PA 08-133—SB 418

Human Services Committee

Appropriations Committee

Education Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE HIRING OF SUPPORT STAFF FOR TEACHERS OF THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

SUMMARY: This act allows up to 5% of the Board of Education and Services to the Blind's (BESB) Educational Aid for the Blind and Visually Handicapped account appropriation to be used to employ special assistants to the blind and other support staff needed to ensure services are delivered efficiently. These assistants are state-classified employees who, among other duties, drive visually impaired people to work, including teachers. By law, BESB must generally provide teachers of the visually impaired, when school districts request them, as well as other resources. It can already use funds from this account to employ these teachers, as well as rehabilitation teachers and technologists and orientation and mobility teachers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008

BACKGROUND

Priority System for Educational Aid Account

In 2003, the legislature established a priority system for BESB to use when providing and paying for educational services to blind and visually impaired children. Funds from the account must be spent in the following order: (1) to pay for goods and services, such as books; (2) to pay for teaching services that school districts request directly from BESB; and (3) to reimburse towns that purchase these services on their own. BESB can charge districts for any goods or services if the account has insufficient funds. If there are any funds left, they go to the school districts on a pro rata basis, with a two-to-one credit ratio for Braille-learning students to non-Braille-learning students.

OLR Tracking: RC: SP: JL: dw