school districts of the state. He or she shall ensure that school districts provide an appropriate educational opportunity for all children with disabilities in need of special education and related services and shall coordinate with the state secretary of social and health services and with county and regional officers on cases where related services are available for children with disabilities.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Authority of districtsParticipation of department of social and health services.

The board of directors of each school district, for the purpose of compliance with the provisions of RCW 28A.150.390, 28A.160.030, and 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160 and chapter 28A.190 RCW, shall cooperate with the superintendent of public instruction and with the administrative officer and shall provide an appropriate educational opportunity to children with disabilities, as defined in RCW 28A.155.020, in regular or special school facilities within the district or shall contract for such services with other agencies as provided in RCW 28A.155.060 or shall participate in an interdistrict arrangement in accordance with RCW 28A.335.160 and 28A.225.220 and/or 28A.225.250 and 28A.225.260.
In carrying out their responsibilities under this chapter, school districts severally or jointly with the approval of the superintendent of public instruction are authorized to support and/or contract for residential schools and/or homes approved by the department of social and health services for aid and special attention to students with disabilities.
The cost of board and room in facilities approved by the department of social and health services shall be provided by the department of social and health services for those students with disabilities eligible for such aid under programs of the department. The cost of approved board and room shall be provided for those students with disabilities not eligible under programs of the department of social and health services but deemed in need of the same by the superintendent of public instruction: PROVIDED, That no school district shall be financially responsible for special education programs for students who are attending residential schools operated by the department of social and health services: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the provisions of RCW 28A.150.390, 28A.160.030, and 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.100 shall not preclude the extension by the superintendent of public instruction of special education opportunities to students with disabilities in residential schools operated by the department of social and health services.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Certificate of individual achievement. (Expires August 31, 2024.)

Beginning with the graduating class of 2008, and concluding with the graduating class of 2021, students served under this chapter, who are not appropriately served by the graduation pathway options established in RCW 28A.655.250, even with accommodations, may earn a certificate of individual achievement. The certificate may be earned using multiple measures to demonstrate skills and abilities commensurate with their individualized education programs. The determination of whether the graduation pathway options established in RCW 28A.655.250 or the multiple measures authorized in this section are appropriate shall be made by the student's individualized education program team. For the students who use the multiple measures authorized by this section, the certificate of individual achievement is required for graduation from a public high school. The multiple measures that may be used to demonstrate skills and abilities of students under this section must be in agreement with the appropriate educational opportunity provided for the student as required by this chapter. The superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the state special education advisory council, shall develop the guidelines for determining which types of multiple measures to demonstrate skills and abilities under this section are appropriate to use and graduation pathways that might be added to those in RCW 28A.655.250 to support achievement of all students served under this chapter.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny a student the right to participation in the graduation pathway options established in RCW 28A.655.250.
This section expires August 31, 2024.

NOTES:

Intent2019 c 252: See note following RCW 28A.655.250.
FindingsIntent2007 c 354: See note following RCW 28A.655.061.
Part headings and captions not lawSeverabilityEffective date2004 c 19: See notes following RCW 28A.655.061.



Services through special excess cost aid programsApportionmentAllocations from state excess funds.

Any child who is eligible for special education services through special excess cost aid programs authorized under RCW 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160 shall be given such services in the least restrictive environment as determined by the student's individualized education program (IEP) team in the school district in which such student resides. Any school district required to provide such services shall thereupon be granted regular apportionment of state and county school funds and, in addition, allocations from state excess funds made available for such special services for such period of time as such special education program is given: PROVIDED, That should such student or any other student with disabilities attend and participate in a special education program operated by another school district in accordance with the provisions of RCW 28A.225.210, 28A.225.220, and/or 28A.225.250, such regular apportionment shall be granted to the receiving school district, and such receiving school district shall be reimbursed by the district in which such student resides in accordance with rules adopted by the superintendent of public instruction for the entire approved excess cost not reimbursed from such regular apportionment.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



District authority to contract with approved agenciesApproval standards.

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of RCW 28A.155.020 through 28A.155.050, the board of directors of every school district shall be authorized to contract with agencies approved by the superintendent of public instruction for operating special education programs for students with disabilities. Approval standards for such agencies shall conform substantially with those of special education programs in the common schools.

