Who Pays Tuition?
Typically the referral source pays for Private Special Education Schools. When the public school has agreed that they cannot meet a student’s needs, a private special education school is recommended, with the school district, state, and federal governments contributing to the cost. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that ensures that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is available to all students with disabilities. Children have the right to access whatever level of care is deemed “appropriate” for their needs, even residential care, which may include special education and related services, room and board, and non-medical care at no cost to families (Guard, 2008). There are times when referrals for residential placement are made by an agent other than the child’s public school, such as primary care providers, hospitals, community mental health centers, child welfare agencies, or juvenile justice systems (NAPHS, 2007).
Every IEP has a page titled Placement Consent Form (click here to view the PDF) that describes the placement and referral source.