Special Education Services & Private School

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Can the school district place my child in a private school?

Special Education law says that the school can place school-age children with disabilities into a private school. They can do this only if the IEP team believes that the public school cannot meet your child’s needs. If your child receives gifted services only, this does not apply to them.

The public school has to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to every child. If they can’t do this in the public school, they must pay for your child to go to a private school that can meet their needs.

The IEP team must meet to talk with you about sending your child to a private school before it happens. Someone from the private school needs to attend the meeting. You must agree before this change is made.

You do not have to pay if the school decides to place your child in a private school. The private school must meet the standards of the Kansas State Department of Education.

The private school must let the public school and the parents know anytime there is an IEP meeting.

What if I make the choice to send my child to private school?

You may also choose to send your child with a disability to a private school. The public school still has to provide special education services to your student.

You can make a written request for an evaluation to be done by the public school district. If your child is found to be eligible for special education services, the public school needs to create an IEP for your child. To do this, the school must hold an IEP meeting. You and your child are key members of the IEP team.

The IEP team will decide where your child will get special education services. If the special education services are going to be provided at the public school, the school district must provide transportation for your child to get to the school. However, the school does not have to transport to an address outside of the school district’s boundaries.

If your child is going to receive special education services at the private school, the cost cannot be more than it would be at the public school. You do not have to accept the public school’s services. If you refuse any of those services, the school needs to send you a prior written notice stating the services that you have denied.

The public school does not have to provide special education services for any religious education or religious activity.

Sources & Additional Resources:

Kansas Special Education Process Handbook, Chapter 14. Kansas State Department of Education.