Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Special Education in Catholic Schools

If you're a special education major like me (or a Catholic parent of a child with a disability), you might be wondering if the federal law requiring special education in public schools (IDEA) has any impact on private schools. The answer is YES (although not much of an impact). The local education agencies (LEA) for public schools are required to use an appropriate portion of IDEA funding for students parentally-placed in private schools. For example, if for one LEA, 10% of students with disabilities are parentally-placed in a private school, then 10% of the LEA's IDEA funding must be put towards serving these children in private schools.

From what I understand, many Catholic schools would like to provide special education services, but they're expensive. This means many parents of students with special needs may have to place this child in the public school system to receive better services for the child's disability. To top it off, adults interested in serving students with special needs will find most available jobs are in the public school system and not Catholic schools.

If I have confused you with my information on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) than please visit this link. It contains more information on IDEA as it regards private schools.