Item Coversheet

Action Item - 37.

Title: Contracts with Various Pennsylvania Approved Private Schools and Private Schools - Out of District Special Education Placements ($28,000,000)

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration

 The Administration recommends that the Board of Education authorize The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute and perform a contract, subject to funding, as follows: 


A Step Up Academy, ABA Today, Academy in Manayunk, Academy of Natural Sciences, ATG Learning Academy, Bancroft, Bancroft Neurohealth, Benchmarks, Brookfield Academy, Bucks County Technical High School, Bucks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU), Intermediate Unit No. 22, Buttonwood Farms T/A Delta School, Buxmont Academy, CIS Community Integrated Services, CLC School, Camelot Schools of Pennsylvania, Camp Pegasus, Camphill Special School, Capstone Academy, Capstone Schools LLC, Carousel Farms Education Center, Catholic Archdiocese Private and Parochial Schools and Affiliates of Philadelphia, Center for Education (CFE), Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery County public schools and Intermediate Units, Center School, Center School for Education, Centre School, CSF/Buxmont Academy, Child and Career Development Center, Child Guidance resource Center, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), Children and Adult Disability and Educational Services (George Crothers School), Clarke School, Community Council, Community Council Education Services, Inc., Comprehensive Learning Center, Crefeld School, Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU), Intermediate Unit No. 25, Delaware County Technical School, Drexel University, Devereux Foundation, Elwyn, Elwyn of Pennsylvania and Delaware, Elwyn Davidson School, Elwyn a Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation, Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania, St. Edmund School, St. Edmond’s Home for Crippled Children, Fairwold Academy, Fusion Academy, The Franklin Institute, Green Tree School, Hill Top Prep, Holy Family Learning/Ambler Day School/St. Mary's Villa, Home of the Merciful Saviour for Crippled Children/HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, St Joseph’s University/Kinney Center for Autism, Education and Support, Kids Peace, St. Katharine Drexel School, Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf, Life Works Village Park, Life Works Alternative School/UHS of Doylestown, L.L.C./Foundations Behavioral Health, Middletown Adventure Learning, Main Line Academy, Gemma Services formerly Silver Springs/Martin Luther School, Melmark School, Milestone Academy, Mill Creek School/The Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Merakey formerly Northwestern Human Services (NHS), Merakey Autism School, Merakey Philadelphia, Merakey Woodhaven, Merakey Warrington, Merakey St. Anne School, Merakey Marple Newtown High School, Marple Newtown School District, New Hope Academy/Motivational Educational Training Company Inc., The Nexus School, Orchard Friends, Overbrook School for the Blind, Pathway School (OSB), PHMC, Public Health Management Corporation, PMHCC, Philadelphia Mental Health Care Corporation, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD), Potential Inc./Springtime School, Pressley Ridge School, Quaker School at Horsham, Royer-Greaves School for Blind, Roxborough YMCA, Scranton State School for the Deaf, Souderton Vantage Academy, Specialized Education of Pennsylvania, Inc., Stratford Friends School, Talk Institute, Therapeutic Center at Fox Chase, Timothy School, Valley Day School, Valley Forge Educational Services, The Vanguard School, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Variety Club, Woodlynde School, Woods Services, Wyncote Academy, Y.A.L.E. School, Y.A.L.E. School Philadelphia, Y.A.L.E. School Southeast, Y.A.L.E. School Southeast II, Y.A.L.E. School Southeast III, Y.A.L.E. School West, The Young Men’s Christian Association and National Associates, Youth Services Alternatives, and other qualifying alternative schools, placements, programs, organizations, institutions, summer camps, professional services providers, related services providers, licensees, organizations, and agencies reviewed and approved by the Deputy of the District’s Office of Specialized Services for students to receive and participate in Extended School Year services


The provision of full-time Educational Programs for students with disabilities approved by the District to attend out of District placements, which include Approved Private Schools (APS), private schools, and Alternative Special Education Settings (ASES).

 Start date: 7/1/2020

 End date: 6/30/2021
 Compensation not to exceed: $28,000,000 
 Separate Compensation by Vendor:
All entities will be paid out of the aggregate amount not to exceed $28,000,000.
All Approved Private Schools (APS), private schools and ASES approved by the District for Out of District Placements of students with disabilities

 Renewal Options:  No


This action item requests authorization to contract with Approved Private Schools (APS) and other qualified private schools for the provision of full-time student special education programs, and to cover the costs of tuition, related services, and one to one aide services for students with disabilities who require Out of District educational placements.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that local school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all children with disabilities regardless of the severity of their handicapping condition, as outlined in their Individual Education Programs (IEPs). Annually, the District refers a number of students with severe disabilities to APS and other qualified private schools when the District does not have adequate existing educational programs within its own schools to support their needs and satisfy FAPE requirements. These non-District APS and private schools are referred to as Out of District Placements. The decision to place a student in an Out of District placement is usually made by the student’s school-based IEP team.


APSs are specifically approved by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to provide full-time special education programs for students with severe disabilities when their home school district schools cannot provide them with appropriate educational services. APSs are licensed, financially subsidized by the 4010 program, and monitored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Through the 4010 subsidy, PDE subsidizes 60% of the tuition cost of many District and non-district students attending APSs. The 4010 subsidy covers tuition only and does not cover one to one aide services. For District students in 4010 seats, the remaining 40% of tuition cost that the District is responsible for, is taken directly out of the District’s annual State PDE subsidy rather than paid for through contracts with individual schools. Many District students attending APSs are not in subsidized 4010 seats and the District must pay 100% of their tuition cost through contract.  The District refers students only to APSs and private schools that can meet their individual educational needs and fully implement their IEPs. OSS assigns a special education case manager to each APS and private school that the District refers students. The case managers evaluate the quality of educational programs at each school, and monitor the educational services provided to each District student to ensure IEP compliance. Annually, OSS teams perform on-site quality and compliance audits of selected schools. OSS only selects schools for Out of District placements that demonstrate ability to meet IDEA FAPE requirements and District standards.


The District pays through contract:

1. full cost of tuition and related services for students placed in APSs who do not receive the 4010 subsidy.  Related services may include speech, hearing, language, vision, mobility, physical, and occupational therapy;

2. full cost of tuition and related services for students placed in non-APS regular private schools with programs for students with special needs; and

3. Cost of one to one aide services for all students


For the 2021 school year, OSS projects approximately 390 students with disabilities in Out of District placements will require contracts with APS and private schools for the provision of educational services and to pay for tuition and related services. Approximately 266 students in Out of District Placements will require contracts for the provision and payment of one to one aide services. The projected cost for fiscal year 2021 contracts with APS and private schools is $28,000,000.

 Anchor Goal(s) Supported: Anchor Goal 1 - 100% of students will graduate ready for college or career, Anchor Goal 2 - 100% of 8-year olds will read on or above grade level   

 Related resolution(s)/approval(s): 
 Funding Source(s): 
FY 20-21 Operating

 Office Originating Request: Academic Support