Evaluations: WHICH PUBLIC SCHOOL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVALUATING

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Jennifer:  My daughter attends an out of district public school. I pay tuition for her to attend this out of district school and she has attended for the last 5 years. She has a diagnosis of ADHD and I believe a math disability which needs to be evaluated. I was told by the school administrator that she cannot attend her current school if she is IEP eligible and that the district in which we live would be responsible for evaluating her. Is this right? Seems to me that the school she attends would be responsible for evaluating her and denying her enrollment would be discrimination? Please help. I can’t find any literature that speaks to this particular situation.

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Jennifer, The school district where the child resides is responsible for identifying, locating and evaluating all children who may have a disability, including children who attend private schools. This is a requirement of the Child Find mandate (in Section 1412 of the IDEA – legal citation is 20 U.S.C. Sec.1412(a)(3)). Section 1412 is “State Eligibility” and is often called the “Catch-All” statute because it includes several diverse topics including free appropriate public education (FAPE), child find, least restrictive environment (LRE), continuum of placements, transition to preschool, equitable services for children in private schools, unilateral placements, tuition reimbursement, and assessments.

The law about Child Find is on page 72 of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law. In some cases, the regulation about an area contains more information. The regulation about Child Find is C.F.R 300.111 (page 206-207 in the Special Ed Law book)

The district that is responsible for evaluating should consult with the private school and obtain information about the child from them.

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