Local education agencies (LEAs, also referred to in Massachusetts as public school districts) have an obligation to locate and evaluate students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools located within the LEA's boundaries, or those who are home-schooled. LEAs also must calculate and spend a proportionate share of federal special education (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) grant funds to provide equitable special education services for these students.
The Special Education Policy and Planning Office supports the strategic plan of the Department by collaborating with staff to leverage innovative technologies and effective pedagogical approaches to design, develop, and implement exemplary E-learning experiences for educators. This resource is free for all to use for noncommercial purposes. For in-state audiences, the resource must be presented in its original form and cannot be modified. For use outside Massachusetts, contact the Office of Special Education Planning and Policy .
IDEA Equitable Services for Children With Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private SchoolsNotes: For questions about this resource, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1: Guidance and Workbook for Calculating and Providing Proportionate Share Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools — Revised July 2018
DESE IDEA Equitable Services Presentation: Presentation includes the following topics: Background and Context, Consultation, Child Find, Child Count, Calculation, Evaluations, Eligibility, Services Plans, and Expenditures.
DESE Federal Grant Programs, Guidance to IDEA by Topic, including Maintenance of Effort: Administrative Advisory, Excess Costs and Maintenance of Effort: Technical Assistance Advisory
DESE Federal Grant Programs, Resources for Program Directors including Allowable Costs for IDEA Entitlement Grants, IDEA Fund Code 240 Quick Reference Guide, IDEA Fund Code 262 Quick Reference Guide, and IDEA Proportionate Share Quick Reference Guide
IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds' Year 3 Allocation — Fiscal Year 2024 — May 5, 2023
IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds' Year 2 Allocation — Fiscal Year 2023 — May 16, 2022
IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds' Allocation for Fiscal Year 2022 — May 18, 2021
Letter from the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services regarding state compliance with IDEA Equitable Services requirements — August 15, 2019
Memo from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner. Re: IDEA Proportionate share calculations for FY18 and FY19 — June 22, 2018
Memo from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner. Re: DESE's appointment of an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ombudsperson — June 8, 2018
Memo from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner. Re: Proportionate Share Calculation for School Year Expenditures — June 22, 2017
Sample IDEA Equitable Services Proportionate Share Calculation (Fund Codes 240 and 262)
Sample Written Affirmation (Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1, page 21)
Sample Written Affirmation for School Districts Receiving Resolution Funds
Draft Sample Letter — For use when private schools could not attend the consultation meeting
Draft Sample Letter — For use when parents of homeschooled student could not attend the consultation meeting
Sample "Services Plan" Form (Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1, page 23)
IDEA Proportionate Share Quick Reference Guide
Draft Quick Reference Guide for private school representatives, parents of parentally-placed private school students, and parents of homeschool students
Questions and Answers On Serving Children With Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools: A question and answer (Q&A) document prepared by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to address some of the most important issues raised by requests for clarification on a variety of high-interest topics for serving children with disabilities placed by their parents in private schools.
Provisions Related to Children With Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools: An informational booklet explaining the provisions related to, and benefits available to, children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools, including religious schools.
Provisions Related to Children With Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools. The U.S. Department of Education webpage.
Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE): Guidance, Technical Assistance, and Laws and Regulations
Last Updated: May 15, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.