Parents of children with disabilities want to ensure optimal educational opportunities are available. Sometimes, public facilities lack the resources or staff to care for a child with special needs.
Washington school districts have turned to nonpublic agencies to care for children with disabilities, and the arrangement raises various concerns.
Reporting practices of NPAs
Nonpublic agencies are private schools that can apply to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to become an NPA. These institutions offer to care for students with special needs who struggle with academic and behavioral issues.
Parents want NPAs to follow the same safety, care and instruction guidelines as public schools do. This duty includes avoiding the use of restraint or isolation except in cases of genuine emergencies.
Families desire more transparency in incident reports at NPAs and increased oversight. Some parents work with the Disability Rights Washington organization in a push for more funding to equip public schools with the resources for special needs students. They also desire NPAs to adhere to state law for public schools.
Use of out-of-state NPAs
Additional concerns arise when out-of-state NPAs care for children with disabilities. This option has been difficult for families, who hate to see their children go to distant locations and desire lawmakers to provide additional in-state options.
Reports raise concerns about the quality of care and the staff at these locations as well. Many parents want to ensure these facilities also comply with Washington State law regarding their children’s educational standards and care.
Parents have the right to guide their children’s education and ensure their little ones get adequate training in a safe and productive environment. When educational facilities try to pass off their responsibility or provide substandard conditions, parents can work to call these institutions to account.