Questions and Answers On Serving Children With Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools
The obligation of states and local education agencies (LEAs) to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private elementary schools and secondary schools changed on July 1, 2005, the effective date of these provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Act). Section 612(a)(10)(A)(i)(II) of the Act requires that the LEA, after timely and meaningful consultation with private school representatives, must conduct a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of parentally-placed children with disabilities attending private schools located in the LEA [emphasis added]. In addition, section 612(a)(10)(A)(i) of the Act makes clear that the obligation to spend a proportionate amount to provide services to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools now refers to children enrolled by their parents in private elementary schools and secondary schools “in the school district served by a local education agency.” Because these are significant changes in policy, the Department issued a memorandum to all states on June 27, 2005, informing them of these changes. The purpose of the questions and answers below is to provide additional guidance to states and LEAs in complying with the requirements in Section 612(a)(10) of the Act. We anticipate posting additional questions and answers in the future regarding the responsibilities of states and LEAs to serve parentally placed private school children with disabilities.
The Department wants to stress that the following questions and answers do not address all the provisions in Section 612(a)(10) of the Act. States are bound by all the provisions in the Act and, until the final regulations are in effect, the existing regulations that are not inconsistent with the Act. If there is an inconsistency between the statutory provisions in the Act and the provisions in the current regulations (i.e., the 1999 regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA 97), the provisions in the Act would supersede those in the current regulations. In addition, the final regulations, which will specify an effective date, will supersede current regulations and any Departmental guidance pertaining to the Act provided prior to the effective date of the final regulations, including the guidance in the questions and answers that follow.
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