Historic Ruling for Catholic and Private Schools

A teacher works with a student at Sacred Hearts School in Bradford, Mass.

This week the Boston Globe published the article "Mass. public schools violated law by denying Catholic, Jewish schools aid for special education, US officials say." 

This ruling says that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) failed to successfully advise local school districts regarding IDEA regulations. After this ruling, public school districts will now have to look back on their practices of the past five years to determine any shortfall regarding the amount of services and resources they allotted to Catholic and private schools.

Director of Government Programs Mary Goslin advocates daily for students in Catholic schools to receive the services they deserve. This ruling is huge and long overdue. If your child qualifies for special services, you have a right to obtain those services in your district of residence, but private school students may also receive additional services at their Catholic school through federal funds. This is a welcome change for busy parents and deserving children.

Mary said, "It's a big win regarding a federal regulation that has been ignored for many years. It will mean that our schools will have access to resources that will benefit their students in a variety of ways."

She continued, "Under this regulation, Catholic and private schools have access to a shared amount of funding to be dispersed within the schools. Although it is not an individual entitlement for students with IEPs, it will be helpful for bringing resources, tools and some services to Catholic students with disabilities."

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