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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 81. Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia
9/21/2020

8VAC20-81-150. Private School Placement.

A. Private school placement by a local school division or Comprehensive Services Act team.

1. When a child with a disability is placed by a local school division or is placed for noneducational reasons by a Comprehensive Services Act team that includes the school division in a private special education school or facility that is licensed or has a certificate to operate, the local school division is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of this chapter, including participation in state and divisionwide assessments. The local school division shall ensure that the child's IEP team develops an IEP appropriate for the child's needs while the child is in a private school or facility. (34 CFR 300.325(c))

2. Before a local school division places a child with a disability in a private school or facility that is licensed or has a certificate to operate, the local school division shall initiate and conduct a meeting in accordance with 8VAC20-81-110 to develop an IEP for the child. The local school division shall ensure that a representative of a private school or facility attends the meeting. If the representative cannot attend, the agency shall use other methods to ensure participation by a private school or facility, including individual or conference telephone calls. (34 CFR 300.325(a))

3. When a child is presently receiving the services of a private school or facility that is licensed or has a certificate to operate, the local school division shall ensure that a representative of the private school or facility attends the IEP meeting. If the representative cannot attend, the local school division shall use other methods to ensure participation by the private school or facility, including individual or conference telephone calls. (34 CFR 300.325(a)(2))

4. After a child with a disability enters a private school or facility that is licensed or has a certificate to operate, any meetings to review and revise the child's IEP may be initiated and conducted by the private school or facility at the discretion of the local school division. (34 CFR 300.325(b)(1))

5. If the private school or facility initiates and conducts these meetings, the local school division shall ensure that the parent(s) and a local school division representative: (34 CFR 300.325(b)(2))

a. Are involved in any decision affecting the child's IEP;

b. Agree to any proposed changes in the program before those changes are implemented; and

c. Are involved in any meetings that are held regarding reevaluation.

6. If the private school or facility implements a child's IEP, responsibility for compliance with the requirements regarding procedural safeguards, IEPs, assessment, reevaluation, and termination of services remains with the local school division. (34 CFR 300.325(c))

7. When a child with a disability is placed by a local school division or a Comprehensive Services Act team in a private school or facility that is licensed or has a certificate to operate, all rights and protections under this chapter are extended to the child. (34 CFR 300.101)

8. If the parent(s) requests a due process hearing to challenge the child's removal from a placement that was made for noneducational reasons by a Comprehensive Services Act team, the child shall remain in the previous IEP placement agreed upon by the parent(s) and the local educational agency prior to placement by the Comprehensive Services Act team. (34 CFR 300.2(c))

9. When a child with a disability is placed in a private school or facility that is out of state, the placement shall be processed through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children in accordance with the Code of Virginia. (§ 22.1-218.1 of the Code of Virginia)

B. Placement of children by parents if a free appropriate public education is at issue.

1. Local school divisions are not required to pay for the cost of education, including special education and related services, of a child with a disability at a private school or facility if the local school division made a free appropriate public education available to the child and the parent(s) elected to place the child in a private school or facility. (34 CFR 300.148(a))

2. Disagreements between a parent(s) and a local school division regarding the availability of an appropriate program for the child and the question of financial responsibility are subject to the due process procedures of 8VAC20-81-210. (34 CFR 300.148(b))

3. If the parent(s) of a child with a disability, who previously received special education and related services under the authority of a local school division, enrolls the child in a private preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school without the consent of or referral by the local school division, a court or a special education hearing officer may require the local school division to reimburse the parent(s) for the cost of that enrollment if the court or the special education hearing officer finds that the local school division had not made a free appropriate public education available to the child in a timely manner prior to that enrollment and that the private placement is appropriate. A parental placement may be found to be appropriate by a special education hearing officer or a court even if it does not meet the standards of the Virginia Department of Education that apply to education provided by the Virginia Department of Education and provided by the local school division. (34 CFR 300.148(c))

4. The cost of reimbursement described in this section may be reduced or denied: (34 CFR 300.148(d))

a. If:

(1) At the most recent IEP meeting that the parent(s) attended prior to removal of the child from the public school, the parent(s) did not inform the IEP team that they were rejecting the placement proposed by the local school division to provide a free appropriate public education to their child, including stating their concerns and their intent to enroll their child in a private school at public expense; or

(2) At least 10 business days (including any holidays that occur on a business day) prior to the removal of the child from the public school, the parent(s) did not give written notice to the local school division of the information described above;

b. If, prior to the parent's(s') removal of the child from the public school, the local school division informed the parent(s), through proper notice of its intent to evaluate the child (including a statement of the purpose of the evaluation that was appropriate and reasonable), but the parent(s) did not make the child available for the evaluation; or

c. Upon a judicial finding of unreasonableness with respect to actions taken by the parent(s).

