TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-64
Residence of Children for School Purposes

SECTION 16-64-1.1


§ 16-64-1.1 Payment and reimbursement for educational costs of children placed in foster care, group homes, or other residential facility by a Rhode Island state agency.

(a) Children placed in foster care by a Rhode Island-licensed child-placing agency or a Rhode Island governmental agency shall be entitled to the same free, appropriate public education provided to all other residents of the city or town where the child is placed. The city or town shall pay the cost of the education of the child during the time the child is in foster care in the city or town.

(b) Children placed by the department of children, youth and families (DCYF) in a group home or other residential facility that does not include the delivery of educational services are to be educated by the community in which the group home or other residential facility is located, and those children shall be entitled to the same free, appropriate public education provided to all other residents of the city or town where the child is placed. For purposes of payment and reimbursement for educational costs under this chapter, the term "group home or other residential facility" shall not include independent-living programs. Each city and town that contains one or more group homes or other residential facilities that do not include delivery of educational services will receive funds as part of state aid to education in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) On December 31 of each year, the DCYF shall provide the department of elementary and secondary education with a precise count of how many group home or other residential facility "beds" exist in each Rhode Island city or town, counting only those "beds" in facilities that do not include the delivery of educational services. The number of "beds" in each group home or other residential facility shall be equal to the maximum number of children who may be placed in that group home or other residential facility on any given night according to the applicable licensure standards of the DCYF.

(2) For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007, if the number of beds certified by DCYF for a school district by December 31, 2007, is greater than the number certified March 14, 2007, upon which the education aid for FY 2008 was appropriated, the education aid for that district will be increased by the number of increased beds multiplied by fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any law to the contrary, the education aid for all group home or other residential facility "beds" located or associated with the Children's Residential and Family Treatment (CRAFT) program located on the East Providence campus of Bradley Hospital shall be twenty-two thousand dollars ($22,000) per bed. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall include the additional aid in equal payments in March, April, May, and June, and the Governor's budget recommendations pursuant to § 35-3-8 shall include the amounts required to provide the increased aid.

For all fiscal years beginning after June 30, 2016, education aid for each school district shall include seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000) for each bed certified by DCYF by the preceding December 31. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any law to the contrary, the education aid for all group home or other residential facility "beds" located or associated with the Children's Residential and Family Treatment (CRAFT) program located on the East Providence campus of Bradley Hospital shall be twenty-six thousand dollars ($26,000) per bed. For all fiscal years beginning after June 30, 2008, whenever the number of beds certified by DCYF for a school district by December 31 is greater than the number certified the prior December 31 upon which the education aid for that fiscal year was appropriated, the education aid for that district as enacted by the assembly during the prior legislative session for that fiscal year will be increased by the number of increased beds multiplied by the amount per bed authorized for that fiscal year. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall include the additional aid in equal payments in March, April, May, and June, and the Governor's budget recommendations pursuant to § 35-3-8 shall include the amounts required to provide the increased aid.

(c) Children placed by DCYF in a residential-treatment program, group home, or other residential facility, whether or not located in the state of Rhode Island, which includes the delivery of educational services provided by that facility (excluding facilities where students are taught on grounds for periods of time by teaching staff provided by the school district in which the facility is located), shall have the cost of their education paid for as provided for in subsection (d) and § 16-64-1.2. The city or town determined to be responsible to DYCF for a per-pupil special-education cost pursuant to § 16-64-1.2 shall pay its share of the cost of educational services to DCYF or to the facility providing educational services.

(d) Children placed by DCYF in group homes, child-caring facilities, community residences, or other residential facilities shall have the entire cost of their education paid for by DCYF if:

(1) The facility is operated by the state of Rhode Island or the facility has a contract with DCYF to fund a pre-determined number of placements or part of the facility's program;

(2) The facility is state licensed; and

(3) The facility operates an approved, on-grounds educational program, whether or not the child attends the on-grounds program.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1998, ch. 68, § 3; P.L. 2001, ch. 77, art. 22, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 117, art. 13, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 246, art. 19, § 3; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 21, § 6; P.L. 2013, ch. 501, § 68; P.L. 2016, ch. 142, art. 11, § 6.)