019-11 Parental Placement of a Student with a Disability in a Private Day School
When a parent unilaterally places a student with a disability in a private day school, what is the school division’s responsibility?
FAQ 014-11 addresses the school division’s FAPE-responsibility for parentally-placed students for non-educational reasons in residential facilities. The same premise does not apply when a parent places a student with a disability in a private day school, as there are no circumstances under which a day placement is considered a placement for non-educational reasons. This determination is based on the following factors:
- The primary function of any program licensed as a private day school is to provide solely educational services.
- The primary function of any private school, for example a private parochial school, is to provide educational services.
- According to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, there are no licensed “free-standing” Day Treatment Programs which require a student’s withdrawal from public school. Licensed Day Treatment Programs that operate within a private school setting function for the purpose of supporting the educational program.
Therefore, there is no instance wherein a parent places a child with a disability in a private day school for reasons other than education. At that point, the provisions of 8 VAC 20-81-150 C apply and the student with a disability is not entitled to the services or any amount of a service the student would receive if enrolled in a public school. (8 VAC 20-81-150 C.6.a).
Reminder: The regulations mandate the school division of location (i.e. where the private school is located) with responsibility for child find and equitable services under an Individual Service Plan. 8 VAC 20-81-150 C.