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Out of District Placement

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Out-of-District Private Placements

Sometimes a school district may be unwilling to provide the special education services your child needs, or your child may need more extensive services than your school district is equipped to provide. When this occurs, a parent may need to seek a placement outside of the district in a private school that specializes in the child’s disability.  If your son or daughter has a special need that the school district is unable to provide for, your child may have a right to attend a private school that is able to satisfy his needs.

We help students with special needs obtain access to a free and appropriate education.  Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a school district must prove that its special education program provides your child with appropriate services.  We can help you if you believe that your child’s needs are not being met, whether your child is currently enrolled in a private school or if you are searching for the financial means to move your child to a private placement.

What is a Unilateral Placement?School

If the District refuses to agree to an out-of-district placement, you may choose to place your child in a private school and then seek reimbursement from the district to pay for your child’s private placement. This is often referred to as a “unilateral placement.” There are special notice requirements that parents must complete before they are eligible to receive reimbursement for the costs of a unilateral placement.

Obtaining Private Placements can be a Complex Process

Obtaining private placements or reimbursement for unilateral placements can be difficult because the law has a preference for educating children, whenever possible, in the local school district. However, we have successfully advocated for children to obtain private placements in cases where the public school district cannot or will not provide a free and appropriate education within the district.  In preparing for these matters, we will perform a thorough review of your child’s school records, medical records and evaluations. We will work with your child’s doctors, psychologists, neuropsychologists and therapists to learn what your child needs from a special education program and how those needs can best be satisfied.  We will listen to your opinions because we know that no one knows your child better than you.

To learn about your special education private placement rights and this complex process, we encourage you to contact us today.

Knowledgeable and experienced school lawyers

Determining whether your child requires a private placement, and then advocating to secure that placement, is one of the most challenging aspects of our practice. We have the knowledge to guide you through this process, as well as the litigation experience to represent your child’s interests at a due process hearing if it becomes necessary. If you have questions about your child’s eligibility for a private placement, please call us. We understand the steps that are necessary to get your child the free appropriate public education he or she is legally entitled to receive.


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