Private, Religious, and Home Schools
Framework (What’s Required):
HISD is required to locate, identify and evaluate all students with disabilities enrolled in private schools located within HISD boundaries 34 CFR 300.131(a) and USC 1412(a)(10)(A)(i). In addition, HISD must consult with parents and private schools 34 CFR 300.134 and USC1412(a)(10)(A)(iii)and determine how much funding is available 34 CFR 300.130 and USC1412(a)(10)(A)(i)(I), who will be served and what services will be provided 34 CFR 300.134(c) and USC 1412(a)(10)(A)(iii)(III).
The term "parentally-placed private school children with disabilities" means children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, schools or facilities 34 CFR 300.131(a)
The term "private school" is defined as private elementary or secondary school, including any pre-school, religious school, and institutional day or residential school that: 19 TAC 89.1096 (a)(1)
- Is a nonprofit entity: 19 TAC 89.1096(a)(1)(A)
- The term "nonprofit," as applied to an agency, organization, or institution, means that it is owned or operated by one or more corporations or associations whose net earnings do not benefit, and cannot lawfully benefit, any private shareholder or entity; and 34 CFR 77.1(c)
- Provides elementary or secondary education that incorporates an adopted curriculum designed to meet basic educational goals, including scope and sequence of courses, and formal review and documentation of children's progress: TAC 89.1096(a)(1)(B) The term "elementary school" means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under State law; and 34 CFR 300.130
- The term "secondary school" means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school that provides secondary education, as determined under State law, except that it does not include any education beyond grade 1234 CFR 300.36
In order to be considered a private school, a home school must provide elementary or secondary education that incorporates an adopted curriculum designed to meet basic educational goals, including scope and sequence of courses, and formal review and documentation of children's progress, but is not required to be a nonprofit entity TAC 89.1096(a)(2), TAC 89.1096(a)(1)(B) , and TEA Private School Guidance
Each school district must locate, identify, and evaluate all students with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary and secondary schools located in the school district. The child find process must be designed to ensure— (1) the equitable participation of parentally-placed private school children and (2) an accurate count of those children 34 CFR 300.131(a)
The cost of carrying out the child find requirements in this section, including individual evaluations, may not be considered in determining if the school district has met its obligation under 34 CFR 300.133.
- Is a nonprofit entity: 19 TAC 89.1096(a)(1)(A)
- TEA Timeline: Within 15 school days upon written referral by parent to special education director or district administrative employee, the Notice and Consent or Response to Parent Request for an Evaluation will be issued.
- TEA Timeline: Within 45 school days of receipt of written, signed consent, the Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) will be completed.
- TEA Timeline: Within 30 calendar days from FIE date, the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee must make its decisions regarding a student’s eligibility determination.
Methods (What We Do):
Under 34 CFR 300.111, states and local education agencies are required to identify, locate, and evaluate all students suspected of having a disability. The most recent provisions require the LEA with jurisdiction over the district in which the private school is located to be the responsible agency for implementing IDEA requirements for parentally placed children with disabilities. Each public agency must conduct a full and individual initial evaluation before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability 34 CFR 300.301(a). The initial evaluation must be conducted within 45 school days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the child is a child with a disability 34 CFR 300.8(a)(1) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)and to determine the educational needs of the child 34 CFR 300.301(c)(2) Timeline | Child-Centered Special Education Process
Request for Evaluation
- Discuss your concerns and ask questions about your child’s overall development in comparison to others in the classroom.
- Submit a request for evaluation form (Request for a Disability Evaluation for a Student Parentally Placed in a Private School ) to the Houston ISD Office of Special Education Services-Private School Liaison, if you and the teacher feel a formal evaluation is needed to identify a disability.
- The private school liaison will then convene an Intervention Assistance Team (IAT) to consider your request within 15-school days.
- If the IAT proposes to conduct an initial evaluation, the IAT will provide to you: 1)prior written notice of its proposal to conduct an evaluation, a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards, and the opportunity to give consent for the evaluation.
- The private school liaison will begin data collection for the evaluation process and notify you of the assigned evaluation case manager.
- The private school liaison and assigned evaluation case manager are your contacts throughout this process.
- If the IAT refuses the request for an initial evaluation, you will receive an explanation of why the IAT refused to conduct an initial evaluation, information that was used as the basis of the decision, as well as a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards and Prior Written Notice of Refusal to Evaluate.
- The private school liaison will contact you for further discussion of your request.