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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Private Schools and IDEA

From the US Department of Education:
Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Part B) at Section 612(a)(10)(A) and its implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. §§ 300.130 through 300.144 contain specific requirements regarding State and local responsibilities for equitable services for parentallyplaced private school children with disabilities.1 The U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issues this Questions and Answers (Q&A) document to provide State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), parents, private school officials, advocacy organizations, and other interested parties with information regarding these requirements.2


As explained in this Q&A document, children with disabilities placed in private schools by their parents where FAPE is not at issue do not have an individual entitlement to the special education and related services they would receive if they were enrolled in a public school or placed in a private school by the LEA as a means of ensuring FAPE is made available.3 Depending on State law, private schools may not be required to meet State personnel or curriculum standards.4 Further, children with disabilities placed by their parents in private schools do not have the right to all of the protections under IDEA. For example, IDEA’s due process procedures do not apply to issues regarding the provision of services to any particular parentally-placed private school child with a disability. Parents of such children may only use IDEA’s due process procedures to resolve matters concerning an LEA’s obligation to meet the child find requirements.5 While IDEA provides no individual entitlement to children with disabilities whose parents have placed them in a private school when FAPE is not at issue, the law does require that an LEA spend a proportionate amount of its IDEA Part B funds to provide equitable services to this group of children, which could include direct and/or indirect services.6 In making these decisions, IDEA requires that the LEA engage in timely and meaningful consultation to determine which children with disabilities from this group will be designated to receive special education and related services.7 Therefore, it is possible that some of these parentally-placed private school children with disabilities will not receive any special education and related services.