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Jennifer B: This county has a school that was developed specifically for special needs children with behavioral issues. All children in this school have IEP’s. If the child’s school deems the child behaviorally unmanageable the child is sent to this alternative school to be “reformed”. I would assume that putting only special needs children in a school is not their least restrictive environment. This alternative school is funded by the public school system. How is this legal?

  1. IDEA rules allow the removal of students from regular classes & the home campus, if other placements are not working or appropriate. The attitude of the state education agency, & courts affects whether districts have these types of campuses. At the individual student level, the best approach is to advocate for other placements, & supports to be tried. A person or organization could make a complaint to the state education agency about such a campus. Every state has a parent training & information center, & advocacy center. These can assist a parent in dealing with this type of situation.

  2. Jennifer –

    The issue of separate schools is tough. IDEA mandates that school districts make available a continuum of special education placements – from the general education classroom to special schools – to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

    It’s more common today for special schools to be private. But public special schools like the one you reference – run by individual school districts or other public entities – still exist across the country. And they exist in large part to save money, to avoid sending students that the district feels cannot be educated in house to a more costly private school.

    So this type of school would be legal as long as the Team followed all procedural rules and safeguards to place the student there.

    • I really thought that students with disabilities need to first be given services in their home school Isn’t it discriminatory to bus students for services

      • Students are not sent to separate schools until all local placement options and interventions have been exhausted and unsuccessful. This placement should be used only with most severe emotional disturbed children.

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