Not all parents of special education students wish for their children to go to public school. Some may have religious beliefs regarding it while others believe that their children will have a better social and educational experience in a private school setting. While the United States laws regarding appropriate educational experiences for all children, including those with special needs, apply mainly to public school students, the laws do make some inclusions for private schools. However, parents should be aware of this before enrolling their children in private schools because there is often a lack of educational resources and tuition support for private settings.
Parents should also be aware that many private schools are unable to cater to special needs students simply because of their lack of special education teachers or lack of resources. On the other hand, some private schools exist primarily for special education students with various limitations, such as physical or mental handicaps. Parents should research schools carefully before settling on one. They should also keep in mind that special education private schools could have tuitions running in the tens of thousands of dollars.
While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act applies only to public schools, it does make some requirements of these public institutions as they apply to private schools. For example, the public school district must work with private schools that have special needs students attending to determine if the child is eligible for special education by the state. In addition, public school districts must help the private schools create Instructional School Plans for special education students attending there. The Instructional School Plan, or ISP, is similar to the Individual Educational Plan that is found in public school. The public school will involve the child’s parents and his or her teachers during the ISP’s creation.