I am a parent of a non-disabled child in the ESA program but I would like to have my child evaluated, where do I go?

 If you are educating the child at home: Go to your school district of residence.  

If you are attending a private school through ESA:

Per Section 612(a)(10)(A)(i)(II) of IDEA 2004; the district that the private school is located in, should evaluate the student. Please see the following FAQ document from the Ed.gov webpage regarding children with disabilities placed by the parents in private schools (question B-9): http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/faq-parent-placed.doc

Question B-9: Which Local Education Agency (LEA) is responsible for ensuring that a reevaluation of each parentally placed private school child with a disability is conducted at least once every three years?

Answer: The LEA where the private elementary school or secondary school is located is responsible for conducting reevaluations of children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in the private elementary schools and secondary schools located within the district.

Which public school district is responsible for creating a new MET evaluation so I may renew my my ESA contract?

MET Renewal

 15-2402(B)(2)  “…this paragraph does not relieve the school district or charter school that the qualified student previously attended from the obligation to conduct an evaluation pursuant to section 15-766.”

Every ESA student who is identified as a child with special needs is required to maintain MET documentation (renewed every three years) showing their current disability. A parent of a special needs student MUST either:

1)      Contact the school district that the private school is located and obtain an updated MET document (may take up to 60 days) from their district staff pursuant to the law below (if the student is insturcted in the home-the home residency district is responsible) OR;

2)      Return the completed MET Reevaluation Waiver (this is signed by special education department at the last public school attended) and returned  to ESA staff to maintain current funding levels.  

 

 

Why would funding change for my child?

There are many reasons why funding would change for an ESA student year to year.

The most common changes are related to age and grade; Pre-School and Kindergarten students are only funded for half the amount that 1st -12th graders are funded.  Also,  1st -3rd grades only receive a slight bump in funding. Lastly, a change in their IEP or MET’s eligibilty could also impact funding positively or negatively.

 

If I’m waiting for an MET from my district, but want to accept the ESA for this year, what should I do?

If the Department requests an MET to maintain eligibility;  first, contact your last attended public school district to obtain one (the request can take up to sixty days to process).  Parents should begin the MET process well before ESA renewal begins or obtain a waiver (MET Reevaluation Waiver) for submission.

 

 

Are there any other reasons why a qualified student would not be eligible for renewal besides reasons that are outlined in the “Non-Renewal Letter”?

The Department has been given the authority to remove ESA students from the program if the parent or qualified student fails to comply with the terms of the contract, applicable laws, rules or orders. However, ESA staff will give the reason for removal in private correspondence to the parent and outline the process for appealing the Department’s decision.

 

 

I want my child to have a full IEP developed, but the district is refusing to create one– why?

IEPs are a determination created by the local districts under federal and state law.  By accepting an ESA, parents have chosen to remove themselves from the public system that develops IEPs and lose their right to FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education).

What if my district school changes the eligibility of my child, will the funding change?

ESA staff is beholden to the laws established by the state legislature.  Funding for ESA students is based on a “district determination” and can be altered due to a change in eligibility determined by the district.

What happens if I cannot get an updated MET from my school district before the deadline?

If there is a delay in acquiring a new MET from the district, contact ESA staff immediately so they can work with you to obtain the required documents in a timely fashion or offer an extension on a conditional basis.