Non-Public School for Difficult Child with- Emotional Disability


Has anyone heard of a school district calling SDCs that are located in the public schools, an NPS?

My son is going to return home soon, after having been at a residential treatment center for a year and a half. The school district used to send kids with- severe emotional disability to Non-Public Schools, which are private schools who serve that specific type of population. They have a huge mental health support component with group therapy, indiv therapy, and lots of support staff. Well, now it seems that the school district is "renaming" their SDCs and calling them "NPS"s!

Is this legal? I am sure it is a cost issue, but my son has the right to an NPS through his IEP.

A real NPS, not just an SDC that they are calling an NPS!!

My son hasn't been in an SDC since 2nd grade, and is now going to be in 7th.

I am located in California.
Thank you.


Staff member
I don't have personal experience that I can share with you, but... I can offer you a few links about schools in California.

Overview of Special Education in California:

Special Education: Nonpublic School and Nonpublic Agency Study:

CAPSES Advocates for Quality Specialized Education and Services in California:

Hope you can find something useful there.


Well-Known Member
My son was in NPS from 2 different school districts in California. I do not even know what is an SDC.

This is what I do know: Even if what your child needs is located in another County, they have to pay. And they pay for transportation, too.

The first NPS for my son was out of county. The school district paid for a taxi to transport him both ways, a 40 minute ride each way. My son loved it!

Tell the district: Fine, if no NPS is available let me evaluate options out of county, and provide transport.

My son is now almost 27. I will never, ever forget the way school districts tried to bully me. I sat on IEP's as a professional. They attempted to bully everybody that would let them.


Well-Known Member
My son got to go to the school I chose (he is on the autism spectrum) as our home school in district had nothing for anyone with special needs, but it took bringing an advocate in and threatening to go to court (which would have been bad publicity for them and probably a win for us) for them to agree to it. They did quickly, as soon as the advocate brought up court as she had won many times in court.

They had to pay for transportation and the fee of the other school. But it was not easy. It was hard and quite nervewrecking, even though the other school (home school in district) did not have supports that would have helped him. In the end, it was a great decision and it was worth fighting for as I often credit my son's school big time in helping him live a good life as an adult.