5. Notwithstanding the above notice requirement, the cost of reimbursement may not be reduced or denied for the parent's(s') failure to provide the notice to the local school division if: (34 CFR 300.148(e))

a. The parent is illiterate or cannot write in English;

b. Compliance with this section would likely result in physical or serious emotional harm to the child;

c. The school prevented the parent(s) from providing the notice; or

d. The parent(s) had not received notice of the notice requirement in this section.

C. Parentally placed private school children with disabilities. The provisions of this section apply to children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parent(s) in private schools.

1. The following definitions are applicable for purposes of this subsection.

a. The term "private school" includes:

(1) Private, denominational, or parochial schools in accordance with § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia that meet the definition of elementary school or secondary school in subdivision 1 of this subsection;

(2) Preschool facilities that meet the definition of elementary school or secondary school in subdivision 1 of this subsection;

(3) Students who are home-tutored in accordance with § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia; or

(4) Students who receive home instruction in accordance with § 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.

b. The term "elementary school" means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school that provides elementary education, as determined under state law. (34 CFR 300.13)

c. The term "secondary school" means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school that provides secondary education, as determined under state law, except that it does not include any education beyond grade 12. (34 CFR 300.36)

2. Child find. (§ 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.130, 34 CFR 300.131(a) and (b), 34 CFR 300.132(a) and 34 CFR 300.134(a))

a. Each school division shall locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities who are parentally placed in private schools located in the school division. The activities undertaken to carry out this responsibility for these children shall be comparable to activities undertaken for children with disabilities in public schools.

b. Each local school division shall consult with appropriate representatives of the private schools and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school children with disabilities on how to carry out the child find activities in order to conduct thorough and complete child find activities, including:

(1) How parentally placed private school children suspected of having a disability can participate equitably; and

(2) How parents, teachers, and private school officials will be informed of the process.

c. The child find process shall be designed to ensure:

(1) The equitable participation of parentally placed private school children; and

(2) An accurate count of these children.

3. Services plan. Each local school division shall ensure that a services plan is developed and implemented for each parentally placed private school child with a disability who has been designated to receive special education and related services under this part. (34 CFR 300.132(b))

4. Expenditures. (34 CFR 300.133)

a. To meet the requirement of the Act, each local school division shall spend the following on providing special education and related services to private school children with disabilities:

(1) For children, aged three to 21, inclusive, an amount that is the same proportion of the local school division's total subgrant under § 1411 of the Act as the number of private school children with disabilities, aged three to 21, who are enrolled by their parents in private schools located in the school division served by the school division, is to the total children with disabilities in its jurisdiction, aged three to 21; and

(2) For children, aged three to five, inclusive, an amount that is the same proportion of the local school division total subgrant under § 1419 of the Act as the number of privately placed school children with disabilities, aged three to five, who are enrolled by their parents in a private school located in the school division served by the school division, is to the total number of children with disabilities in its jurisdiction, aged three to five.

(3) If a local school division has not expended for equitable services all of the funds by the end of the fiscal year for which Congress appropriated the funds, the local school division shall obligate the remaining funds for special education and related services, including direct services, to parentally placed private school children with disabilities during a carry-over period of one additional year.

