Nonpublic Schools

Dual Enrollment Programs

Under Section 3602-c of Education Law, pupils in nonpublic schools may also enroll in public school programs in three categories: occupational, gifted, and handicapped education. Dual enrollment is not permitted in any other areas. No other forms of dual enrollment are available, such as participation on teams or school bands.

Dual enrollment does not in any way jeopardize the pupil’s enrollment in the nonpublic school nor does it involve the pupil’s registration in a public school. Through a request for participation in a dual enrollment program, a pupil is considered enrolled in the public school, but no formal registration in the public school is required. The law provides that nonpublic school pupils may not be segregated from public school pupils in any dual enrollment programs.

Dual enrollment provisions apply to programs operated during the course of the school year and not to summer programs. Nonpublic school pupils are eligible to participate in public school summer programs in the school districts in which they live on the same basis as any other resident pupils.

As the three dual enrollment programs cited above are quite different in the way they operate, each one is described individually in the following three segments:

  1. Occupational Education;
  2. Gifted Education; and
  3. Education for Students with Disabilities.

A. Occupational Education

Occupational Education means all programs of instruction in agriculture; business, including marketing; home economics; health occupations; technical education; technology education; industrial arts; and trade education. Programs to prepare pupils for employment in occupations which are generally considered professional or which require a baccalaureate or higher degree are excluded.

In order to arrange for participation in an occupational education program, the parent of a nonpublic school pupil must file a written request with the board of education of the district in which the pupil resides by June 1. The administrator of a nonpublic school may receive and forward the requests for the parents to the board of education. Requests should be filed as early as possible so that they can be considered by the board as plans are made and budgets written. Most school districts have this process under way by winter of the year preceding the year for which the request is made, though the legal deadline is June 1. Participation in an occupational education program does not involve the payment of tuition by parents or pupils.

A board of education may provide occupational education programs in local public schools or through contract with another school district or with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Pupils in nonpublic schools are entitled to participate in occupational education programs on the same basis as pupils in public schools.

The board of education must provide transportation between a nonpublic school and the site where the program is offered if the distance is more than one-fourth of a mile. The board may claim State aid for this transportation.

The following Question and Answer section addresses some of the details of how this program operates.

Questions and Answers

  1. What does "dual enrollment" mean?
    Dual enrollment means that pupils enrolled in nonpublic schools may also be considered as enrolled in the public school in occupational education programs, gifted education programs, and programs for students with disabilities.
  2. What does "occupational education" mean?
    It means training or retraining designed to prepare individuals for gainful employment as semiskilled workers or technicians or paraprofessionals in recognized occupations and in new or emerging occupations or to prepare pupils for enrollment in advanced technical education programs.
  3. Does the term "occupational education" as used in this law exclude any programs?
    Any program is excluded which is designed to prepare pupils for employment in occupations which are generally considered professional or which require a baccalaureate or higher degree.
  4. May a board of education provide occupational education programs outside its local public schools?
    Some boards of education provide the program within local public schools. However, a board of education may contract with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services or with other districts to provide these programs.
  5. Who determines the occupational education courses to be offered and student eligibility for such courses?
    Boards of education are authorized to determine which courses of instruction are offered and the standards of eligibility of pupils to participate in specific courses. If one occupational education course is a prerequisite for another, access to the prerequisite must be made available to nonpublic school pupils.
  6. How does one request participation in occupational education programs?
    The parent of a pupil attending a nonpublic school must file a written request with the board of education of the district of residence.
  7. Must each parent file a request for services with the district of residence?
    Yes. Parents must file their requests for services with the district of residence. These requests may be routed through the nonpublic school in which the pupils are enrolled and then submitted collectively in accordance with proper timelines.
  8. When should a request be filed?
    Under the law, the deadline is June 1 preceding the school year for which the request is made. However, requests should be made as early as possible, as budgets and class rosters are usually planned during the preceding winter and spring.
  9. What can one do if a board of education refuses to provide these services?
    In such a case, one can appeal to the Commissioner of Education for a review of the case, as provided in Section 310 of Education Law. (See questions 13, 14, and 15, page 21.)
  10. May a nonpublic school pupil seek admission to an occupational education program such as business or agriculture in a comprehensive public high school?
    Yes. This may be done if there is an approved occupational program as part of a comprehensive high school program.
  11. If an occupational education course, such as Introduction to Careers, is a prerequisite for another course or sequence, is the nonpublic school pupil entitled to dual enrollment in the prerequisite course?
    Yes. The nonpublic school pupil is eligible for enrollment in a prerequisite course in occupational education.
  12. Does the fact that a nonpublic school which a pupil attends offers an identical program, such as business or home economics, have any effect on the pupil’s eligibility for admission to such a program at the comprehensive public high school?
    No.
  13. If a pupil attends a nonpublic school located outside the pupil’s district of residence, in which district may the pupil enroll in an occupational education program?
    The pupil is entitled to enroll in an occupational education program only in the district in which the nonpublic school is located, not in the district of residence. However, parents must file requests for participation in the program with the board of education of the district of residence.
  14. Are pupils who are not residents of New York State eligible to participate in these programs?
    No. Dual enrollment programs are available only to New York State residents.
  15. May quotas be established on the number of pupils a school district sends to a BOCES or serves in its own system in occupational education programs?
    No. Quotas based on unfavorable financial conditions, austerity budgets, or other problems are not acceptable and cannot be used to deny pupils access to occupational education programs.
  16. May nonpublic school pupils enrolled in occupational education programs be segregated from the public school pupils?
    No. Nonpublic school pupils must not be separated from pupils regularly attending the public schools.
  17. Who is responsible for transporting nonpublic school pupils to occupational education programs?
    The board of education of the district providing the service provides transportation for pupils in occupational education programs between the nonpublic school and the public school site if the distance between the nonpublic school and the public school exceeds ¼ of a mile. The district may claim State aid for this transportation.
  18. Is the district obligated to provide transportation between public and nonpublic schools beyond a quarter of a mile regardless of the distance between those schools?
    Yes. Transportation must be provided.
  19. If a nonpublic school pupil is injured while walking between the nonpublic school and the public school, is the public school liable?
    Boards of education, teachers, and other employees of public schools are not liable for injuries caused by others while the pupils are walking between public and nonpublic schools.
  20. How are tuition costs for these programs met?
    Boards of education providing programs to nonresident pupils are entitled to recover tuition from the district of residence of such pupils in accordance with a formula promulgated by the Commissioner of Education. The State Aid received will be deducted from the tuition received.
  21. Is this State aid paid to the district of residence or the district providing the programs?
    The State aid is paid to the district providing the programs.

