Additional Pages:
Children Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools
IDEA Regulations

The United States Department of Education states that the 2004 Amendments to the IDEA require that Local Education Agencies provide parentally placed private school children with disabilities an opportunity for equitable participation in programs assisted or carried out under the IDEA, the foundation of which is the consultation process (2008). Hamilton County Department of Education is responsible for assessing children who are homeschooled in Hamilton County or who are privately schooled in Hamilton County (regardless of the family's place of residence) and that are suspected of having an educational disability. This responsibility begins at age 3 and goes through age 22.

Assessment and eligibility requirements are set forth by the Tennessee Department of Education. If the student is determined to have an educational disability, programming options are reviewed during the Eligibility meeting with regard to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If a family declines access to FAPE, Hamilton County Schools does provide services to some private and home-schooled students. These available services can vary from year to year. During the 2013-2014 school year, those services are slated to include speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and autism consultation.

NOTE: Parents of preschool students who are suspected of having an educational disability should contact the PALS Center at 209-5418 to make the referral.

Inquiries should be directed to:

Wendy W. Davis
Hamilton County Department of Education
The Teacher's Place
1161 West 40th Street, Suite 300
Chattanooga, TN 37409