The other day we received a phone call from a child study team member who was relieved when she found out about the Naples Act, since it would allow her to place a student for whom she felt Sage Day was the “perfect fit.” Sage Day has been in existence for 16 years and we have worked with more than 80 districts and hundreds of students during these years. Many child study team professionals are aware of Sage Day and make placements with us when appropriate. With new people joining child study teams every year, some do not know the options for placing students. So below are some common questions and answers regarding the Naples Act.
What exactly is the Naples Act?
The Naples Act, N.J.S.A. 18A: 46-14, allows special education students to be placed in an accredited, private school that is not specifically approved for the education of disabled students as long as the school meets certain regulatory requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A: 14-6.5. The term “Naples Act” is derived from the name of the legislator who was instrumental in the passage of this amendment to N.J.S.A. 6A:14-6.5 on August 9, 1989.
Why and when is it used?
A Naples placement may be utilized when the private accredited school is the most appropriate placement for the student. N.J.A.C. 6A:14-6.5 (b) (3).
What criteria must a private school meet to be a placement for a student?
a. The private school is accredited by an acceptable accrediting body N.J.S.A. 18A:46-14
b. A suitable special educational program cannot be provided to the student
N.J.A.C. 6A:14-6.5 (b) (2).
c. The most appropriate placement for this child is in this private school N.J.A.C.
6A: 14-6.5 (b) (3).
d. The program meets the requirement of the IEP, N.J.A.C. 6A:14-6.5 (b) (4)
e. All thorough and efficient education requirements must be met except as modified by the IEP according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14 14-3.7 (d) 5, 7 and N.J.A.C. 6A:14-6.5(a) (5).
f. All staff shall have the necessary license or certification for their position if one is required N.J.A.C. 6A:14-6.5 (a) (5) (i) (ii).
g. Services provided must be non-sectarian and non-discriminatory N.J.A.C. 6A:14
Is the reimbursement the same for approved schools and non-approved schools?
Yes. The reimbursement rate is exactly the same. The approval status of the private school has no bearing on either the federal or state cost factors effecting special education funding. State aid is received by the districts through the Comprehensive Education Improvement and Financing act N.J.S.A. 18A-7F et seq. and federal funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1413.
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