1. There shall be an advisory council for the education of students with disabilities, which shall advise and consult with the governor, the commissioner of education, the state board of education and the director of the division of special education and which shall engage in such other activities as are set forth in this part.
    1. The majority of the advisory council shall be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. The advisory council shall be composed of a maximum of twenty-five (25) members, including:

      1. Parents of children with disabilities, individuals with disabilities, teachers, and representatives of institutions of higher education that prepare special education and related services personnel;
      2. Terms Used In Tennessee Code 49-10-105

        • Department: means the department of education. See Tennessee Code 49-10-102
        • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
        • Related services: means :

          1. Transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, including speech-language pathology and audiology services. See Tennessee Code 49-10-102
          2. Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
          3. Representative: when applied to those who represent a decedent, includes executors and administrators, unless the context implies heirs and distributees. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
          4. Special education: means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, home, hospitals, institutions, and other settings, and instruction in physical education. See Tennessee Code 49-10-102
          5. State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
          6. Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

      3. State and local education officials, administrators of programs for children with disabilities, representatives of other state agencies involved in the financing or delivery of related services to children with disabilities, representatives of private schools and representatives of public charter schools, if any;
      4. At least one (1) representative of a vocational, community or business organization concerned with the provision of transition services to children with disabilities; and
      5. Representatives from the state juvenile and adult corrections agencies.
    2. The governor shall appoint the members of the advisory council for three-year terms. In making appointments to the advisory council, the governor shall strive to ensure that at least one (1) person serving on the council is sixty (60) years of age or older and that at least one (1) person serving on the council is a member of a racial minority.
    3. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments.
    4. The advisory council shall be composed of persons broadly representative of community organizations interested in the disabled, professions related to the educational needs of the disabled and the general public.
    1. The advisory council annually shall elect its own chair and vice chair.
    2. The director of the division of special education shall meet with and act as secretary to the advisory council and, within available personnel and appropriations, shall furnish meeting facilities and staff services for the advisory council.
    1. The department shall regularly submit, as part of its budget requests, an item or items sufficient to cover expenses of the operation of the advisory council and of its members in connection with their attendance at meetings of the advisory council and other advisory council activities.
    2. All reimbursement for travel expenses shall be in accordance with the comprehensive travel regulations as promulgated by the department of finance and administration and approved by the attorney general and reporter.
  2. The council shall:

    1. Have an opportunity to comment on rules and regulations proposed for issuance pursuant to parts 1-6 of this chapter;
    2. Consider any problems presented to it by the governor, the commissioner, the state board of education or the director of the division of special education and give advice on the problems;
    3. Review the state plan prepared pursuant to part 3 of this chapter prior to its submission to the governor and general assembly and comment on the plan to the governor, the commissioner, the state board of education and the director; and
    4. Make an annual report to the governor, the general assembly and the state board of education, which report shall be available to the general public and shall present its views of the progress or lack of progress made in special education by the state, its agencies and institutions and its school districts during the preceding year.