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Ruth:  My daughter attends an out-of-state, therapeutic boarding school. The CSE placed her there for a 3rd year. It is the first time she is successful and stayed at a school for more than a year. The state wants her at an in-state school. The in-state school cannot meet all of her academic & social needs. The CSE agrees the in-state school is inappropriate. The in-state school will not reject her without an intake; this would be an emotional nightmare for our daughter. What are our rights? Can the STATE (not district) force us to move her?

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Jill G

Ruth –

Is it your state’s Department of Education that is proposing to move your child? Or is it another state agency? I have never heard of Dept of Ed getting involved in placement decisions like this, except where the state is also the school district (i.e. in Hawaii).

I encourage you to contact you local parent center ( – they should be able to help you better understand what your rights are.

Jill G

This sounds like a real tricky situation.
Without knowing the exact relationship between your state and district – are they in receivership or is this something less formal – it’s hard to say what the state’s rights to propose/change the placement are here.
You may need the help of a good advocate or possibly an attorney. I still encourage you to speak with your local parent center. They may be able to give you a referral, if needed.


Our school district is in complete disarray, so Dept of Ed has intervened. They have required the district to reapply to all schools, appropriate or not, to keep my daughter in-state. Thank you for the information. Perhaps I can find something that would help.


I don’t think they can force a move. How about getting a doctor’s letter explaining the detrimental effect an intake would have? Perhaps you could reach out to the in-state school and explain the situation to them — and work something out with them informally.


I wish it were that easy. The in-state school is pushing really hard–they have a bed to fill & there is money be had. We don’t have a private psychiatrist or psychologist anymore because it’s a residential program; all of her treatment is done there, and she is, fortunately, un-medicated. We fear that if we aren’t compliant with the intake, the state will pull all funding. The out-of-state school is EXTREMELY expensive.