Module 16: Children Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools

Photo of an adolescent student in a tie, waiting in an office.

What obligations do public schools have to students with disabilities placed by their parents in a private school?

by Sheila Friedman, Ed.D.
Office of Special Education Programs
U.S. Department of Education

August 2007

  • English only slideshow
  • Handouts for Participants in English and in Spanish

When parents elect to send their child with a disability to a private school at their own expense (even a religious school), the State still has obligations with respect to addressing the child’s disability.  While those obligations are not the same as what’s required for children with a disability being educated in a public school, those obligations are important for States and LEAs to know—especially with the big changes that IDEA 2004 has brought.

This module will help you and others find out more about:

  • equitable services;
  • how to calculate the proportionate share that must be spent on parentally-placed private school children with disabilities;
  • the consultation process that’s required; and
  • much more.

Module 16 is available in English only (except for the handouts for participants, which are also available in Spanish). The module includes:

  • a slideshow presentation;
  • a Trainer’s Guide; and
  • handouts for participants in English and in Spanish.

Please help yourself below, and download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to train others regarding IDEA 2004′s requirements with respect to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools.

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Component #1: The Slideshow
English only

These 30 full-color slides explore schools’ responsibilities toward educating children with disabilities in private schools, including religious ones.

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Component #2: Trainer’s Guide to the Content

This guide to Module 16 is in English but should also be downloaded if you’re training in Spanish. That’s because here is where you’ll find the full explanation of each slide’s content. It also offers much additional info so that trainers can adapt training sessions to a length or detail suitable to the given audience.

PDF | Complete Guide

Word | Complete Guide (Accessible Word file)

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Component #3: Handouts for Participants | Folletos para Participants
In English and in Spanish

The handouts for Module 16 are included in a packet of handouts designed to cover the entire umbrella topic of Theme D, the Individualized Education Program. If you’ve downloaded the handouts for Theme D already (for example, as part of training on Modules 12-15), you have the handouts you need for Module 16. If you haven’t downloaded any handouts for Theme D yet, here they are in 2 different formats and 2 different languages.

Handouts in English

PDF | English Handouts for Theme D

Word | English Handouts for Theme D (Accessible Word file)

Handouts in Spanish | Folletos en Español **

PDF | Folletos para Tema D

Word | Los Folletos para Tema D (en archivo accesible)

Note about the Spanish Translations:
In preparing the handouts in Spanish, NICHCY has chosen to use a certain vocabulary set for the terminology most frequently used in IDEA. IDEA itself is extremely and purposefully consistent about its terminology, and we felt it critical to do the same in Spanish. However, we fully recognize that there are many ways to say the same thing, and Spanish is rich with alternatives from country to country, region to region. So we’ve also prepared a glossary of the terminology used in IDEA, how we’ve rendered that terminology in Spanish, and other ways of rendering it that families may also hear. Share this with participants as you see fit or use it to guide your own translations. The glossary of terminology is available in two formats, PDF and Word:

  • PDF | Glossary of English-Spanish Terminology
  • Word | Glossary of English-Spanish Terminology

There! You’re ready to roll with Module 16. Please remember that these materials are designed to be a  thorough and authoritative source of info on States’ obligations toward children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools, even religious ones. That’s why they are so detailed. As a trainer, you are free to adapt the info we’ve offered to serve the purposes and needs of your audiences and the amount of time you have to spend with them.

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Quick-Jump Menu to Other Modules
1: Top 10 Basics of Special Education
2: Key Changes in IDEA
5: Disproportionality and Overrepresentation
6: Early Intervening Services and Response to Intervention
7: Highly Qualified Teachers
8: NIMAS
9: Introduction to Evaluation under IDEA
10: Initial Evaluation and Reevaluation
11: Identification of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities
12: The IEP Team
13: Content of the IEP
14: Meetings of the IEP Team
15: LRE Decision Making
16: Children Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools (you’re already here)
17: Introduction to Procedural Safeguards
18: Options for Dispute Resolution
19: Key Issues in Discipline

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