On February 14, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued a memorandum to hearing officers and directors of special education across the state regarding reimbursement for non-state approved special education placements. ISBE will no longer provide reimbursement to school districts for non-approved special education placements, effective February 14, 2020. ISBE also clarified it will no longer provide reimbursement for non-approved placements in situations where the placement is ordered by a state-appointed hearing officer in a due process dispute.
Previously, while ISBE would not typically reimburse school districts for non-approved special education placements, ISBE would provide reimbursement when such placements were ordered by an ISBE hearing officer. ISBE will continue to provide prospective reimbursement for placements ordered by hearing officers prior to February 1, 2020.
ISBE’s memorandum significantly impacts how school districts manage unilateral placements by parents in non-approved placements and decisions related to due process and litigation. Please contact an attorney in our Students and Special Education practice group with any questions related to the ISBE memorandum and managing unilateral placements in non-ISBE-approved facilities.