§18-20-1b. Preschool programs for handicapped children; rules and regulations.
(a) During the school year beginning on July 1, 1991, each county board of education shall develop a coordinated service delivery plan in accordance with standards for preschool programs for handicapped children to be developed by the State Board of Education and begin services where plans are already developed.
(b) Each county board of education shall establish and maintain special education programs, including, but not limited to, special classes, regular classes and home-teaching and visiting-teacher services for all handicapped children ages three through five, inclusive.
As used in this section, the term "handicapped 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, communication disordered, deaf-blind, developmentally delayed, deaf or hard of hearing, other health impaired including autism, physically handicapped, mentally impaired or visually impaired.
Before August 1, 1991, the State Board of Education shall adopt rules 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, foster care, correctional facilities and private schools.
This section does not prevent county boards of education from providing special education programs, including, but not limited to, special schools or classes, regular class programs and home-teaching or visiting-teacher services for severely handicapped preschool children prior to such times as are required by this section.