Parentally-Placed Private School Student

THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA) of 2004

PROVISION OF SERVICES TO PARENTALLY-PLACED PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

The Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in December of 2004 incorporated several changes in regard to local district responsibilities/requirements for the provision of services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities.
The obligation for meeting the state and federal requirements for provision of services to parentally-placed private school students belongs to the local public school district. These requirements do not apply to Public Charter Schools, State Board Operated Programs (MSB, MSD, SSSH) or Other State Agencies (DMH, DOC, DYS) that provide services to children and youth with disabilities.

The private school provisions apply to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities, ages 3 to 21, with the exception of homeschooled children under the age of 7 (mandatory school attendance age.)

Note: The term “parentally-placed private school student” refers to children placed by their parents in private, parochial or other religiously-affiliated schools or home schools.
Responsibility for child find, child count and provision of services to parentally-placed private school students with disabilities has shifted from the LEA in which the student lives to the LEA in which the student’s private school is located.

Parentally-placed private school students do not have an individual right to FAPE and will generally not receive the same type or amount of services that they would receive if they were enrolled in a public school. Local districts where private schools are located must expend a proportionate share of their federal funds in the provision of services to parentally-placed private school students.

Child find procedures for locating and identifying parentally-placed private school children with disabilities attending private schools located within the boundaries of the local district, must include similar activities as those undertaken for public school children, conducted during a comparable time period and ensure the equitable participation and accurate count of parentally placed private school students.

The services (including special education and related services) provided to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities

(a) must be provided by personnel meeting the same standards as personnel providing services in the public schools,

(b) may be a different amount of services than children with disabilities in public schools receive.

(c) must be described in a service plan developed through a meeting that the LEA must initiate and conduct. Meetings must also to held to review and revise an existing service plan. The LEA must also ensure that a representative of the religious or other private school attends each meeting, unless the representative cannot attend, in which case the LEA shall use other methods to ensure participation, including individual or conference telephone calls

(d) must be provided either by employees of the public agency or through contract by the public agency with an individual, association, agency, organization or other entity.

(e) must be secular, neutral, and nonideological. This includes materials and equipment.

For each parentally-placed child with a disability who has a services plan, the plan must, to the extent appropriate, meet the requirements of state and federal regulations for content of an IEP and be developed, reviewed and revised consistent with state and federal regulations.

As private school students do not have an individual right to IDEA services, due process hearing procedures are inapplicable except on issues directly related to child find and evaluation.

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