Don’t Forget the Ten Day Notice Rule if Considering Tuition Reimbursement ClaimAugust 17th, 2012
If you are the parent of a child with special needs and are sending your child to private school because your public school district denied your child a free and appropriate public education (“FAPE”), you have the right to seek tuition reimbursement or even prospective payment from your public school district, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. This constitutes an important right for students who have been denied a FAPE. But the process is not simple. To prevail in a tuition reimbursement claim: 1) The District must fail in its burden to prove that it offered or provided the student a FAPE; 2) The parents must prove that the private school is appropriate to meet the student’s special education needs; and 3) Equitable considerations must support the parents’ claim.
As to this latter requirement, parents must, among other things, provide school districts written notice, 10 business days before removing the child from the public school, that they are rejecting the public placement and seeking tuition reimbursement. This means, that at the latest, parents must send this letter 10 business days before the start of the school year. If parents fail to provide this notice, the right to reimbursement may be reduced or denied.
The 10 day deadline is fast approaching. Because most public schools in the New York area start on September 5, 2012, parents should be sure to get their letter in by Tuesday, August 21, 2012. If your school district starts on Tuesday, your letter must be in by Monday, August 20. If you are considering a tuition reimbursement claim and need help deciphering the process, do not hesitate to call our office for an initial consultation.