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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Provision of services for parentally-placed private school children with disabilities--basic requirement (Sec. 300.132)

Comment: Several commenters expressed confusion regarding which LEA is responsible for paying for the equitable services provided to a parentally-placed private elementary school or secondary school child, the district of the child's residence or the LEA where the private school is located.

Discussion: We believe Sec. 300.133, consistent with section 612(a)(10)(A) of the Act, is sufficiently clear that the LEA where the private elementary schools and secondary schools are located is responsible for paying for the equitable services provided to a parentally-placed private elementary school or secondary school child. These provisions provide that the LEA where the private elementary and secondary schools are located must spend a proportionate amount of its Federal funds available under Part B of the Act for services for children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private elementary schools and secondary schools located in the LEA. The Act does not permit an exception to this requirement. No further clarification is needed.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended the regulations clarify which LEA in the State is responsible for providing equitable services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities who attend a private school that straddles two LEAs in the State.

Discussion: The Act does not address situations where a private school straddles more than one LEA. However, the Act does specify that the LEA in which the private school is located is responsible for providing special education to children with disabilities placed in private schools by their parents, consistent with the number of such children and their needs. In situations where more than one LEA potentially could assume the responsibility of providing equitable services, the SEA, consistent with its general supervisory responsibility, determines which LEA in the State is responsible for ensuring the equitable participation of children with disabilities attending that private school. We do not believe that the situation is common enough to warrant a change in the regulations.

Changes: None.

Comment: A few commenters recommended revising the heading for Sec. 300.132(b) to clarify that LEAs, not SEAs, are responsible for developing service plans.

Discussion: We agree with the commenters that the heading for Sec. 300.132(b) should be changed to accurately reflect the requirement and to avoid confusion.

Changes: We have revised the heading for Sec. 300.132(b) by removing the reference to SEA responsibility.

Comment: One commenter requested requiring in Sec. 300.132(c) that data on parentally-placed private school children with disabilities be submitted to the Department. Another commenter agreed, stating that the data should be submitted the same day as the annual child count.

Discussion: The purpose of the child count under Sec. 300.132(c) is to determine the amount of Federal funds that the LEA must spend on providing special education and related services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities in the next fiscal year. We are not requiring States to submit these data to the Department as the Department does not have a programmatic or regulatory need to collect this information at this time. Section 300.644 permits the SEA to include in its annual report of children served those parentally-placed private school children who are eligible under the Act and receive special education or related services. We believe this is sufficient to meet the Department's need to collect data on this group of children and we do not wish to place an unnecessary data collection and paperwork burden on States.

Changes: None.