Franczek’s Jennifer Smith Quoted by NPR on Out-of-State Residential Placements
December 18, 2019
For the second time this year, Franczek’s Jennifer Smith has been quoted in a series by NPR on out-of-state residential placements. In August, NPR called on Jennifer for an article addressing the significant number of out-of-state placements for special education students, the potential causes of the placements, and the costs to schools and the government.
NPR recently released two additional articles addressing similar issues. The first article in this series, entitled “Far From Home,” reports that Illinois sent about 350 students with special needs to private boarding schools in other states in the 2017-18 school year. Jennifer clarified the difference in focus on academics at residential placement for students with special needs. “Having comparable curriculum is usually not the goal, because the point of the residential placement is to prioritize some other greater need of the students,” says Jennifer. “So for example: an emotional need or a behavioral need.”
The second article focuses on the cost to schools and the government, as well as the process of residential placement. “Under federal law, parents have the right to send their child to a private school that they pay for upfront and then seek reimbursement from the school district, if they believe the school has not offered their child an education that satisfies a number of complicated legal requirements,” says Jennifer. “Then after they’ve made the placement, they ask the district to evaluate the student for an IEP and fund that placement that’s already been made.”
Franczek has one of the largest teams of K-12 education lawyers in Illinois. We work with school districts, schools, and cooperatives of all sizes—ranging from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of students—in all areas of the State. For more thought leadership from our team, please see our alerts, webinars, Special Education Law Insights blog, Title IX Insights blog, and our Education Law Insights podcast.