Home » Policy Documents » POLICY LETTER: August 8, 2012 to Alex P. Apostle, Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent
Topic Areas: Private Schools—Parentally Placed Private School Children
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August 8, 2012Alex P. Apostle, Ph.D.SuperintendentMissoula County Public Schools215 South 6th WestMissoula, Montana 59801Dear Dr. Apostle:This is in response to your August 16, 2011 letter to me in which you ask several questions under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding the local educational agencies' (LEAs') responsibility for providing equitable special education and related services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities when such children enroll in the private school after the child find process has occurred and the proportionate amount for the school year has been determined. In your correspondence, you provide the following example:A LEA consults with a private school in the 09-10 school year within the timeline designated by law and determines that a specific number of students are eligible for services. According to our SEA [State educational agency], those students would not be served until the 10-11 school year based on the proportionate share of funding allocated from the count during the 09-10 school year.Assuming the same fact pattern, a student comes to the private school in March of 2011, and is identified as a student eligible for services. According to our SEA, the student would not be counted until the count in the 11-12 school year, and therefore would not receive services until the 12-13 Each LEA (or if appropriate, an SEA) must consult, in a timely and meaningful way, with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities during the design and development of special education and relates services for parentally-placed private school children. The consultation process must include discussion of how that process will operate throughout the school year to ensure that parentally- placed private school children with disabilities can meaningfully participate in special education and related services. 34 CFR 300.134(c). The process could include conversations about changes that may need to be made based on fluctuations in the population of students to be served that would include the issue of children who are identified during the school year in which the expenditures are being made. You also asked, Does the district still need to provide services to this new student using other federal or state or local funds, or can the provision of services to this student wait until the new funding cycle begins? The IDEA does not prohibit a State or LEA from using additional State or local funds to provide special education or related services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities that are in addition to the services required in 34 CFR 300.130-30.144, consisten/s/ Melody MusgroveMelody Musgrove, Ed.D.DirectorOffice of Special Education Programscc: State Director of Special EducationPage PAGE 3 Alex P. Apostle, Ph.D.
Letter regarding how a local education agency (LEA) can meet equitable services requirements for parentally-placed private school children with disabilities if student enrollment changes during the school year.
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