The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the law requiring all public schools to accommodate learners with disabilities in accordance with their right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Private schools, however, are not subject to the same requirements under IDEA, though they are prohibited from discriminating against students with disabilities under other laws.
This means that fewer legal options are available for parents of students with disabilities who are enrolled in private schools. However, for parents in some states, including New York, state laws provide parents and students with additional rights – including rights to a FAPE. KSLN will inform you of your options and act as advocates for you and your child.
Private School Disability Services and Accommodations
Despite the fact that private schools are not subject to the same strenuous disability requirements as public schools, many private learning institutions are even better equipped to engage and educate students with disabilities because of a specific interest in doing so. However, students with less obvious or previously undiagnosed disabilities may have trouble getting the assistance they need.
For example, a student who has always been enrolled in private school may realize in middle school or high school that he or she has a specific learning disability that causes the student to struggle in reading or math. This student may face the same problems as similarly affected public school students—being labeled "dumb," and low grades-but does not have the same legal options to ensure that he or she receives the same assistance and accommodations as a public school student. "Needs to read " This student may face the same problems as similarly affected public school students—being labeled "dumb," and achieving low grades—but does not have the same legal options to ensure that he or she receives the same assistance and accommodations as a public school student.
If you have a child in private school with a disability and you feel that his or her needs are not being met, the disabilities education lawyers of KSLN have years of experience in these matters. We can help you become an effective advocate for your child and educate you about your legal options.
Public School District Funding for Private School Placement
In many cases, IDEA may require your local public school district to pay some or all of the cost of your disabled student’s private school education. However, there are fairly strict limitations on when this funding is required. Generally, the school district is not required to cover private school costs when it has made a FAPE available to your child. If you, the school district, and your child’s IEP team all agree that a FAPE is not available in the district AND that a private program will appropriately serve your child, the district, can be responsible for the cost.
KSLN may be able to help you receive full or partial reimbursement if you can demonstrate at a hearing (or in court) that the school district did not offer or provide an adequate FAPE and that the private school program meets your child’s needs.
To learn more about KSLN, and how we can help you, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.