Private School and Special Education Services

Requirements for IEPs are very
different in private schools than in public schools. So, public schools are
required to develop and implement an IEP, but private schools are not required to
do that. If your child is already in a private school, and is not yet eligible
for special education, then the public school district where the private school
is located is responsible for evaluating and determining eligibility of your
child. And again to be very clear, it’s the public school district where the
private school is located, not the public school district where you live, which
might be a different place. So it’s really important to remember that it
won’t be the private school that’s conducting the evaluation, it’s the
public school where that private school is located. So they conduct the
evaluation and determine eligibility, then a service plan is developed in the
private school, which is very different from an IEP. It may not include any of
the same services that an IEP would include. The private school and the
public school district meet annually to consult and talk about the services
that are provided in the private school, but again they can be much more limited
than the services that are provided in a public school. Parents do not have the
same procedural safeguards in private schools that they have in public schools.
For instance, you know, the right to file for due process, or mediation, or to file
a state complaint. Those same provisions do not apply in private schools,
so it’s just important for parents to know that. If your child is already
eligible for special education, when they go to the private school, then that
private school would develop that service plan that we talked about. And
implement a service plan, again, that could have could meet a student’s needs,
but would be very different than an IEP.

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