Legality of school refusing to accept IEP students?

fostrmom2mny

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2000
http://www.drcme.org/

the link above is to Maine's Disability Rights Center.

I work with families as an advocate herein my home state of Oklahoma. Our Disability Law Center is funded federally and there is one in each state. Theywork at no charge for the consumer. On my cases that require a legal aspect, and legal advice, I connect them with our DLC. Here is the Maine toll free number to their office. They will know the legality of your question.
1-800-452-1948.
Good luck!!
 

leebee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
Here's how it works in Michigan, where we have a lot of school of choice:

1. If the receiving district decides to be a tuition district, in which the parents pay fees, then they can pick and choose which students they want.

2. If the receiving district accepts state money, then they CANNOT discriminate due to race, sex, disability, etc.

So what you are describing would be illegal here.
If I wanted my child to go there, I wouldn't file a 504 plan or IEP until after he/she had completed their first day of school. If they refused the service at that point, it would make for a very interesting ADA case.
It's all playing out slowly. The town where I work was in an RSU with another small town (only having a K-8) school and the town where I live (which is refusing IEP/504 students) but the RSU disintegrated after 3 years. During the time of the RSU, we still had school choice because the only town with a high school- where I live- didn't have space for all the high school students from the 3 towns in the RSU.

I know several parents who have decided to NOT renew their student's 504 plan for the upcoming year, so they can go to high school in my hometown. Parents with kids on IEPs aren't really able to do this, and are still searching for alternatives. None of the options are really good; the best of the bunch will involve an hour-long bus ride on either end of the day. We shall see what happens over the next several months. I just hope "my" kids end up in beneficial situations.
 
  • Disneychick75

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2014
    Not familiar with any of this but does receiving federal funds factor in at all? I know people whose son had a teacher that made a comment about his IEP to another class. The mother called the Dept of Education in DC and was told the school (private) could lose their federal grants over this. I know it's a different set of circumstances but I'm curious.
     

    bookwormde

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    Joined
    Mar 16, 2008
    Here is a dear colleague letter published a couple of weeks ago from OCR which should help in may of these situation's.

    While it is focused on public charter school admissions it applies to all public schools

    http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201405-charter.pdf

    Worth reading for its content and for the indication that additional letters or guidance is forthcoming in conjunction with OSEP
     

    Aliceacc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2007
    I can see the point of view of the schools; it's an expense that they would have to pass on to the taxpayers-- for educating the kids from a neighborhing community.

    I think the ball should be in the court of the community in which the IEP kids reside-- how are THEY going to find a way to educate these kids? Why are those kids-- and all the non-IEP kids-- being shipped elsewhere for an education?

    I can't imagine refusing an IEP for my child if he/she needed one.
     

    bookwormde

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    Mar 16, 2008
    The home school district has the legal obligation to provide FAPE so they also have the obligation to fund that provision, not the receiving school district.
     
  • My2CrazyGirls

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2010
    The home school district has the legal obligation to provide FAPE so they also have the obligation to fund that provision, not the receiving school district.
    True. I am not sure it would be considered appropriate for the home district to only offer an education for IEP students that is an hour or more drive away from their own district, while non-IEP students get bused to a much closer school. Unfair yes, illegal...I am not sure.
     

    bookwormde

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    Joined
    Mar 16, 2008
    It so done is D, E, and F settings due to the specialized nature, but that is being questioned where is separates families not in non judicial placements.

    I the OPs case it sounded like all high school students were being educated in by another district.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    ... I the OPs case it sounded like all high school students were being educated in by another district.
    That's my understanding as well. There are several such communities in my area. The local community has a K-8 school, but no high school in the community and not part of a union district for high school. Families in these communities are allowed "choice" of high schools -- and the local community's school budget (sending district) will include full tuition to send those students to whichever high school the family desires (receiving district). However, as you pointed out in a previous post, it is the home or sending district that is responsible for FAPE, not the receiving district. Sounds like the receiving district in OP's situation will not take on additional expense to accept special education students from outside that district. As OP indicated, many families choose to live in such communities because they wish to send their high school students to a district with much higher taxes, without directly paying that higher level tax.
     


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