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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  45

POLICY CODE:  IHBA

 

TO:                Superintendents of Schools, Special Education Directors, Child Development Services Regional Site Directors

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

DATE:            October 6, 2005                 

SUBJECT:     Obligations of States and Local Educational Agencies to Parentally-Placed Private School Children with Disabilities

**** Please forward to Special Education Directors ****


           The United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) provided a memo (OSEP 05-09) dated July 27, 2005 which articulated the following:

“The obligation of States and local educational agencies (LEAs) to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private elementary schools and secondary schools will change beginning July 1, 2005, the effective date of these provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004).

Therefore, beginning July 1, 2005, each LEA must conduct child find, determine the proportionate share of Part B funds, and provide equitable services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities who attend private schools located in the LEA without regard to where the children reside.  This change means that LEAs consult with representatives of the private schools located in the district, thereby eliminating the need for LEAs to contact private school representatives outside of their jurisdiction.  The change also means that representatives of private schools have only one LEA to consult with to ensure that children with disabilities enrolled in their schools can participate in IDEA equitable services.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes that States and LEAs may not have accurate data at this time to calculate the proportionate amount of Federal funds consistent with the requirements of IDEA 2004.  Therefore, the Secretary of Education is exercising the transition authority under IDEA 2004, which allows the Secretary of Education to take necessary steps for an orderly transition from the current regulatory requirements to the requirements under IDEA 2004
 (20 U.S.C. 1400 note) as discussed in the following paragraph:

The Secretary will allow, for the 2005-06 school year only, States and LEAs to use the best available data to calculate the proportionate amount of their IDEA Part B funds that must be expended on services for parentally-placed private school children with disabilities attending private schools located in their jurisdiction, rather than requiring new child counts of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities by the district of the private school’s location.  The State must use the same method across all LEAs within the State.”

           The Maine Department of Education requests that the school administrative units in Maine use the December 1, 2004 data as the consistent “available data” to calculate the proportionate amount of their IDEA Part B funds that must be expended on services for parentally-placed private school children with disabilities attending private schools located in their jurisdiction.

           Further, services to private school children with disabilities must be delivered in accordance with a “services plan”.  See 34 CFR, Section 300.455.  It is this plan rather than an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is required under IDEA 2004.

           If you have any questions, please contact David Noble Stockford, Policy Director and Team Leader for Special Services, at 207-624-6650 or e-mail:  david.stockford@maine.gov

 

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