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B. Gifted Education

Dual enrollment for nonpublic school pupils is also possible in the area of gifted education. Gifted education programs or services are those beyond the regular school program designed to realize the full potential of pupils who show evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude, and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts. Public school districts are not required to offer gifted programs, but public schools are required to have gifted programs if they take the formula money allocated to all public schools by the Legislature. However, the source of funding notwithstanding, all districts offering gifted programs/services must make participation available to nonpublic school pupils who meet district entrance requirements. All programs and services provided to nonpublic school pupils take place at the public school site or at a BOCES.

A parent should apply for dual enrollment services to the district of residence. The district may then provide these services or it can contract with a Board of Cooperative Educational Services or arrange with the school district in which the nonpublic school is located to provide a gifted program. Requests for participation must be filed with the board of education of the district of residence on or before June 1 preceding the school year for which the request is made. The pupil must meet eligibility standards set by the agency providing the gifted program.

Each board of education providing gifted education should determine by resolution which courses of instruction will comprise its gifted programs and the eligibility requirements for admission to the program. Nonpublic school pupils must meet the eligibility requirements the district has established for participation of public school pupils.

The board of education must provide transportation between a nonpublic school and the site where the gifted education program is offered if the distance is more than one-fourth of a mile. The district may claim State aid for this transportation.

Questions and Answers

  1. What is the legal definition of a gifted pupil?
    Gifted pupils are those who show evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude, and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts. This definition includes those pupils who require educational programs or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their full potential.
  2. May a board of education provide gifted education programs outside its local public schools?
    Usually the board of education provides the program within its public schools. However, it may contract with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services or with other districts to provide these programs. The board may not provide this program at the nonpublic school site.
  3. How is eligibility determined in gifted education programs?
    Boards of education are authorized to determine by a resolution which courses of instruction comprise the district’s gifted programs and the eligibility requirements for admission to the program.
  4. How does one request participation in gifted education programs?
    The parent of a pupil attending a nonpublic school must file a written request with the board of education of the district of residence.
  5. Must each parent file a request for services with the district of residence?
    Yes. Each parent must file a request for services with the district of residence. These requests may be routed through the nonpublic school in which the pupils are enrolled and then submitted collectively in accordance with proper timelines.
  6. If a pupil attends a nonpublic school located outside of the pupil’s district of residence, in which district may the pupil enroll in a gifted education program?
    The pupil may enroll in a gifted education program only in the district in which the nonpublic school is located, not the district of residence. However, the parent must file a request for participation in the program with the board of education of the district of residence.
  7. When should a request be filed?
    Under the law, the deadline is June 1 preceding the school year for which the request is made. However, it is recommended that the request be made as early as possible so that participation of the nonpublic school pupil can be planned by the local school district.
  8. Is a district required to have a gifted education program?
    No. The law does not require a district to have a program. However, if the district does have a program, it must make participation in that program available to nonpublic school pupils.
  9. What recourse does a parent have if a board of education refuses to provide for the participation of a nonpublic school pupil in a gifted education program?
    In such a case the parent can appeal to the Commissioner of Education for a review of the case as provided in Section 310 of Education Law. (See questions 13, 14, and 15, page 21.)
  10. Who is responsible for providing transportation for nonpublic school pupils to and from the site where the gifted program is offered?
    The board of education of the district providing the service also provides transportation for pupils in gifted education programs between the nonpublic school and the public school site if the distance between the nonpublic school and the public school exceeds ¼ of a mile. The school district may claim State aid for this transportation.
  11. If a nonpublic school pupil is injured while walking between the nonpublic school and the public school, is the public school liable?
    Boards of education, teachers and other employees of public schools are not liable for injuries to pupils caused by others while the pupils are walking between public and nonpublic schools.
  12. May nonpublic school pupils enrolled in these programs be segregated from public school pupils?
    No. Nonpublic school pupils must not be separated from public school pupils who are enrolled in these gifted programs.
  13. How are tuition costs met?
    The district of residence is responsible for the cost of tuition. Boards of education providing programs to nonresident pupils are entitled to recover tuition from the district of residence of such pupils in accordance with a formula promulgated by the Commissioner of Education. The State aid received will be deducted from the tuition received.
  14. If the gifted program in the public school is a full-time program, can a nonpublic school pupil participate in the program?
    No. If the public school gifted program is a full-time program conducted every day, a nonpublic school pupil cannot participate in that program and remain enrolled in the nonpublic school. In such a circumstance, the dual enrollment provision does not apply.

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C. Education for Students with Disabilities

Section 3602-c of the Education provides for dual enrollment for nonpublic school students with disabilities. Provisions for the education of students with disabilities are also included in Public Law 94-142 and Section 4402 of the Education Law. Section VII of this Handbook describes the way students with disabilities may access appropriate programs and services.

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Last Updated: December 13, 2012