Do you have a child with autism or dyslexia that is not receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE) from their school district? Have you found a private school that has the knowledge and experience with your child’s type of disability-perhaps a school devoted to children with autism? Did you know that parents that place their children in private schools because they are not receiving FAPE, can be reimbursed for the cost? This article will discuss 4 tips to help you in giving your school district 10 day written notice for a private school placement, due to lack of FAPE.
Tip 1: Contact a Parent Training and Information Center and try and get as much information as you can on how to fulfill the legal requirements for 10 day written notice. Every state has at least one PTIC, and most have experienced parents available to help other parents.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) deals with the issue of 10 day notice at 300.148; the category is called: Children With Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools When FAPE is at Issue.
The law requires that at the most recent IEP meeting prior to removal of the child from the public school, you must inform the IEP team that you are rejecting the placement proposed by the public agency, state your concerns, and also tell school personnel of your intent to enroll your child in a private school at public expense. Reimbursement can be reduced or denied by a hearing officer, if Tip 1 is not carried out!
Tip 2: Bring a parent input statement to the IEP meeting before removal, and include the following: your rejection of the schools proposed placement for your child, your reasons for rejecting the placement, your concern that your child will not receive FAPE, and also your intent of enrolling your child in private school. Make sure that the input statement is attached to your child’s IEP!
IDEA also requires a 10 business day written notice prior to the removal of your child from the public school. Reimbursement can be reduced or denied by a hearing officer, if Tip 2 is not done!
Tip 3: Write a brief letter to special education personnel in your school district and state why you think your child is not receiving FAPE, why you are rejecting the proposed placement, and that you intend to ask for reimbursement for private school due to the school districts denial of a free appropriate public education. Even if you have written a parent input statement that is attached to your child’s IEP, send this letter also. Date the letter, keep a copy, sign the letter, and either hand deliver the letter to the special education office or send by the post office Certified with a return receipt.
Tip 4: Make your child available for any evaluations from your school district; prior to the actual removal of the child. If a parent refuses to allow their child to be evaluated, a hearing officer can reduce or deny reimbursement.
School districts can place a child in a private school at public expense. Though most parents must file for a due process hearing, to receive reimbursement for a private placement, due to lack of FAPE. Try and find an advocate, another parent, or a special education attorney who is experienced in due process hearings. Many parents have won the right to have their children educated in private schools, due to school districts inability to appropriately educate their children. Good luck!