NOTES:

FindingsPurposePart headings not law2006 c 263: See notes following RCW 28A.150.230.
SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Early intervention servicesAccounting of expenditures.

*** CHANGE IN 2020 *** (SEE 2787-S.SL) ***
(1) Each school district shall provide or contract for early intervention services to all eligible children with disabilities from birth to three years of age. Eligibility shall be determined according to Part C of the federal individuals with disabilities education act or other applicable federal and state laws, and as specified in the Washington Administrative Code adopted by the state lead agency, which is the department of children, youth, and families. School districts shall provide or contract, or both, for early intervention services in partnership with local birth-to-three lead agencies and birth-to-three providers. Services provided under this section shall not supplant services or funding currently provided in the state for early intervention services to eligible children with disabilities from birth to three years of age. The state-designated birth-to-three lead agency shall be payor of last resort for birth-to-three early intervention services provided under this section.
(2)(a) By October 1, 2016, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall provide the department of early learning, in its role as state lead agency, with a full accounting of the school district expenditures from the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, disaggregated by district, for birth-to-three early intervention services provided under this section.
(b) The reported expenditures must include, but are not limited to per student allocations, per student expenditures, the number of children served, detailed information on services provided by school districts and contracted for by school districts, coordination and transition services, and administrative costs.
(3) The services in this section are not part of the state's program of basic education pursuant to Article IX of the state Constitution.

NOTES:

Effective date2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 §§ 102, 104-115, 201-227, 301-337, 401-419, 501-513, 801-803, and 805-822: See note following RCW 43.216.025.
Conflict with federal requirements2017 3rd sp.s. c 6: See RCW 43.216.908.
Finding2006 c 269: "The legislature finds an urgent and substantial need to enhance the development of all infants and toddlers with disabilities in Washington in order to minimize developmental delays and to maximize individual potential for learning and functioning." [ 2006 c 269 § 1.]



Services to students of preschool age with disabilitiesApportionmentAllocations from state excess cost funds.

Special educational programs provided by the state and the school districts thereof for students with disabilities shall be extended to include students of preschool age. School districts shall be entitled to the regular apportionments from state and county school funds, as provided by law, and in addition to allocations from state excess cost funds made available for such special services for those students with disabilities who are given such special services.
[ 2007 c 115 § 9; (2007 c 115 § 8 expired September 1, 2009); 2006 c 269 § 3; 1995 c 77 § 13; 1971 ex.s. c 66 § 7; 1969 ex.s. c 223 § 28A.13.050. Prior: 1951 c 92 § 2; 1949 c 186 § 1; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 4901-3. Formerly RCW 28A.13.050, 28.13.050.]

NOTES:

Effective date2007 c 115 § 9: "Section 9 of this act takes effect September 1, 2009." [ 2007 c 115 § 17.]
Expiration date2007 c 115 § 8: "Section 8 of this act expires September 1, 2009." [ 2007 c 115 § 16.]
Effective date2006 c 269 § 3: "Section 3 of this act takes effect September 1, 2009." [ 2006 c 269 § 4.]
Finding2006 c 269: See note following RCW 28A.155.065.
SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Appeal from denial of educational program.

Where a child with disabilities as defined in RCW 28A.155.020 has been denied the opportunity of a special educational program by a local school district there shall be a right of appeal by the parent or guardian of such child to the superintendent of public instruction pursuant to procedures established by the superintendent and in accordance with RCW 28A.155.090 and part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education improvement act.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Superintendent of public instruction's duty and authority.

The superintendent of public instruction shall have the duty and authority, through the administrative section or unit for the education of children with disabling conditions, to:
(1) Assist school districts in the formation of programs to meet the needs of children with disabilities;
(2) Develop interdistrict cooperation programs for children with disabilities as authorized in RCW 28A.225.250;
(3) Provide, upon request, to parents or guardians of children with disabilities, information as to the special education programs for students with disabilities offered within the state;
(4) Assist, upon request, the parent or guardian of any child with disabilities in the placement of any child with disabilities who is eligible for but not receiving special educational services for children with disabilities;
(5) Approve school district and agency programs as being eligible for special excess cost financial aid to students with disabilities;
(6) Consistent with the provisions of RCW 28A.150.390, 28A.160.030, and 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160, and part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education improvement act, administer administrative hearings and other procedures to ensure procedural safeguards of children with disabilities; and
(7) Promulgate such rules as are necessary to implement part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education improvement act or other federal law providing for special education services for children with disabilities and the several provisions of RCW 28A.150.390, 28A.160.030, and 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160 and to ensure appropriate access to and participation in the general education curriculum and participation in statewide assessments for all students with disabilities.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Sanctions applied to noncomplying districts.

