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NPS - Funding for Non-Public Schools
Non-Public School (NPS) status. If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and if the IEP team determines that a non-public school is an appropriate placement, then your school district may pay for your child's tuition.
You, as parents of children with special needs, are very special parents.
For you, the role of parenting has greater challenges and opportunities than you ever imagined when your child began the adventure of learning. YOU are the primary encourager and protector of your child's interests, the guardian of your child's educational rights, and your child's primary advocate.
YOU are an essential member of the educational team that designs the program which best meets your child. Your first hand, round the clock knowledge of your child is crucial information. You will be the communicator of data about your child's behaviors, strengths, and needs. You must be prepared to coordinate all the efforts for your child's educational growth.
You and your team can create a successful program for you special child.
Special Education Services are available to you to support your child's needs.
Special education is an individualized education program designed to help children reach their highest potential. It is provided for children ages 3 through 21, who qualify according to laws and regulations outlined by state and federal governments.
Children receive special education instruction and services according to specific needs. Children are placed in special education programs only after resources of the regular public education program in the student's local educational area have been considered and if appropriate, utilized.
Federal Laws provide for free appropriate education for children with disabilities.
Public Law 94-142, formerly the Education for All Handicapped Children's Act,(EHA) and now the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), passed in 1975 and amended in l990,and guarantees four basic rights to all children with disabilities.
1. Free, appropriate public education.This is the most fundamental and important right, as it states that at no cost to you, an educational program designed to meet your child's specific needs must be provided by your local school district. If there is no appropriate public school program, a private school program must be provided at public expense.
2. Placement in the least restrictive environment(LRE).This is the environment in which your child can be a successful learner. This may or may not be a regular classroom. School districts must make available a variety of programs and placement opportunities. Where possible it will be an environment in which your child has the greatest amount of contact with non-handicapped students. As your child's learning needs change, so should the type of placement change .Placement is not forever.
3. Related services and supplementary aids.Instructional and supportive services which assist your child in benefiting from the special education must be provided.
4. Fair Assessment Procedures.Education evaluation and/or assessment must be conducted to identify your child's learning needs and to determine whether your child requires special education, and if so, what type. Assessments must occur before your child is placed in special education, and at determined intervals following your child's placement. You must give permission for this assessment to be given.
The law says you have two protections.
1.Individualized Education Program When your child receives special education services, a written IEP must be developed. It will consist of your child's annual and long term goals and short term objectives; the level of placement; the present level of your child's performance; the dates when the services begin and end; and annual evaluation procedures and review dares. It serves as the management tool for your child and the program in which the learning will occur. 2. Due Process. This is your safeguard. It refers to the timely steps that protect the rights of each person, you, your child, and the school staff. It also details the informed consent procedures, and the appeal rights you have if you disagree with your school.
Other Laws also protect you and your child.
P.L.93-112 The Vocational Rehabilitation Act Section 504.Section 504 guarantees that people with disabilities may not be discriminated against because of their disability.
P.L.101-336 Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA expands the definition of a disability as a condition that impairs a major life activity.
P.L.99-457 Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers.P.L.99-457 expanded coverage under IDEA to mandate a program to serve sever preschool children ages three to five, to establish a new early state grant program for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays through age two, and to expand and improve various discretionary programs within the IDEA
P.L.101-476 The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990.This law changed the name of EHA to IDEA and reauthorized and expanded the discretionary programs, mandated transition services and assistive technology to be included on a child'sIEP, and added autism and traumatic brain injury to the list of categories of youth eligible for special education services.
There are a variety of placement options available. Placement in a nonpublic school may be provided by the school district when the educational program developed in the IEP is not available in the programs offered by the school district. A nonpublic school is a private school that specializes in providing services to students with special needs. It is required to meet specific standards in the state in which it operates, and it contracts with school districts to provide services to their students whose IEP designates this type of placement as the best one to help the child reach the highest potential. It is proved at no cost to the parents or guardians for their child. The nonpublic school operates under public funds, but has its own operating structure, policies and procedures while complying with all state and federal mandates for instruction of students with special needs. Usually the staff is highly trained and certified in areas of specific special education needs, class sizes are usually very small, and special programs are in place to help the child internalize learning strategies that will enable him/her to return to a less restrictive environment at a future time. The nonpublic school works with the parents and local district staff to form a team to communicate about the child and his needs, and to operate as a unit to see that these needs are met.
Who can help you? Your local principal is the educational and policy leader of your school. Consult with this person for support and direction in determining how you can best help your child to be a successful learner. There is indeed a program available to assist your child in reaching his/her full potential and it is available to you at no cost.