Legal minute with Cooley Shrair: Private Schools and Special Education

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) –  How can you get the best education for your child? Attorney Shawn Willis from the Law Offices of Cooley Shrair in Springfield joined us with more information regarding special education.

Cooley Shrair
1380 Main Street

For more information call (413) 781 – 0750 or visit

Do parents of children in private school have the same rights to special education as those with children in public schools?
Not exactly. The law does not require private schools to provide special education services to students, however, that does not mean private school students are not entitled to special education. State and federal law entitles all school aged children in Massachusetts to a free and appropriate public education and requires public school districts to provide accommodations or services to all eligible students residing within the school district, whether they attend the public schools or not.

So what can a parent do if they suspect their private school student has a learning disability and is not receiving adequate special education services?
They can make a request to the public school district in which they reside they the district evaluates their child for services. The District must respond by conducting an evaluation within 30 days and scheduling a TEAM meeting within 45 days of the request. The district is responsible for consulting with the parents and the students private school teachers in developing an educational plan that is comparable in scope and quality as programs offered to public school students.

Does the student have to agree to attend the public school to receive the services?
Services can be provided at the private school, but if the district determines that it is necessary for the student to be transported from the private school to the public school or neutral site, the school district will be responsible for the cost of the transportation.

About Cooley Shrair:
Cooley, Shrair P.C., founded in 1946 by Judge Sidney M. Cooley and Attorney Edward B. Cooley, is a progressive law firm located in Springfield, MA. Cooley Shrair provides unequaled service to its clients. Our unparalleled response time to our clients’ needs is the foundation of our mission statement.

At Cooley Shrair, family and business have always had a way of blending together. We know the importance of balancing the boardroom and the courtroom with the living room from time to time. We listen carefully to understand our clients’ concerns and work vigorously with them to develop strategies for success. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

We pride ourselves in being the most responsive lawyers in the area, covering virtually every area of practice for individuals and multinational corporations across the United States and Canada. Cooley Shrair is recognized consistently for exceeding client expectations and providing competent, integrated, and cost-effective legal services.

Our attorneys are each distinguished in their respective areas of concentration and are complemented by a professional support staff. Cooley Shrair is a formidable opponent who fiercely advocates on behalf of our clients and we take pride in our commitment to provide unparalleled response and unparalleled solutions.

We’re a family, and to us, that’s very personal business.

Promotional consideration provided by Cooley Shrair.

Comments are closed.