Participating School Responsibilities
Private schools participating in the IEA Program must, as part of their application to participate in the IEA Program, agree to comply with all the requirements of the IEA Program, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Provide to the department all documentation required for a student's participation, including the school's and student's fee schedules and a school calendar.
- Be academically accountable to the parent for meeting the educational needs of the student.
- At a minimum, annually provide to the parent a written explanation of the student's progress.
- If the student is in grades 3–8, and if requested by the parent, the school shall annually administer either a nationally norm-referenced test(s) identified by the TDOE or the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) test(s), or any future replacements of the TCAP test(s).
- Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to nonpublic schools and the profession of the participating provider.
- Do not discriminate against students or applicants on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
- Conduct criminal background checks on employees as defined by the IEA Program rules (rules of the SBE Chapter 0520-01-11).
- Exclude from employment any person not permitted by state law to work in a nonpublic school or as a participating provider.
- Exclude from employment any person who might reasonably pose a threat to the safety of students.
- Provide parents with a receipt for all qualifying expenses.
- Do not hold IEA cards and run them onsite without the parent/guardian present or copy credit card information for use at a later date.
- Do not accept private day placement funds for students enrolled in the IEA Program. Since parents of students enrolled in the IEA Program waive all their child's IDEA rights and FAPE, parents/guardians cannot accept public private day placement funds while receiving an IEA.
- Verify the continued enrollment and attendance of students enrolled in the IEA Program by notifying the TDOE quarterly by the following dates: Sep. 1, Nov. 1, Feb. 1, and May 1. The TDOE may suspend or remove a school from participating in the IEA Program if the school fails to verify a student's continued enrollment and attendance.
- Annually submit to the TDOE the graduation and completion rates of students in the IEA Program by June 15 following the procedures on the IEA webpage.
- Submit to the TDOE a financial audit of the school conducted by a certified public accountant, if requested by the TDOE and following the guidelines set by the TDOE.
- If a student withdraws from the school and transfers to another participating school or returns to the school district, refund the tuition and fees on a prorated basis based on the number of days the student was enrolled in the school following the procedures set by the TDOE.
- Upon a student's withdrawal from the school, send all educational records of the participating student to the school district or other school identified by the parent.
- Do not send parent-held IEA accounts to collections in order to settle unpaid debts. All contracts entered into are the responsibility of the private parties involved.
For a complete list of responsibilities, see the IEA Provider Handbook.
Private School Proportionate Share
The federal regulations that implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require public education agencies (school districts) to spend a proportionate share of their federal special education funding to provide special education and related services to children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools (including religious schools) located within their jurisdiction (34 C.F.R. §§ 300.132 and 133). Each school district must consult with private school representatives and representatives of parentally placed private school children with disabilities in order to design and develop a plan for the provision of equitable services to parentally placed private school children with disabilities (see 34 C.F.R. § 300.134). However, participation in the IEA Program shall have the same effect as a parental refusal to receipt of IDEA services (20 U.S.C. § 1414). Therefore, if a student is enrolled in the IEA Program, the student is not entitled to equitable services that the school district has determined through the consultation described above that it will make available to that population of children.