Jeremy Lambe

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kiracofe, Christine R., 1975-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Special education; Students with disabilities--Education--Research; Children with social disabilities--Education--Research; Special education--Research; Public schools


With the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) in 1975, parents were provided the right to a hearing if they did not agree with the special educational services being provided to their child. However, it was not until the IDEA 1997 amendments that tuition reimbursement was specifically offered when a school district failed to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to a child with a disability. In current times, when parents disagree about the services provided to their child, they often do not wait for the due process procedure to resolve the issue. Instead, they withdraw their child from the public school and place them in a specialized private school. After unilaterally placing their child in the private school, parents are then able to seek tuition reimbursement and compensatory educational services from the public school system.;As school districts attempt to provide special education students with a free and appropriate public education, they are forced to accomplish this within budgetary realities. Considering that individual cases of tuition reimbursement have cost districts over one million dollars, it is essential that school administrators are familiar with each aspect of unilateral private placements. In order to provide school administrators with a relevant legal history of unilateral private placements, a legal research methodology was employed for this study. The resulting review and analysis will provide public school educators with information on current trends, as well as potential new provisions during the next reauthorization of IDEA.


Advisors: Christine Kiracofe.||Committee members: John Crawford; Kelly Summers.


234 pages




Northern Illinois University

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