On March 26, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) issued an emergency amendment to Part 226 of the Illinois Administrative Code, creating Section 226.335, Nonpublic Special Education Placement of Public School Students EMERGENCY. The emergency amendment is effective immediately and applies retroactively from the date of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, March 17, 2020.
Specifically, the amendment states “[d]uring the mandated suspension of in-person instruction pursuant to the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation 2020-038 and Executive Orders 2020-05 and 2020-06, and for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, all approved special education private facilities may continue to invoice school districts and school districts shall continue to pay the per diem approved by the Illinois Purchased Care Review Board under Section 14-7.02 of the School Code. The State Board of Education will reimburse school districts for all approved special education private facility expenditures.”
Based on this emergency amendment, ISBE-approved private special education facilities will most likely continue to bill districts for student tuition during the state-mandated school closure days. School districts must pay these invoices from the private facilities at the per diem rate and will receive ISBE reimbursement for these expenditures. For districts with students placed at any ISBE-approved private placements, we recommend communicating with the private placements as soon as possible to discuss the private facilities’ provision of instruction and related services during the mandated school closure to students placed at their facilities. As provided in both OSEP’s and ISBE’s most recent guidance documents, school districts are required to provide services to students eligible for special education during the school closure, including students placed in separate, out-of-district facilities, if school districts provide continuous learning opportunities to their general education population.
Please contact any of our student/special education practice group attorneys with your questions regarding reimbursement from ISBE for special education private facility expenditures during the mandated statewide school closure.