The superintendent of public instruction is hereby authorized and directed to establish appropriate sanctions to be applied to any school district of the state failing to comply with the provisions of RCW 28A.150.390, 28A.160.030, and 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.060 and 28A.155.080 through 28A.155.160 to be applied beginning upon the effective date thereof, which sanctions shall include withholding of any portion of state aid to such district until such time as compliance is assured.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1971 ex.s. c 66: See notes following RCW 28A.155.010.



Braille instructionDefinitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply in RCW 28A.155.115.
(1) "Student" means a student who:
(a) Has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with conventional correction or having a limited field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than twenty degrees;
(b) Is unable to read printed material at a competitive rate with facility due to functional visual impairment or lack of visual acuity; or
(c) Has a physical condition with a medical prognosis of a significant visual deterioration to the extent that (a) or (b) of this subsection could apply.
(2) "Braille" means the system of reading and writing through touch commonly known as standard English Braille.

NOTES:

Findings1996 c 135: "It is the goal of the legislature to encourage persons who are blind or visually impaired to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in remunerative employment. The legislature finds that literacy is essential to the achievement of this goal. Furthermore, the legislature finds that literacy for most persons who are blind or visually impaired means the ability to read and write Braille with proficiency. The legislature sets as a further goal that students who are legally blind or visually impaired shall be given the opportunity to learn Braille in order to communicate effectively and efficiently." [ 1996 c 135 § 1.]



Braille instructionAssessmentProvision in student's curriculum.

(1) Each student shall be assessed individually to determine the appropriate learning media for the student including but not limited to Braille.
(2) No student may be denied the opportunity for instruction in Braille reading and writing solely because the student has some remaining vision.
(3) This section does not require the exclusive use of Braille if there are other special education services to meet the student's educational needs. The provision of special education or other services does not preclude Braille use or instruction.
(4) If a student's individualized learning media assessment indicates that Braille is an appropriate learning medium, instruction in Braille shall be provided as a part of such student's educational curriculum and if such student has an individualized education program, such instruction shall be provided as part of that program.
(5) If Braille will not be provided to a student, the reason for not incorporating it in the student's individualized education program shall be documented in writing and provided to the parent or guardian. If no individualized education program exists, such documentation, signed by the parent or guardian, shall be placed in the student's file.

NOTES:

Findings1996 c 135: See note following RCW 28A.155.105.



Curriculum-based assessment procedures for early intervening services.

School districts may use curriculum-based assessment procedures as measures for developing academic early intervening services, as defined under part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education improvement act, and curriculum planning: PROVIDED, That the use of curriculum-based assessment procedures shall not deny a student the right to use of other assessments to determine eligibility or participation in special education programs as provided by RCW 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.160.



Assistive devices and servicesInteragency cooperative agreementsDefinitions.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, the department of children, youth, and families, the Washington center for deaf and hard of hearing youth, the Washington state school for the blind, school districts, educational service districts, and all other state and local government educational agencies and the department of services for the blind, the department of social and health services, and all other state and local government agencies concerned with the care, education, or habilitation or rehabilitation of children with disabilities may enter into interagency cooperative agreements for the purpose of providing assistive technology devices and services to children with disabilities. Such arrangements may include but are not limited to interagency agreements for the acquisition, including joint funding, maintenance, loan, sale, lease, or transfer of assistive technology devices and for the provision of assistive technology services including but not limited to assistive technology assessments and training.
For the purposes of this section, "assistive device" means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off-the-shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of children with disabilities. The term "assistive technology service" means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Assistive technology service includes:
(1) The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
(2) Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
(3) Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing, or replacing of assistive technology devices;
(4) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
(5) Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or if appropriate, the child's family; and
(6) Training or technical assistance for professionals, including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services, employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.

NOTES:

Effective date2018 c 58: See note following RCW 28A.655.080.
FindingsIntent2009 c 381: See note following RCW 72.40.015.



Graduation ceremony.

