The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that entitles students identified as students with a disability to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Nonpublic special education schools and programs fall under the category of separate schools on IDEA’s continuum of alternative placements and represent a placement on the more restrictive end of the continuum.
Per IDEA, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
Below are links to the federal statue and the corresponding federal regulations:
The local regulations governing the provision of special education and related services to children with disabilities are found in Title 5, Subtitle A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. The regulations governing nonpublic schools specifically are found in Subtitle A, Title 5, Chapter 28 (5A DCMR §2800-2899).
- Nonpublic Special Education Schools and Programs Serving Students with Disabilities Funded by the District of Columbia and Special Education Rates: 5-A DCMR Chapter 28 Regulations
The local laws governing the placement of students with disabilities in nonpublic schools are found in Chapter 25B of the District of Columbia Code.
- Code of the District of Columbia, Chapter 25B. Placement of Students with Disabilities in Nonpublic Schools
For information on OSSE’s local special education regulations, please see the policy and guidance webpages linked below.
For additional information about nonpublic oversight, please select the links below.
For questions or additional information, please email [email protected].
The Nonpublic Oversight and Support Program is administered by OSSE’s Office of Special Populations and Programs within the Division of Systems and Supports, K-12.
[Date Posted: May 11, 2023]