Federal law requires that children who qualify for special education be provided access to the necessary placements and services. A school cannot escape their legal obligation to provide a free, appropriate public education to every child by simply saying they do not have special education services as long as the school receives some federal funding.
Most school districts are prepared for situations when a child’s special needs cannot be met by the school. For large school districts in highly populated cities, the provision of services and placement is usually not a problem. If your child’s school does not have the appropriate classroom placement or services, the correct setting likely exists in a nearby school, to which your child will be provided transportation. If you child has needs for special services that are not ordinarily provided by her school, the district may bring in a specialist to your child’s campus. In smaller areas, two or three school districts will often work together to share resources.
If your child’s school district refuses to provide necessary placement or services by claiming it does not have what your child needs, it is in violation of the law. Parents in this situation are best advised to consult with an advocate or lawyer.