(a) The state departments of health, human services and education shall enter into a collaborative agreement for the purpose of developing a statewide plan of coordinating comprehensive, multi-disciplinary interagency programs providing appropriate early intervention services to all developmentally delayed and at-risk children, ages birth through five years, and their families to be phased in by the school year one thousand nine hundred ninety--ninety-one.
This comprehensive, coordinated statewide plan shall include, at a minimum:
(1) Specification of the population to be served;
(2) The development of regulations and procedural safeguards;
(3) The development of procedures for administration, supervision and monitoring;
(4) The identification and coordination of all available resources; and
(5) The development of formal interagency agreements that define the financial responsibility of each agency and all additional components necessary to ensure meaningful cooperation and coordination.
(b) To assist in the development of such a plan, an advisory council consisting of twelve members shall be created. The departments of health, human services and education shall each appoint four members, and each shall include in such appointments one parent of an exceptional child under the age of six; one public or private provider of early intervention services for developmentally delayed and at-risk children; one individual involved in the education training of personnel who work with preschool handicapped; and one other person.
The functions of the council shall include the following:
(1) Meet at least quarterly;
(2) Solicit information and opinions from concerned agencies, groups and individuals;
(3) Advise and assist the departments of health, human services and education in the development of the statewide plan herein required; and
(4) Prepare and submit an annual report by the first day of December of each year to the governor, the joint committee on education, the Legislative commission on juvenile law, the legislative oversight commission on education accountability, and other agencies, as appropriate, which report shall recommend policies, procedures and legislation for effectively providing early intervention services and reports on the status of existing programs.
Following the submission of the advisory council's first annual report, the joint committee on education is authorized and empowered to disband the council or alter its functions as it deems advisable.
The members of the council may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties in accordance with state law from appropriations to the departments of health, human services and education or available federal funds.
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