Q – Would it be more beneficial for my child with special needs to be placed in a private school as oppose to a public school? If I do place him/her in a private school, who will be responsible for the cost of his/her services?
A – If a parent places their child with special needs in a private school, that child may still be able to receive some special education and related services from the school district in which the private school is located.
The law requires the local public school districts to locate, identify and assess all private school students with disabilities who attend private schools within the service area of the district. The "Child Find" law creates an affirmative duty on the part of the district to find and offer special education evaluation and possible program supports.
However, the law states that no parentally placed private school child with a disability has an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the child would receive if enrolled in a public school. But parents may have a basis for reimbursement for tuition costs and services through a due process finding that the public school failed to provide FAPE (free and appropriate public education).
As a special education attorney, I can assist parents to determine whether placing the student in a private school would be beneficial, and if so, inform the public school district of the parents' decision and have the public school district pay for the special education related services.
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