13A.05.01.16

.16 Students in Nonpublic Schools.

A. Local School System Placement of a Student with a Disability in a Nonpublic School.

(1) If a student's IEP cannot be implemented in a public school program, the local school system shall take steps in accordance with Education Article, §§4-122, 8-401, and 8-409, Annotated Code of Maryland, to ensure that the student is provided FAPE.

(2) Before the local school system proposes a placement of a student with a disability in a nonpublic school, the local school system shall ensure that an IEP has been developed for the student in accordance with Regulations .08 and .09 of this chapter.

(3) A local school system shall initiate and conduct meetings to review the student's IEP in accordance with Regulations .07—.10 of this chapter.

(4) A nonpublic school shall contact the local school system to request IEP team meetings to review the student's IEP, as appropriate.

(5) Responsibility for compliance with this chapter remains with the local school system and the Department.

B. Parental Enrollment of a Student with a Disability in a Nonpublic School.

(1) Each local school system shall locate, identify, and evaluate all students with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in nonpublic schools, including religious elementary and secondary schools located within the jurisdiction of the local school system, in accordance with 34 CFR §§300.130—300.144 and COMAR 13A.05.02.13A.

(2) Each local school system shall ensure annual timely and meaningful consultation with nonpublic school representatives and parent representatives of parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities.

(3) The consultation described in §B(2) of this regulation shall include a review and discussion of the:

(a) Child find process;

(b) Proportionate amount of federal funds available for services;

(c) Consultation process;

(d) Provision of services to parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities; and

(e) Written explanation of the local school system decision.

(4) Students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in a nonpublic school do not have an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services the student would receive if enrolled in a public school in accordance with 34 CFR §300.137.

(5) Each local school system shall initiate and conduct meetings to develop, review, and revise the service plan for parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities designated to receive services, in accordance with 34 CFR §300.137 and Regulations .08 and .09 of this chapter.

(6) A local school system shall make special education and related services available to the student in accordance with 20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(10)(A) and 34 CFR §§300.130—300.144.

C. Unilateral Placement in a Nonpublic School by a Parent when FAPE is at Issue.

(1) If a local school system has made FAPE available to a student with a disability and the parent chooses to place the student in a nonpublic school, the local school system is not required to pay for the student's education at the nonpublic school, in accordance with 34 CFR §300.148 and Education Article, §8-413(i), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) Before removing a student from a local school system, a parent shall notify the local school system of the parent's:

(a) Decision to reject the local school system's proposed placement;

(b) Concerns leading to the decision to remove the student from the local school system; and

(c) Intentions to enroll the student in a nonpublic school at public expense.

(3) The parent shall provide notice as described in §B(3)(b) of this regulation by:

(a) Informing the IEP team at the most recent meeting the parent attended before the removal of the student; or

(b) Providing the local school system with written notice at least 10 business days, including holidays that occur on business days, before the removal of the student.

(4) If the parent decides to enroll the student in a nonpublic school without the consent or referral of the local school system, an impartial hearing officer or a court may require the local school system to reimburse the parent for the reasonable costs of the placement if the local school system had not made FAPE available to the student in a timely manner before the parent enrolled the student in the nonpublic school, consistent with 34 CFR §300.148(c).

(5) Reimbursement may be reduced or denied by the impartial hearing officer or court if the:

(a) Parent failed to notify the local school system of the decision as described in §B(3)(b) of this regulation;

(b) Parent's actions were unreasonable; or

(c) Parent failed to make the student available for assessment, before the student's removal, after the local school system provided the parent with written notice of its intention to assess the student in accordance with Regulations .05 and .06 of this chapter.

(6) An impartial hearing officer or court may not reduce or deny reimbursement if:

(a) The public agency prevented the parent from providing notice as described in §C(2) and (3) of this regulation;

(b) The parent was not provided with a copy of the procedural safeguards notice as described in Regulation .11A of this chapter, including the requirements of this subsection; or

(c) Providing notice would likely result in physical harm to the student.

(7) An impartial hearing officer or court may not reduce or deny reimbursement for failure to provide notice, as described in §C(2) and (3) of this regulation if:

(a) The parent is illiterate or cannot write in English; or

(b) Providing notice would likely result in serious emotional harm to the student.

(8) Disagreements between a parent and a local school system regarding the availability of FAPE and the question of financial responsibility are subject to the provisions of Regulation .15C of this chapter.

(9) A unilateral placement in a nonpublic school by a parent may be found to be appropriate by an impartial hearing officer or court even if the placement does not meet State standards that apply to education provided by a public agency or the Department.