What constitutes a severe health need?
An applicant may qualify under the severe health need provision if one of the following exists. An official in the resident district determines if the applicant qualifies under the criteria of severe health need.
- The serious health condition of the child is one that has been diagnosed by an appropriate healthcare provider, and the diagnosis has been provided to the district of residence.
- The serious health condition is neither short-term nor temporary.
- The district has been provided with the specifics of the child’s health needs caused by the serious health condition and knows, or should know, what specific steps its staff must take to meet the child’s needs.
- School officials, upon notification of the serious health condition and the steps to be taken to meet the child’s needs must have failed to implement such steps or, despite the district’s efforts, its implementation of the steps was unsuccessful.
- A reasonable person could not have known before March 1 that the district could not, or would not, adequately address the child’s health needs.
- It can be reasonably anticipate that a change in the child’s school district will improve the situation.
Each case is to be decided on its own merits, keeping in mind that 282.18(5) is the one subsection of the Iowa Code in which the Legislature has specifically admonished districts and the State Board to act “in the best interest of the affected child.” Where there is doubt, the benefit of that doubt is to be accorded to the child.