3 Important Requirements For Special Education Tuition Reimbursement!

Are you the parent of a child with Dyslexia, learning disability, or autism that receives special education services? Are you concerned that your child is not learning? Have you considered placing your child in a private school and asking for tuition reimbursement? This article will discuss 3 needed requirements for parents to ask for reimbursement for a private special education placement.The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows parents to seek reimbursement for private school tuition, but only if certain requirements are followed by the parents. The section of IDEA that covers tuition reimbursement was not changed in 2004 when it was reauthorized.The requirements are:1. The school must have been found by a hearing officer or court to have denied your child a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)! If a hearing officer or court finds that your child was not denied FAPE then the school district is not responsible for reimbursing private school tuition.2. The private school must be appropriate to meet the child’s educational needs.Tuition reimbursement is not only for those children that have previously been in public school. A recent US Supreme Court ruling also allows reimbursement if a child with a disability has been in private school (but public school must deny FAPE), and if a child has been found not to have a disability and denied eligibility for special education services (which is a denial of FAPE)!3. Before a parent removes a child with a disability from a public program they are required to do the following:A. At the most recent Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting parents must state their concerns and reasons why the proposed IEP denies their child FAPE and their intention to place the child in a private school and seek tuition reimbursement from the public school ORB. 10 business days before you take your child out of the public school program a letter needs to be written which contains the following: Specific concerns in detail about why the proposed IEP denies your child FAPE, your reasons for rejecting the proposed IEP, why your child will be harmed or damaged if put in the school districts proposed program, and a statement of your intent to enroll your child in a private program at public expense (tuition reimbursement)!If you are a parent considering this course of action I would notify the school district at an IEP meeting and write a letter; this way they cannot say that they were not notified. Hearing Officers and Courts can reduce reimbursement if these rules are not followed. Also take the time to research your states policies and procedures for tuition reimbursement and Case law on the subject! Good luck in your fight for a free appropriate public education for your child!