Private school placement

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    Douglas Locklin

    What do I do if I think my child should be in a private school?

    Sometimes a parent may feel that a recommended public school placement is not appropriate for his or her child. The parent may reject that placement and decide to enroll his or her child in a private school. If you find yourself facing this decision and you want the public school to reimburse you for the cost of the private school, there are several things you need to know.

    1. A court or a hearing officer may require the school district to reimburse you if the court or hearing officer decides that:

    (a) the public school did not make FAPE available in a timely manner prior to your child’s enrollment in the private school, and

    (b) the private placement is appropriate.

    2. Your request for reimbursement may be reduced or denied if, before enrolling your child in the private school:

    (a) at the most recent IEP meeting, you did not inform the school that you were rejecting the proposed placement (including stating your concerns) and intended to enroll your child in a private school at public expense, or

    (b) at least 10 business days prior to removing your child from the public school, you did not give the school written notice.

    Use our letter generator to make this request in writing. Once you have sent this letter to the school, you will also need to make a request for a due process hearing so that a hearing officer can decide whether or not the public school must reimburse you for the costs of the private school.

    In some cases, the IEP team or placement group in the public school decides the most appropriate placement for a child is in a private school. In this case, the public school pays the cost of the private school.

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