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Private schools and programs thread?

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I know this forum focuses on the IEP and 504 process in public schools. Some of us aren't going to get our child's needs met through the public schools, either their needs are too specialized or the local school district's strategy to deal with the special education funding crisis is to deny services until parents are bled dry through through advocacy and due process costs.

For parents who are receiving compensatory funds or have decided to use their resources on school tuition rather than legal fees, it would be really helpful to have a list of private schools and programs that specialize in educating students with disabilities or independent schools that provide learning support to students.

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I can only speak for myself, of course, but coming up with a general list of private schools and programs in all states for all disabilities would be quite time consuming, although you are correct, also quite helpful.  Maybe someone on this forum knows where to find such a list?

Unfortunately, you are correct, that there are many instances in which school districts won't find a way to deal with the specialized needs of a certain child.  I didn't use the word "can't," because under the law, school district have this obligation regardless of the child's specialized disabilities.  However, I also understand that you're speaking from a practical standpoint and that it's just not worth the fight and that your resources are better spent elsewhere.

Something else of which I'm sure you're already aware, lack of funding is not an excuse.  But again, I know you're approaching this from a practical standpoint.  One thing you might do, however, is take a look at your state's education budget, specifically special education.  I'm spit-balling here, but it is my understanding that most if not all states received federal funding for special education services post-COVID.  Also, some state legislatures passed laws increasing the funding for special education.  IEP/504 teams don't always share that information with parents and sometimes aren't even aware of it.  It might be worth researching and/or calling your state department of education.

But in terms of advice for locating private schools and programs, individual parents could post their city and state, along with their child's disabilities, to see if anyone has recommendations in their area.  (Unfortunately, for some severe disabilities, the parents' may only have out-of-state options.)  Also, there is the tried (but maybe not always true) "Google it" method.  You would, of course, need to follow up with a phone call or email to any school you find via a Google search.  Make sure to have all your evaluations and diagnoses ready.  A lot of schools will be listed as "special education" schools, but they may be for behavioral issues only with the sole goal being to mainstream the child back into the public school system.

Not trying to "punt" on this one, but this is the best I personally can suggest.  Maybe others will be more helpful.

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A comprehensive list of every school in every state would probably be really hard and time consuming to create. I guess I am thinking more of a crowd sourcing thread where parents can share information about schools and programs they know about. There's a thread like that in College Confidential forum, but it is heavily high school based given the nature of the forum.



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In Ohio, we have the Autism Scholarship Program and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program. The Ohio Dept of Ed website has a list of all the schools that accept either.

These programs are limited though. Unfortunately for us, none of the schools we thought would be a good fit would take my child. And, it seems like most of the private schools on these lists are at their capacity. I'm hearing that there are years long waiting lists for some schools. But, a list does exist.

Maybe your state has programs like these?

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