(4) Local educational agencies may supplement, but not supplant, the proportionate share amount of federal funds required to be expended in accordance with this subdivision.

b. In calculating the proportionate amount of federal funds to be provided for parentally placed private school children with disabilities, the local school division, after timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of private schools under this section, shall conduct a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of parentally placed children with disabilities attending private schools located in the local school division.

c. After timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of parentally placed private school children with disabilities, the local school division shall determine the number of parentally placed private school children with disabilities attending private schools located in the local school division, and ensure that the count is conducted on a date between October 1 and December 1 of each year as determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee. The child count shall be used to determine the amount that the local school division shall spend on providing special education and related services to parentally placed private school children with disabilities in the next subsequent fiscal year.

d. Expenditures for child find activities, including evaluation and eligibility, described in 8VAC20-81-50 through 8VAC20-81-80, may not be considered in determining whether the local school division has met the expenditure requirements of the Act.

e. Local school divisions are not prohibited from providing services to parentally placed private school children with disabilities in excess of those required by this section.

5. Consultation.

a. The local school division shall consult with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school children with disabilities during the design and development of special education and related services for the children. This includes: (34 CFR 300.134(a), (c), and (d))

(1) How the process will operate throughout the school year to ensure that parentally placed children with disabilities identified through the child find process can meaningfully participate in special education and related services;

(2) How, where, and by whom special education and related services will be provided for parentally placed private school children with disabilities;

(3) The types of services, including direct services and alternate service delivery mechanisms;

(4) How special education and related services will be apportioned if funds are insufficient to serve all parentally placed private school children; and

(5) How and when those decisions will be made, including how parents, teachers and private school officials will be informed of the process.

b. If the local school division disagrees with the views of the private school officials on the provision of services or the types of services, whether provided directly or through a contract, the local school division shall provide to the private school officials a written explanation of the reasons why the local school division chose not to provide services directly or through a contract. (34 CFR 300.134(e))

c. Following consultation, the local school division shall obtain a written affirmation signed by the representatives of participating private schools. If the representatives do not provide the affirmation within a reasonable period of time, the local school division shall forward the documentation of the consultation to the Virginia Department of Education. (34 CFR 300.135)

d. A private school official has the right to submit a complaint to the Virginia Department of Education that the local school division: (34 CFR 300.136)

(1) Did not engage in consultation that was meaningful and timely; or

(2) Did not give due consideration to the views of the private school official.

e. The private school official shall provide to the Virginia Department of Education the basis of the noncompliance by the local school division and the appropriate documentation. (34 CFR 300.136)

(1) If the private school official is dissatisfied with the decision of the Virginia Department of Education, the official may submit a complaint to the Secretary of Education, United States Department of Education by providing the information related to the noncompliance.

(2) The Virginia Department of Education shall forward the appropriate documentation to the U.S. Secretary of Education.

6. Equitable services determined. (34 CFR 300.137)

a. No parentally placed private school child with a disability has an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the child would receive if enrolled in a public school.

b. Decisions about the services that will be provided to the parentally placed private school children with disabilities are made in accordance with the consultation process under subdivision 5 of this subsection and a services plan.

c. The local school division shall make the final decisions with respect to the services to be provided to eligible parentally placed private school children with disabilities.

d. The local school division shall:

(1) Initiate and conduct meetings to develop, review, and revise a services plan for the child; and

(2) Ensure that a representative of the private school attends each meeting. If the representative cannot attend, the local school division shall use other methods to ensure participation by the private school, including individual or conference telephone calls.

7. Services provided. (34 CFR 300.138 and 34 CFR 300.132(b))

a. The services provided to parentally placed private school children with disabilities shall be provided by personnel meeting the same standards as personnel providing services in the public schools, except that private elementary school and secondary school teachers who are providing equitable services to these children do not have to meet the requirements for highly qualified special education teachers.

b. Parentally placed private school children with disabilities may receive a different amount of services than children with disabilities in public schools.

c. No parentally placed private school child with a disability is entitled to any service or to any amount of a service the child would receive if enrolled in a public school.

d. Services provided in accordance with a services plan.

(1) Each parentally placed private school child with a disability who has been designated to receive services under this subsection shall have a services plan that describes the specific special education and related services that the local school division will provide to the child in light of the services that the local school division has determined it will make available to private school children with disabilities.

(2) The services plan, to the extent appropriate, shall meet the requirements for the content of the IEP with respect to the services provided, and be developed, reviewed, and revised consistent with the requirements of this chapter for IEPs.

e. The services shall be provided:

(1) By employees of a local school division; or

(2) Through contract by the local school division with an individual, association, agency, organization, or other entity.

f. Special education and related services provided to parentally placed private school children with disabilities, including materials and equipment, shall be secular, neutral, and nonideological.

