Parents often wish to take advantage of the environment that private schools have to offer their children. However, many times when I speak to parents, they believe that a "private" school is the same environment as a "nonpublic" school. While the terms seem to be interchangeable, for purposes of establishing special education requirements, they are different.
A private school is an educational institution which is completely private, not receiving any public funding whatsoever. These institutions are not subject to the terms enumerated in the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). As such, Private Schools do not have any enumerated special education service requirements. Many do offer certain accommodations and services for children who require special education, but legally they are not beholden to federal law as private schools.
Nonpublic schools, on the other hand, are institutions registered with the CA Department of Education, that do receive public funding. Most often, the nature of these schools are that they are entirely populated with children who are qualified to receive special education services in a certain area. As such, they are one of the most restrictive placements in the continuum of special education placements. However, they are required to follow the federal and state laws as they receive public funding.
Knowing the difference between these two terms for special education purposes may be necessary, especially if a school district is offering your child placement in a nonpublic school. The Economou Law Group can aid in determining the need for nonpublic placement based on your child's records, and also the appropriateness of nonbpublic placements throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Call today at (626) 765-9607 for your free records review and consultation.