(a) During the school year beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-five, each county board of education shall develop a coordinated service delivery plan in accordance with standards for preschool programs for severely handicapped 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 handicapped children between the ages of three and five according to the following schedule:
(1) By the school year beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-six, and thereafter, for severely handicapped children who are age four before the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred eighty-six;
(2) By the school year beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven, and thereafter, for severely handicapped children who are age three before the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven.
As used in this section, the term "severely 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, severely speech and language impaired, deaf-blind, hearing impaired, autistic, physically handicapped, profoundly mentally retarded, trainable mentally retarded or visually impaired.
Before the first day of August, one thousand nine hundred eighty-five, 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 handicapped 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.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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