Equitable Participation and IDEA

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), reauthorized in 2004, requires that the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) provide students, unilaterally placed by their parents in private schools, a proportional amount of the LEA’s IDEA Part B funds – in essence an opportunity for Equitable Participation from the benefits of the grant. Equitable participation is a right to receive some benefit from publicly-funded special education programs that applies to nonpublic school students as a group. The provision of federal law requiring equitable participation does not establish an individual entitlement to a particular level or type of service on the part of any particular student.

    The students who comprise the population of students who are eligible to determine the level of proportionate funding are those students who have been evaluated by their local school district and who, through an Evaluation Report (ER), have been determined to have a disability and require specially designed instruction, and whose families have declined the offer of a free, appropriate public education as specified on the Notice of Recommended Educational Assignment (NOREP) and defined in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed between the parent and the district of residence.  

Equitable Participation Services

  • The information below describes the model for the distribution of equitable participation funds and procedures for child find and services for those students unilaterally placed in a nonpublic school as developed by the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21 (CLIU) and approved through consultation with Nonpublic School Administrators. If a nonpublic school disagrees with how EP funds are being spent, there is an option to appeal to the State.  

    IDEA 04 requires the local education agency (LEA) to conduct child find activities in nonpublic schools in a similar manner that it conducts child find in public schools. 

    The CLIU EP child find plan will include the following activities:

    • The CLIU will consult with administrators to nonpublic schools in the first quarter of each year.
    • The CLIU will conduct a survey in the first quarter of each school year related to verification of unilaterally placed students.
    • Posters and brochures will be sent to nonpublic schools each year and will be available upon request throughout the year.
    • In-service on child find activities will be made available for all IU nonpublic staff, nonpublic supervisor and other IU staff providing services in the nonpublic schools.
    • The CLIU will share information with a student district of residence via permission forms signed by parents for services provided including IST, Remedial Reading and Math, Speech/Language.
    • The CLIU will annually publicize child find information in local newspapers.

    The total number of students with disabilities eligible for equitable participation is obtained from the information provided by the public schools and the nonpublic schools during the child find activity conducted in the first quarter of the prior school year. It is this number that is used to determine the proportionate amount of funds to be provided for services to students with disabilities in the nonpublic schools. Parents of students with disabilities in other nonpublic school programs in need of services not provided through this Equitable Participation model will be referred to their district of residence for service delivery. 

     The model for distribution of funds recommended and approved by Nonpublic School Administrators is as follows:

    • Mercy Special Learning Center :
      • Consultative or direct services in a group and/or individual setting for:
        • Occupational Therapy
        • Physical Therapy
    • All other Nonpublic Schools:
      • Special Education Teacher Consultation
      • Professional Development
      • Equipment and materials

    To access these Equitable Participation services, the nonpublic school administrator must submit a referral form to the CLIU Special Programs and Services department as per the Equitable Participation referral process.