Private Schools






In 1997, the United States Congress substantially revised the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) related to serving students in Special Education.  The U.S. Department of Education issued regulations to implement the revised law in 1999.  These regulations affect the special education services for children with disabilities who are voluntarily placed by their parents in private schools.  In 2004, the U.S. Congress reauthorized the IDEA and the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act continues to guide our public school relationship to private school students and special education.


The North Region SELPA has policy for students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools.  The policy reiterates the federal law and regulations which state that a child with a disability found eligible for special education who is voluntarily enrolled by his/her parent in a private school has no individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the child would receive if enrolled in the public school system.



  1. If a student is found eligible to receive special education and related services, an offer of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) will be made through the Individual Education Program (IEP), by the school district of residence.
  2. Upon a offer of FAPE, a parentally placed private school student must be enrolled in a public school program in order for the IEP to be implemented.
  3. In the event that the parents elect to forego a public school placement and continue the enrollment of their child in a private school, an Individual Services Plan (ISP) may be developed by the school district in which the private school is located, if appropriate, in accordance with policy and Federal and State laws and regulations. 
  4. Services to be provided by the school districts in the North Region SELPA are identified through consultation/collaboration with private school principals and parents of private school students.
  5. Only a proportionate share of federal funds is legally available to students with disabilities who have been parentally placed in private schools and who qualify for ISPs.  When the amount of federal funds allotted for the purpose is expended, the services will cease.


NOTE:  Preschool regulations indicate that private preschool settings may be appropriate for the delivery of special education services.  Children in this setting under these circumstances would receive FAPE and all the accompanying procedural safeguards.