§18-20-1a. Preschool programs for severely disabled children; rules and regulations.
(a) During the school year beginning on July 1, 1985, each county board of education shall develop a coordinated service delivery plan in accordance with standards for preschool programs for severely disabled children to be developed by the State Board of Education and begin services where plans are already developed.
(b) Only in any year in which funds are made available by legislative appropriation, and only to the extent of such funding, each county board of education shall establish and maintain a special educational program, including, but not limited to, special classes and home-teaching and visiting-teacher services for all severely disabled children between the ages of three and five according to the following schedule:
(1) By the school year beginning on July 1, 1986, and thereafter, for severely disabled children who are age four before September 1, 1986;
(2) By the school year beginning on July 1, 1987, and thereafter, for severely disabled children who are age three before September 1, 1987.
As used in this section, the term "severely disabled children" means those children who fall in any one of the following categories as defined or to be defined in the State Board of Education standards for the education of exceptional children: Severe behavioral disorders, severely speech and language impaired, deaf-blind, deafness or hearing difficulties, autistic, physically handicapped, disabled profoundly intellectually disabled, trainable intellectually disabled or visually impaired.
Before August 1, 1985, the State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations to advance and accomplish this program and to assure that an appropriate educational program is available to all such children in the state, including children in mental health facilities, residential institutions and private schools.
This section does not prevent county boards of education from providing special education programs, including, but not limited to, special schools, classes, regular class programs and home-teaching or visiting-teacher services for severely disabled preschool children prior to such times as are required by this section. In addition, county boards of education may provide these services to preschool exceptional children in disability categories other than those listed above.