Wednesday, June 12, 2013
FAPE, parental rights
I had a request by a viewer to talk about if they do not think their child is receiving the appropriate schooling at their current school. It all goes back to Free Appropriate Public Education, this a federal law as far as I am concerned. Now the following is according to Maryland, but there should be somewhat similar to your state.
PARENTAL UNILATERAL PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN PRIVATE
SCHOOLS AT PUBLIC EXPENSE
Public agency made a free appropriate public education (FAPE) available and
the parent chose to place their child in a private school.
IDEA does not require a public agency to pay for the cost of education, including special education
and related services, of a child with a disability at a private school if the public agency made a free
appropriate public education (FAPE) available and the parents chose to place their child in a private
school. However, the public agency shall include the child in the population of children placed in
private schools by their parents, in accordance with the federal regulations. Disagreements between
the parents and the public agency regarding the availability of FAPE and financial responsibility are
subject to due process complaint procedures under IDEA. Please refer to “Resolving
Disagreements” for more specific information.Parental Rights - Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice - Infants and Toddlers/Preschool Special Education and Special Education
Revised January 2010_FINAL
Effective February 1, 2010
If a child with a disability had previously received special education and related services under the
authority of a public agency, and the parents enroll their child in a private preschool, elementary, or
secondary school without the consent or referral of the public agency, an ALJ or a court, may
require the public agency to reimburse parents for the cost of that enrollment if an ALJ or a court
finds that the public agency had not made FAPE available to the child in a timely manner prior to
that enrollment, and that the private placement is appropriate. An ALJ or a court may find your
parental placement to be appropriate even if it does not meet the State standards that apply to
education provided by public agencies
Limitation on Reimbursement:
Reimbursement may be reduced or denied by an ALJ or a court if:
• At the most recent IEP team meeting parents attended prior to removing their child from the
public school, parents did not inform the IEP team that they were rejecting the placement
proposed by the public agency to provide FAPE, including stating their concerns and their
intent to enroll their child in a private school at public expense; or
• At least ten (10) business days (including any business days that occur on a holiday) prior to
the parents removal of their child from the public school, parents did not give the public
agency written notice of their intent to remove their child, including their concerns regarding
their child’s public placement; or
• If prior to the parents removal of their child from the public school, the public agency
informed the parents, through the prior written notice requirements of its intent to evaluate
their child (including a statement of the purpose of the evaluation that was appropriate and
reasonable), but the parents did not make their child available for the evaluation; or
• Upon a judicial finding of unreasonableness with respect to the parents actions.
Notwithstanding the notice requirements described above, the cost of reimbursement:
• Shall not be reduced or denied for the parents failure to provide such notice, if:
o The public agency prevented the parents from providing notice,
o The parents had not received written notice, under the IDEA notice requirements
o Compliance with the notice requirements would likely result in physical harm to the
• May, at the discretion of a court or an ALJ, not be reduced or denied for failure to provide
such notice if:
o The parents are not literate and cannot write in English, or
o Compliance with the notice as described above would likely result in serious emotional
harm to the child.
The following procedures describe the processes available to parents and public agencies for
resolving disagreements regarding a child's early intervention or special education program
and related services. These options include mediation, State complaint, and due process
Mediation is a process that may be used to resolve disagreements between the parents of a child
with a disability and the public agency responsible for the education of the child.
An employee of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) who is qualified and trained in
effective mediation techniques conducts the mediation. The individual selected by OAH will not
have a personal or professional conflict of interest.
• Mediation is at no cost to the parent or public agency responsible for the child's early
intervention or education, including the cost of a meeting with parents to encourage
• A request for mediation is made to the public agency responsible for the early intervention
or education of the child and the OAH. To assist parents with filing a request for mediation a
form is available from the public agency and on the MSDE website at
www.marylandpublicschools.org. For further assistance, contact the public agency’s Parental Rights - Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice - Infants and Toddlers/Preschool Special Education.
Parents or the public agency may be accompanied and advised by counsel during mediation.
• A mediation session will generally occur within 20 days of the receipt of a written request at
a location convenient to parents and the public agency.
• Mediation sessions are closed proceedings. Discussions that occur during mediation must be
confidential and cannot be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil
action. Parents or the public agency may be asked to sign a confidentiality pledge before the
start of the mediation.
• An agreement reached by the parties in the mediation must be set forth in a written
agreement that is enforceable in any State Court that has the authority to hear this type of
case or in a federal district court.
• A public agency may not use mediation to deny or delay the parent’s right to a hearing on
the parent's due process complain