What if public school cannot meet a child’s special needs?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2021 | Education Law |

Every child in New York is unique and every child learns in different ways. While many children are able to learn in schools just fine, but some children need extra services or help in order to succeed in school. This could be accommodations to help with a physical disability. Others may have learning disabilities or other conditions which affect their behavior or ability to comprehend and may need additional help.

Children in this position may have an individualized education plan (IEP) to address the special needs that they have and how to best provide them for the individual child. In many situations the local public school will be able to provide these services but that is not always the situation. For many different reasons the parents may need to find a different school for their child. This is not always a simple process though. Some may need to find a private school for their children.

Process for seeking reimbursement for private school tuition

Private schools have tuition though and it is usually not cheap. If there are no other options though the state may be required to reimburse the family for the costs of the private school. In order to receive reimbursement, first the Committee on Special Education (CSE) must not be able to find an appropriate public school for the child within 65 days after receiving a request to review.

After the 65 days, the parents can choose from a list of state approved private schools. However, if those private schools are not appropriate the parents can send their children to another private school. The parents can pay the tuition up front and seek reimbursement through an impartial hearing or they can try to persuade the private school to accept them with no cost up front and seek money for tuition at a hearing.

Many parents in New York need to find special education for their children. As every child’s needs are unique, they may not be able to find the appropriate education at every school. It is important that children receive the appropriate education and that may require private school. Experienced attorneys understand this complicated process and may be able to guide one through it.