County offices shall do all of the following:
(a) Initiate and submit to the Superintendent a countywide plan for special education that demonstrates the coordination of all local plans submitted pursuant to Section 56205 and that ensures that all individuals with exceptional needs residing within the county, including those enrolled in alternative education programs, including, but not limited to, alternative schools, charter schools, opportunity schools and classes, community day schools operated by districts, community schools operated by county offices of education, and juvenile court schools, will have access to appropriate special education programs and related services. However, a county office shall not be required to submit a countywide plan when all the districts within the county elect to submit a single local plan.
(b) Within 45 days, approve or disapprove any proposed local plan submitted by a district or group of districts within the county or counties. If approved, the county office shall submit the plan with comments and recommendations to the Superintendent. If disapproved, the county office shall return the plan with comments and recommendations to the district. The district may immediately appeal to the Superintendent to overrule the county office's disapproval. The Superintendent shall make a decision on an appeal within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. A local plan shall not be implemented without approval of the plan by the county office or a decision by the Superintendent to overrule the disapproval of the county office. Approval shall be based on the capacity of the district or districts to ensure that special education programs and services are provided to all individuals with exceptional needs, and both of the following:
(1) Whether the local plan adheres to the guidelines established pursuant to Section 56122 for the development of local plans.
(2) Whether the local plan contains all of the required components as detailed in Section 56205.
(c) Participate in the state onsite review of the district's implementation of an approved local plan.
(d) Join with districts in the county that elect to submit a plan or plans pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56195.1. Any plan may include more than one county, and districts located in more than one county. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the authority of a county office to enter into other agreements with these districts and other districts to provide services relating to the education of individuals with exceptional needs.
(e) For each special education local plan area located within the jurisdiction of the county office of education that has submitted a revised local plan pursuant to Section 56836.03, the county office shall comply with Section 48850, as it relates to individuals with exceptional needs, by making available to agencies that place children in licensed children's institutions a copy of the annual service plan adopted pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 56205.
(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 32, Sec. 89.)