• Equitable Participation

    The revision to IDEA in 2004 and the subsequent 2006 IDEA regulations significantly changed the obligation of States and LEAs to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private elementary and secondary schools. Section 612 (a) (10) (A) of the Act and Sections 300.130–300.144 now require LEAs (IUs in Pennsylvania) in which the private schools are located, rather than the LEAs in which the parents of such children reside, to conduct child find and provide equitable services to parentally-placed private school children with disabilities.

    The Act provides, that, in calculating the proportionate amount of Federal funds under Part B of the Act that must be spent on parentally-placed private school children with disabilities, the LEAs (IUs) where the private schools are located, must conduct a thorough and complete child find process to determine the number of parentally-placed children with disabilities attending private elementary schools and secondary schools located in the LEAs (IUs). In addition, after timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of private elementary schools and secondary schools and representatives of parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities, there is an obligation of the LEA (IU) to spend a proportionate amount of funds to provide services to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private school. The amount of funds available for Equitable Participation is now based on the total number of children with disabilities who are enrolled in the private schools located in the LEA (IU) whether or not the children and their parents reside in the LEA (IU).

    Responsibilities of the WIU Equitable Participation Specialist

    Through an emphasis on consultation services, the EP Specialist will engage in collaborative problem solving processes, share specialized knowledge and skills with the Non Public School teachers, parents, administrators, and other professionals, and act as liaison between the Non Public Schools and the WIU.


    Consultative Services are provided to administrators and teachers in the Non Public Schools to assist in educating students with special needs.  The consultant works with teachers and staff to design appropriate accommodations for each student.  The accommodations and/or specific strategies can focus on academic, as well as, behavioral issues.


    The Equitable Participation Specialist will:

    • Provide training services as requested for Non Public staff, teachers, and administrators
    • Provide ongoing consultation, collaboration, and/or referral to teachers, parents, administrators, and allied professional personnel as required or applicable.
    • Assists teachers in the improvement of instruction through providing information and direction for adapting curriculum, provide current resources available on specific disabilities and provide recommendation for child’s success
    • Assist in the development or modification of curriculum and programmatic processes.
    • Facilitate the mainstreaming and inclusion concepts.
    • Assist in developing new programs and modifying existing programs.
    • Function as a representative of the IU in committees, conferences, and meetings related to the services for educationally disadvantaged Non Public students.
    • Promote “Best Practices” in the education of all children.
    • Work in partnership with Act 89 providers and staff to ensure the provision of highly effective support services. 


    For more information, please contact:


    Dr. Matthew Thomas

    Student Services Director

    724-836-2460 ext. 2304