Non-Approved Private School
May a school administrative unit (SAU) pay for a student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to attend a private school not approved for special education?
What if a parent requests that the SAU pay for his/her child with an IEP to attend a private school not approved for special education?
The SAU should convene an IEP Team meeting, review the student’s programming and make an offer of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), explaining that the SAU cannot consider the non-approved placement as an option as that placement cannot deliver the services described in the IEP. The parent has the right to decline the offer of FAPE and continue the student’s placement at the non-approved private school, in which case the SAU in which that school is located is responsible for provision of equitable services under MUSER §IV.4.G(1). If, however, the parent (or surrogate) wants the student to continue in the non-approved placement and wants the SAU to fund that placement with non-special education funds, the parent has the right to revoke consent for provision of special education services, and may notify the SAU that he or she no longer wants special education services for the student. The SAU should further discuss with the parent the ramifications of such a decision, including the loss of procedural safeguards.