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Subject: Private Schools/Parent Placements/Requirement for Consultation with Representatives of Private Schools

Source: Margaret Strecker, Director, Compliance Section

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Superintendents

Date: March 27, 2008

This message is to remind school districts that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires timely and meaningful consultation among the public school district, officials of private schools, and representatives of parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities within their jurisdiction.  This consultation must occur at least annually and more frequently if needed and needs to occur prior to your decision about the use of the proportionate share of funds described in IDEA.

The consultation is intended to address topics such as child find, proportionate share of funds, provision of special education and related services, the consultation process, and how to provide a written explanation if you disagree with the views of the private school officials on provision of service issues.  To ensure this consultation meets all of the requirements of IDEA, districts are encouraged to document decisions made during the consultation process and share the completed plan with the private school representatives involved in the consultation.  A sample documentation form is available at http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/documents/Doc_consultation.doc.

After timely and meaningful consultation has occurred, you must obtain a written affirmation signed by the representatives of participating private schools.  A model form is available at http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/PDF/Nonpub_Con-Part.pdf.  If the representatives do not provide the affirmation within a reasonable period of time, you must forward documentation of the consultation to the Division of Special Education, Compliance Section, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).

For more information on consultation and the required topics that must be discussed during the consultation process, proportionate share for students attending private schools, and the affirmation of nonpublic school consultation and participation form, go to:

http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/faq-parent-placed.pdf and http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/PDF/Calcu_Pro_Share.pdf.

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Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Special Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email:  webreplyspe@dese.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-5739   Fax:  573-526-4404

 

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