In Georgia, all references to “parentally placed children in private schools” also include children with disabilities who are home schooled by their parents. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), local school districts have the responsibility to identify all private schools and home schools within their jurisdiction and conduct Child Find activities with them to identify eligible children. Once the children are located, the district must conduct timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of the private and home school entities in an effort to determine what services will be provided to the identified children based upon a formula that represents a proportionate amount of federal funds attributable to those students. A worksheet for determining the proportionate share amount is provided annually with the comprehensive plan. Districts must annually report the number of children evaluated under Child Find who are either parentally placed in private schools or are home schooled, the number of those children found eligible for special education and related services and the number of children who are actually served under this provision of IDEA.
A Service Plan will be developed for each parentally placed private school student or home school student for whom it is decided special education services will be provided. Service Plans will describe the specific special education and related services the student will receive. Personnel who provide services under a Service Plan must meet the same certification/licensure standards as those providing services in the public schools. Local school districts may not use Federal IDEA Part B funds to finance existing levels of instruction in private/home schools nor to otherwise benefit a private/home school.
After consultation with private schools and home schools, during the FY23 school year, Walton County Schools will provide speech and language services to parentally placed children in private schools and home schools. These services will be provided up to 30 minutes per week per eligible student. The services will be provided up to the proportionate share amount of the special education federal funds received. The consultation requirements are explained below.
The local school district must consult with private schools within their district, representatives of parents of students with disabilities who attend those schools and representatives of parents of home school students with disabilities as the district defines and designs the mechanisms for Child Find, and for identifying the services to be provided with the proportionate Federal Funds. In so doing, districts must:
- Identify the child find process for private schools and for home schooled children who may be children with disabilities and explain this process to parties involved.
- Explain the amount of federal funds to be used for special education and related services for these children with disabilities who are in parentally placed private schools or are home schooled and how that amount was determined.
- Explain how the consultation process will be an ongoing process throughout the year so that as students are identified as children with disabilities, they can access services if available.
- Explain what services will be provided, where they will be provided, and how these decisions were reached or when the school district will make the decision and why the district determined to expend funds in this manner.
- When the parents or the private schools disagree with the decision of the local school district, the district must provide a written explanation to the private schools and the parents of children who are home schooled of the rationale for the decision made.
The local school district must conduct Child Find activities so that students who are either home schooled or are parentally placed in private schools can be referred, evaluated and identified as students with disabilities. The private schools and parents of home schooled children must be provided information on how to access Child Find services. The Child Find activities must be conducted in a timely manner and must meet the state required timeline for completing evaluations (60 calendar days). In addition, the costs of conducting the Child Find activities for students who are parentally placed in private schools or home schooled are not included in determining the expenditures for the proportionate share obligation.
For further information, please contact Martin Gore at the address and phone number listed above or by email at [email protected]