(1) Beginning July 1, 2007, each school district that operates a high school shall establish a policy and procedures that permit any student who is receiving special education or related services under an individualized education program pursuant to state and federal law and who will continue to receive such services between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one to participate in the graduation ceremony and activities after four years of high school attendance with his or her age-appropriate peers and receive a certificate of attendance.
(2) Participation in a graduation ceremony and receipt of a certificate of attendance under this section does not preclude a student from continuing to receive special education and related services under an individualized education program beyond the graduation ceremony.
(3) A student's participation in a graduation ceremony and receipt of a certificate of attendance under this section shall not be construed as the student's receipt of a high school diploma pursuant to RCW 28A.230.120.

NOTES:

Intent2019 c 252: See note following RCW 28A.655.250.
Findings2007 c 318: "The legislature finds:
(1) There are students with disabilities throughout the state of Washington who have attended four years of high school, but whose individualized education programs prescribe the continuation of special education and related services beyond the fourth year of high school;
(2) Through their participation in the public schools and the community, students with disabilities have frequently become identified with and connected to a class of typically developing, age-appropriate peers who will graduate in four years and participate in a high school graduation ceremony;
(3) A high school graduation ceremony is an important rite of passage for students regardless of their abilities or limitations; and
(4) There is significant value in recognizing students' attendance and accomplishments in their individualized education programs and in allowing students with disabilities to participate in high school graduation ceremonies and activities with their age-appropriate peers without the forfeiture of their continuing special education and related services." [ 2007 c 318 § 1.]
Short title2007 c 318: "This act may be known and cited as Kevin's law." [ 2007 c 318 § 3.]
Effective date2007 c 318: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 4, 2007]." [ 2007 c 318 § 4.]



Information on autism.

(1) To the extent funds are appropriated for this purpose, by September 1, 2008, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with the department of health, the department of social and health services, educational service districts, local school districts, the autism center at the University of Washington, and the autism society of Washington, shall distribute information on child find responsibilities under Part B and Part C of the federal individuals with disabilities education act, as amended, to agencies, districts, and schools that participate in the location, evaluation, and identification of children who may be eligible for early intervention services or special education services.
(2) To the extent funds are made available, by September 1, 2008, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with the department of health and the department of social and health services, shall develop posters to be distributed to medical offices and clinics, grocery stores, and other public places with information on autism and how parents can gain access to the diagnosis and identification of autism and contact information for services and support. These must be made available on the internet for ease of distribution.



Condensed compliance reportsSecond-class districts.

Any compliance reporting requirements as a result of laws in this chapter that apply to second-class districts may be submitted in accordance with RCW 28A.330.250.

NOTES:

Conflict with federal requirements2011 c 45: See note following RCW 28A.330.250.



Use of restraint or isolationRequirement for procedures to notify parent or guardian.

A school that is required to develop an individualized education program as required by federal law must include within the plan procedures for notification of a parent or guardian regarding the use of restraint or isolation.

NOTES:

Findings2013 c 202: See note following RCW 28A.600.485.



High school transition servicesInteragency agreementsEducation data center to monitor certain outcomesAnnual report by superintendent of public instruction.

