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Special Education

IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools

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.

IDEA Equitable Services E-Learning Module for Massachusetts Educators

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.



DESE Guidance

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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

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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.

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DESE Federal Grant Programs, Guidance to IDEA by Topic, including Maintenance of Effort: Administrative Advisory, Excess Costs and Maintenance of Effort: Technical Assistance Advisory

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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

Memos and Letters

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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

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Memo from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner. Re: IDEA Proportionate share calculations for FY18 and FY19 — June 22, 2018

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Memo from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner. Re: DESE's appointment of an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ombudsperson — June 8, 2018

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Memo from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner. Re: Proportionate Share Calculation for School Year Expenditures — June 22, 2017

Sample Documents

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Sample IDEA Equitable Services Proportionate Share Calculation (Fund Codes 240 and 262)

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Draft Sample Consultation Invitation — Includes Child Find Notices
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Draft Sample Child Find Notices

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Sample Written Affirmation (Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1, page 21)

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Draft Sample Letter — For use when private schools could not attend the consultation meeting

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Draft Sample Letter — For use when parents of homeschooled student could not attend the consultation meeting

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Sample Written Affirmation (Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1, page 21)

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IDEA Proportionate Share Quick Reference Guide

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Draft Quick Reference Guide for private school representatives, parents of parentally-placed private school students, and parents of homeschool students

Federal Resources

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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.

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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.

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Provisions Related to Children With Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools. The U.S. Department of Education webpage.

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Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE): Guidance, Technical Assistance, and Laws and Regulations

Last Updated: September 27, 2019

 
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