No school district shall place a child with a disability in a special education program requiring residential care without advance consultation with the State Department of Education to review the child's needs and the availability and appropriateness of each possible placement in the continuum of alternative services. Applications for approval of special education program placements requiring residential care shall be signed by the parent or legal guardian, submitted via the school district of residence of the child to the State Department of Education, and acted upon by the State Department of Education within thirty days after receipt by the department. If an application is denied, the parent or legal guardian shall be provided written notification by the State Department of Education of his or her right to appeal the decision pursuant to sections 79-1162 to 79-1167 and right to name the State Department of Education as respondent in the appeal proceeding.
The State Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services shall annually establish the maximum rates that the state will pay for the ordinary and reasonable cost of residential care placements within the state. After September 6, 1985, children with disabilities whose residential placement was funded by state and regional agencies other than the State Department of Education shall continue to be funded by such agencies.