Special Education in Nonpublic and Off-Campus Programs

The Individuals with Disabilities Act entitles a student with a disability to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. When a student has educational needs that cannot be met in a public school setting, that student can be educated in a private school or facility, referred to as a nonpublic school, or in an off-campus program, at public expense. A student’s admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee must determine that the school district or charter school cannot provide the student with the special education instruction and related services necessary to meet the student’s unique needs for that student to be educated in a nonpublic school or off-campus program. The ARD committee identifies a nonpublic school or off-campus program that will provide the student an appropriate educational program.

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TEA will ensure that students placed in or referred to nonpublic schools are provided with special education and related services that meet federal and state special education program requirements under 34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.146,19 Texas Administrative Code §89.61 (for nonpublic residential placements), and 19 TAC §89.1094 (for nonpublic day and off-campus placements). Placement in a nonpublic school or off-campus program is considered a more segregated educational environment than placement in a public school setting. Federal regulations and State Board of Education/Commissioner’s rules protect the rights of students in such placements.

The nonpublic school or off-campus program’s education program must be approved by the commissioner of education, if a nonpublic day or residential school will provide any of the special education and related services listed in the student’s individualized education program. Nonpublic schools and off-campus programs that provide special education are monitored by TEA to ensure compliance with federal and state standards. 

The nonpublic school review process is not required for a private school or facility that provides only related services or whose special education instructional program is provided by an accredited Texas school district or charter school. The school district is responsible for making sure appropriate educational services are provided to the student.

APEX Application in TEAL

For the 2022-2023 school year, the APEX application will open September 8, 2022. Beginning-of-year submissions are due October 8, 2022.

LEA and ESC users are able to request access in TEAL for APEX (Application Program for Nonpublic and Off-Campus Placements, and High Cost Fund Application.) All Nonpublic Day and Residential applications and High Cost Fund applications will be completed in APEX for the 2021-2022 school year.

Nonpublic/Off-Campus Quarterly Updates

Nonpublic/Off-Campus Quarterly Updates is a new resource designed to highlight guidance and best practices based on questions from the field and nonpublic monitoring findings. 

Program Guidance




Nonpublic/Off-Campus Facility Information

Application Resources

Nonpublic/Off-Campus Monitoring Resources

Nonpublic Restraint Reporting

Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, restraints for students in nonpublic day and nonresidential settings should be reported as part of the LEA’s summer PEIMS submission. The new E1725 NON-MEMBERSHIPDISCIPLINE-RESTRAINT-INDICATOR-CODE captures restraint data for students in nonpublic day and residential placements (as well as any other students accessing special education services who are enrolled, not in membership.) Students in off-campus programs with instructional setting codes 91-98 will also continue to be reported as part of the summer PEIMS submission.