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Does EP apply when a Kindergarten class is not in an elementary school?
No. EP applies to elementary and secondary schools that meet the definition of an elementary or secondary school in 34 CFR §§300.13 and 300.36.
Does EP apply if the parent enrolls and pays for their child in an Approved Private School (APS)?
No. An APS is for publicly placed students with disabilities.
Does the documentation of the consultation process between representatives and parents of the private school with representatives of the LEA (IU) where the private schools are located need to be included as part of the IU IDEA-B Grant Application?
Yes. The documentation of the timely and meaningful consultation process between the private and IU officials need to be included as part of the annual IU IDEA-B Grant Application.
If the private school official wishes to file a complaint with PDE, how should they proceed?
A private school official has the right to file a complaint with the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) that the IU did not engage in consultation that was meaningful and timely, or did not give due consideration to the views of the private school official. Complaints will be handled through the Complaint Management System and should follow the procedures outlined on the BSE’s website under Compliance.
Is there the possibility to carry over EP funds from one year to another?
Yes. Federal regulations at 34 CFR §300.133 (a)(3) state if an LEA has not expended for equitable services all of the funds of this § by the end of the fiscal year, the LEA must 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 for one additional year.
Are EP services restricted to non-profit schools?
Yes. 34 CFR §300.130 states parentally-placed private school children with disabilities means children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private, including religious schools or facilities that meet the definition of elementary school in 34 CFR §300.13 or secondary school in 34 CFR §300.36 other than children with disabilities covered under 34 CFR § 300.145 through 300.147.
The definition of elementary school at 34 CFR §300.13 states elementary school means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, which provides elementary education, as determined under State law. Secondary school at 34 CFR §300.26 states 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.
When it is appropriate to develop an individualized EP Service Plan for a student or students, are there components of the current IEP that do not need to be included or addressed as part of the EP Services Plan development process?
It is difficult to generalize what should or should not be a part of the EP Services Plan because each situation is different. 34 CFR §300.138(b)(2) states that the EP Services Plan must, to the extent appropriate meet the requirements of 34 CFR §300.320. The requirements of 34 CFR §300.320 are the required contents of an IEP for a student attending public school. OSEP states in the discussion § of the regulations that “the EP Services Plan must describe the specific special education and related services offered to a parentally-placed private school child with a disability designated to receive services. The services plan also must, to the extent appropriate, meet the IEP content, development, review, and revision requirements described in § 614(d) of the Act.” Therefore, if a particular § is not necessary to describe the services that the student will be receiving, that § in the EP Services Plan could be marked as not applicable. The only § that clearly is not required under the state or federal regulations is the participation in statewide assessment, as students unilaterally enrolled by their parents in private schools are not mandated to take the statewide assessments. Therefore, it would be allowable for this § to be eliminated for EP services.
If an EP Services Plan is developed for a student, is it necessary to provide a copy of the procedural safeguards notice to the parents?
No. The Procedural Safeguards Notice is related to the provision of FAPE and EP services do not provide FAPE. The parents are not entitled to the same procedural protections as the students with disabilities in the public schools.
Why is the Notice of Recommended Education Placement and Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN) not required as a part of the development and implementation of an EP Services Plan?
It is not needed because the NOREP is designed to provide the parent with the procedural protections with regard to informed consent of the acceptance or rejection of FAPE in the public school. The EP Services Plan only describes the services the student is receiving and is available at the private school as determined by the private school in collaboration with the IU, in which the private school is located.
Is Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) a component for consideration in the development and implementation of an EP Services Plan?
In what circumstances, if any, is it appropriate for an IU to issue a NOREP/PWN as a part of the EP process?
The NOREP is issued in the EP process when the evaluation of the child identifies the child as not eligible for special education services. In those circumstances a NOREP is issued as the parents have the right to disagree with eligibility determination using the due process.
Is there a provision in IDEA for parents to request an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) as a part of the evaluation process under EP?
No. The IEE at public expense is only available for those parents seeking FAPE, not EP. If the parent is seeking FAPE, the school district of residence would be the entity responsible for the parent to exercise that option.
Can a student receive EP services and be dual enrolled at a public school?
Yes. EP is separate from dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is a general principle of education that applies to regular, special, and vocational education (24 P.S. §5-502). For dual enrollment to occur, a student need not be identified as a student with a disability. As such, dual enrollment is distinct from an IU’s responsibility to provide EP services to a student with a disability enrolled in a private school by parent.