(1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction must establish interagency agreements with the department of social and health services, the department of services for the blind, and any other state agency that provides high school transition services for special education students. Such interagency agreements shall not interfere with existing individualized education programs, nor override any individualized education program team's decision-making power. The purpose of the interagency agreements is to foster effective collaboration among the multiple agencies providing transition services for individualized education program-eligible special education students from the beginning of transition planning, as soon as educationally and developmentally appropriate, through age twenty-one, or through high school graduation, whichever occurs first. Interagency agreements are also intended to streamline services and programs, promote efficiencies, and establish a uniform focus on improved outcomes related to self-sufficiency.
(2)(a) When educationally and developmentally appropriate, the interagency responsibilities and linkages with transition services under subsection (1) of this section must be addressed in a transition plan to a postsecondary setting in the individualized education program of a student with disabilities.
(b) Transition planning shall be based upon educationally and developmentally appropriate transition assessments that outline the student's individual needs, strengths, preferences, and interests. Transition assessments may include observations, interviews, inventories, situational assessments, formal and informal assessments, as well as academic assessments.
(c) The transition services that the transition plan must address include activities needed to assist the student in reaching postsecondary goals and courses of study to support postsecondary goals.
(d) Transition activities that the transition plan may address include instruction, related services, community experience, employment and other adult living objectives, daily living skills, and functional vocational evaluation.
(e) When educationally and developmentally appropriate, a discussion must take place with the student and parents, and others as needed, to determine the postsecondary goals or postschool vision for the student. This discussion may be included as part of an annual individualized education program review, high school and beyond plan meeting, or any other meeting that includes parents, students, and educators. The postsecondary goals included in the transition plan shall be goals that are measurable and must be based on appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and independent living skills, when necessary. The goals must also be based on the student's needs, while considering the strengths, preferences, and interests of the student.
(f) As the student gets older, changes in the transition plan may be noted in the annual update of the student's individualized education program.
(g) A student with disabilities who has a high school and beyond plan may use the plan to comply with the transition plan required under this subsection (2).
(3) To the extent that data is available through data-sharing agreements established by the education data center under RCW 43.41.400, the education data center must monitor the following outcomes for individualized education program-eligible special education students after high school graduation:
(a) The number of students who, within one year of high school graduation:
(i) Enter integrated employment paid at the greater of minimum wage or competitive wage for the type of employment, with access to related employment and health benefits; or
(ii) Enter a postsecondary education or training program focused on leading to integrated employment;
(b) The wages and number of hours worked per pay period;
(c) The impact of employment on any state and federal benefits for individuals with disabilities;
(d) Indicators of the types of settings in which students who previously received transition services primarily reside;
(e) Indicators of improved economic status and self-sufficiency;
(f) Data on those students for whom a postsecondary or integrated employment outcome does not occur within one year of high school graduation, including:
(i) Information on the reasons that the desired outcome has not occurred;
(ii) The number of months the student has not achieved the desired outcome; and
(iii) The efforts made to ensure the student achieves the desired outcome.
(4) To the extent that the data elements in subsection (3) of this section are available to the education data center through data-sharing agreements, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must prepare an annual report using existing resources and submit the report to the legislature.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2015 c 217: "The legislature finds that research continues to suggest that high expectations for students with disabilities is paramount to improving student outcomes. The legislature further finds that to increase the number of students with disabilities who are prepared for higher education, teachers and administrators in K-12 education should continue to improve their acceptance of students with disabilities as full-fledged learners for whom there are high expectations. The legislature also encourages continuous development in transition services to higher education opportunities for these students. The legislature recognizes that other states have authorized transition planning to postsecondary settings for students with disabilities as early as the age of fourteen. To remove barriers and obstacles for students with disabilities to access to postsecondary settings including higher education, the legislature intends to authorize transition planning for students with disabilities as soon as practicable when educationally and developmentally appropriate." [ 2015 c 217 § 1.]



Student language.

(1) Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, school districts must document the language in which families of special education students prefer to communicate and whether a qualified interpreter for the student's family was provided at any planning meeting related to a student's individualized education program or plan developed under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973 and meetings related to school discipline and truancy.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "qualified interpreter" means someone who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively using any necessary specialized vocabulary.

NOTES:

Findings2019 c 256: "The legislature finds that:
(1) It is the policy of the state to welcome and encourage the presence of diverse cultures and the use of diverse languages and modalities of communication in business, government, and private affairs in this state;
(2) Washington public schools' ability to effectively communicate with students and their family members who have language access barriers impacts the schools' ability to engage students and families effectively in the education process and contributes to inequalities and increased gaps in student achievement;
(3) Effective communication is not taking place for a variety of reasons, including: (a) Some school districts do not consistently assess the language needs of their communities or consistently evaluate the effectiveness of their language access services; (b) resources, including time and money, are often not prioritized to engage families with language access barriers; and even when language access is a priority, some districts do not know the best practices for engaging families with language access barriers; (c) school staff are often not trained on how to engage families with language access barriers, how to engage and use interpreters, or when to provide translated documents; and (d) there are not enough interpreters qualified to work in educational settings; and
(4) Providing meaningful, equitable access to students and their family members who have language access barriers will not only help schools meet their civil rights obligations, but will help students meet the state's basic education goals under RCW 28A.150.210 resulting in a decrease in the educational opportunity gap between learners with language access barriers and other students, because student outcomes improve when families are engaged in the student's education." [ 2019 c 256 § 1.]