8. Location of services. Services provided to a private school child with a disability may be provided on site at the child's private school, including a religious school, to the extent consistent with law. (34 CFR 300.139(a))

9. Transportation. (34 CFR 300.139(b))

a. If necessary for the child to benefit from or participate in the services provided under this part, a parentally placed private school child with a disability shall be provided transportation:

(1) From the child's school or the child's home to a site other than the private school; and

(2) From the service site to the private school or to the child's home depending on the timing of the services.

b. Local school divisions are not required to provide transportation from the child's home to the private school.

c. The cost of the transportation described in this subsection may be included in calculating whether the local school division has met the requirement of this section.

10. Procedural safeguards, due process, and complaints. (34 CFR 300.140)

a. Due process inapplicable. The procedures relative to procedural safeguards, consent, mediation, due process hearings, attorneys' fees, and surrogate parents do not apply to complaints that a local school division has failed to meet the requirements of this subsection, including the provision of services indicated on the child's services plan.

b. Due process applicable. The procedures relative to procedural safeguards, consent, mediation, due process hearings, attorneys' fees, and surrogate parents do apply to complaints that a local school division has failed to meet the requirements of child find (including the requirements of referral for evaluation, evaluation, and eligibility) for parentally placed private school children with disabilities.

c. State complaints. Complaints that the Virginia Department of Education or local school division has failed to meet the requirements of this section may be filed under the procedures in 8VAC20-81-200.

d. The dispute resolution options described in subdivisions 10 b and 10 c of this subsection apply to the local educational agency in which the private school is located. (34 CFR 300.140(b)(2))

11. Separate classes prohibited. A local school division may not use funds available under the Act for classes that are organized separately on the basis of school enrollment or religion of the students if (i) the classes are at the same site and (ii) the classes include students enrolled in public schools and students enrolled in private schools. (34 CFR 300.143)

12. Requirement that funds not benefit a private school. A local school division may not use funds provided under the Act to finance the existing level of instruction in a private school or to otherwise benefit the private school. The local school division shall use funds provided under the Act to meet the special education and related services needs of parentally placed private school children with disabilities, but not for the needs of a private school or the general needs of the students enrolled in the private school. (34 CFR 300.141)

13. Use of public school personnel. A local school division may use funds available under the Act to make public school personnel available in nonpublic facilities to the extent necessary to provide services under this section for parentally placed private school children with disabilities and if those services are not normally provided by the private school. (34 CFR 300.142(a))

14. Use of private school personnel. A local school division may use funds available under the Act to pay for the services of an employee of a private school to provide services to a parentally placed private school child, if the employee performs the services outside of the employee's regular hours of duty and the employee performs the services under public supervision and control. (34 CFR 300.142(b))

15. Requirements concerning property, equipment, and supplies for the benefit of private school children with disabilities. (34 CFR 300.144)

a. A local school division shall keep title to and exercise continuing administrative control of all property, equipment, and supplies that the local school division acquires with funds under the Act for the benefit of parentally placed private school children with disabilities.

b. The local school division may place equipment and supplies in a private school for the period of time needed for the program.

c. The local school division shall ensure that the equipment and supplies placed in a private school are used only for purposes of special education and related services for children with disabilities and can be removed from the private school without remodeling the private school facility.

d. The local school division shall remove equipment and supplies from a private school if (i) the equipment and supplies are no longer needed for purposes of special education and related services for children with disabilities or (ii) removal is necessary to avoid unauthorized use of the equipment and supplies for purposes other than special education and related services for children with disabilities.

e. No funds under the Act may be used for repairs, minor remodeling, or construction of private school facilities.

16. Reporting requirements. Each local school division shall maintain in its records, and provide to the Virginia Department of Education, the following information related to parentally placed private school children: (34 CFR 300.132(c))

a. The number of children evaluated;

b. The number of children determined to be children with disabilities; and

c. The number of children served.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-214 of the Code of Virginia; 20 USC § 1400 et seq.; 34 CFR Part 300.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 7, 2009.

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