Private School Information
The Butte County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) ensures that school districts locate and identify all children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools, pursuant to Education Code 56170.
The SELPA ensures that each school district will accept and consider referrals for assessment and will offer a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to such children who are determined to be eligible for special education services. These procedures are intended to ensure compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires each state to ensure that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is available to all eligible children with disabilities residing in that state. IDEA is designed to improve educational results for all children with disabilities. Therefore, it provides benefits and services to children with disabilities in public schools and requires school districts to make services and benefits available to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in nonpublic (private) schools.
The local education agency's (LEAs) obligations to parentally placed private school children with disabilities are different from its responsibilities to those enrolled in public schools or to children with disabilities placed in a private school by a public agency (rather than by parents) as a means of providing FAPE.
Parentally placed private school children with disabilities do not have an individual entitlement to services they would receive if they were enrolled in a public school. Instead, the LEA is required to spend a proportionate amount of IDEA federal funds to provide equitable services to this group of children. Therefore, it is possible that some parentally placed children with disabilities will not receive any services while others will. For those who receive services, the amount and type of services also may differ from the services the child would receive if placed in a public school by the parents or in a private school by a public agency. LEAs are required to consult with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed children with disabilities during the design and development of special education and related services for these children.
If a parent of an individual with exceptional needs who previously received special education and related services under the authority of the school district enrolls the child in a private elementary school or secondary school without the consent of or referral by the local educational agency, the school district is not required to provide special education if the district has made FAPE available.
For more information, please see the Butte County SELPA Policy and Procedures for Serving Pupils with Disabilities Enrolled By Their Parents in Private School.