Resolving Private School Disputes in Indiana

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Students in private schools fall under a completely different educational situation than students in public or charter schools. The rights of the parents at a private school are severely limited and there are few steps that can be taken to resolve disputes such as grades, student placement, and disciplinary matters. If your child has special needs, such as the need for speech and occupational therapy, you can still get these services through the public system. You can also receive consultation services for your private school regarding your child's needs. If your child has been injured or abused at a private school, you have the ability to take legal action to protect your child and to pursue compensation. Lastly, it is possible to get payment of your private school expenses by a public school in specific circumstances.

At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, our educational law team is ready to discuss your situation and help you determine the next best step for your child's future. Schedule a consultation with us today.

What You Need to Know About Private Schools

Private schools are not bound by the same requirements as public and charter schools. They do not need to be in compliance with many of the laws set in place for public schools and are not required to provide your child a special education or accommodations.

However, there are many situations in which a parent may feel that the failure of the public school has been so severe that their only recourse is to enroll their child in a private school. In these cases the parent must send a 10-day letter and pursue a due process for reimbursement or future payment for the private school bills. In many cases, disputes with private schools can be very frustrating for parents who have limited recourse. However, if your child has faced harassment or abuse, contact one of our Carmel attorneys to find what options you have.

Common Questions on Private Schools

My child has an IEP and is enrolled in private school. Do they have to follow it?

Normally, no-but there are exceptions. These exceptions include where your child has been placed by the public school as part of a case conference committee decision. For example, a residential or day placement facility or a school dedicated to children with special needs. In many cases, these schools become a part of the IEP committee and warrant that they will follow the IEP.

My child is in a private school but needs speech services. Can we get this from the public school?

Yes. However, you need to show that your child is in need of these services and contact the public school district where the private school is located. They will perform an evaluation on your child to determine whether they are eligible for services. If the public school district claims the child is not eligible, but you believe contrary, you may file a due process hearing regarding the eligibility for services.

My child has been expelled from a private school. Do I have any recourse?

Generally, no. In some rare situations, such as where the dismissal was retaliatory as a result of a civil suit or a clear civil rights violation, you may be able to take additional action to get your child back in school or to secure justice for the infraction.

How do I withdraw my child from public school, and get the expenses for private school covered?

Prior to taking this action, we advise you to consult with an attorney from our firm who is focused in education law. By doing this, you ensure that this is right step forward. If you are ready to take this move, you must send a 10-day letter that meets the law's requirements and hold off withdrawing your child for the time period associated with the letter. We can provide a sample letter when you reach out to our firm.

Do not go without legal counsel during this time! Your child’s future could be on the line in the face of private school disputes. Contact Hollingsworth & Zivitz today.

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