Getting the DOE to pay for private school, private services, parent to do the services, etc. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-19-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a friend with an SN DD who has been able to successfully get the DOE to pay for her DD's private preschool because they can't offer what she needs in their own public school setting.

She's also been able to get them to pay *her* to give her DD speech therapy, because again - they have not been able to provide a speech therapist that is qualified.

I have another friend who got the DOE to pay her to homeschool her own DD, because they couldn't provide the right school environment for her child.

Anyone else have this sort of experience - where the DOE has had to pay for your child's private schooling, or pay for you to do the services required, or pay for you to homeschool your child?

Just wondering how common this is?
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#2 of 5 Old 10-19-2008, 05:14 PM
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I've heard of it... but never first hand. I would think it would be more likely in smaller school districts and more rural areas. Around here I'm in a HUGE district that would have a program they would *say* would serve just about any need. And if a child were in a nearby district they'd contract between districts.

Interested to hear how this works in other places though.

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#3 of 5 Old 10-19-2008, 05:23 PM
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Where I live, getting them to pay for private school or private services to augment public school is very common -- 1/7 of our kids with IEPs are in private programs. Usually, except in case of severe disabilities, they have reached that point after the parent has sued due to violations of due process rights (such violations are rampant here).

I think there are 3 big factors in whether you can suceed in getting funding. One is how specialized the services your child needs are (e.g. you're more likely to get funding for private placement for a child whose IEP calls for sensory based OT, or a audiologically modified classroom, than for a child who only receives speech therapy for a mild articulation disorder. One is how badly the district has handled your case (I know many kids who have gone years without services, or for whom an IEP has never been convened and a placement never offered for years after the parents hand carried over the evaluations etc . . . from early intervention. The last is how the due process hearing process works. In some states the hearing officers are employees of the state, and often act in the state's best interest -- in my district they are neutral parties (e.g. a professor of special ed at a local university) and thus are more likely to find in favor of the parent.

I have never heard of them paying someone to do speech therapy or homeschool with their child. They do pay for private therapies for homeschooled kids sometimes, but not for the actual homeschooling done by the parent.
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#4 of 5 Old 10-19-2008, 05:55 PM
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You can write it off on your taxes...

And when I first read, I thought you meant "dough" as in "moola". :

I don't know where one gets that either.
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#5 of 5 Old 10-19-2008, 06:10 PM
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I believe that the general wording of the law is that the school is only required to pay for those services that are required and in the IEP, and if those services can not be provided by the district, and you may have to go through some effort to prove they are not, then the district must pay for it. This includes therapies and evaluations. It includes MFEs if you can provide evidence that the school is not able to perform a fair and adequate MFE on your child (or in my case, we had a therapist that had just done a full diagnostic battery on Brandon two months before he turned 3...those tests were then assigned as the results to his MFE so the district did not have to do anything).

Also check out your state laws. Here in Ohio, it is much easier to provide evidence that FAPE can't always be provided by the district for a child with an ASD. We have the Ohio Autism Scholarship Program here, and we have had absolutely no problem with the district agreeing to let us leave the district for our own private services (which are indirectly paid for by the district...the DOE takes the money from the district, up to $20,000 a year, and pays the providers with it).

But in general, you're not going to get the school to willingly pay for private services, and especially not for homeschooling (since the district typically doesn't even get money for homeschooling children), unless you can provide evidence that the district can't meet the FAPE needs they are legally required to meet. This is often the case in rural or poor districts who may not have appropriate service providers on staff. It also may be the case if your child is absolutely not able to learn in the typical classroom environment. But I think that if your district *can* provide appropriate education for your child, you will have an extremely uphill battle in getting them to pay for more expensive private services.

In general, I'd recommend checking with your state laws--especially if you have school choice or charter school laws, as well as disability programs/waivers provided by the DOE. Those will help determine how easy the fight will be.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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