Enrollment in a private school with the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program constitutes parental refusal of IDEA services.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Baxter 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-12-04 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

When Defendant’s parents enrolled him in a private school in Fulton County with the use of a Special Needs Scholarship, they waived their right to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including a right to an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense.  The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act specifies that acceptance of the scholarship has the same effect as parental refusal to IDEA services and, consequently, no services may be provided.   While a student may reinstate IDEA rights by forfeiting the scholarship and returning to public school, the Defendant remains enrolled in private school.