Updated: Mar 16
In California, a Non-Public Agency (NPA) is a private organization that provides special education and related services to students with disabilities on behalf of a school district or other local education agency.
NPAs are licensed by the California Department of Education and must meet certain requirements to provide special education services to students with disabilities. They are typically contracted by school districts to provide services such as assessments, individualized education plan (IEP) development, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, and other related services.
NPAs play an essential role in educating students with disabilities in California by providing specialized services and expertise that may not be available within the school district. They are subject to regular monitoring and oversight by the California Department of Education to ensure they meet the standards for providing high-quality special education services to students.
Why do NPAs exist?
There are several reasons why school districts may choose to contract with NPAs rather than provide services in-house.
For example, some students may require specialized services that are not available within the district, or the district may not have the resources or expertise to provide certain types of services.
Additionally, contracting with an NPA can provide a cost-effective solution for providing specialized services to students with disabilities while also ensuring that the services meet the highest standards of quality and effectiveness.
How can I have an NPA work with my student with special needs?
If you are interested in having an NPA work with your student with special needs, you can start by contacting your student's school district or local education agency. The school district or agency may have a list of approved NPAs they work with and can provide information on how to contract with them.
Any member of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, including the parent/guardian, may make a recommendation that the IEP team consider the utilization of an NPA to support a student in making progress toward his or her IEP goals and providing the highest quality related services as stipulated by the IEP.
You can also research NPAs in your area and reach out to them directly to inquire about their services and how to contract with them. The California Department of Education maintains a directory of licensed NPAs on its website that you can use as a resource.
When contacting an NPA, it is important to provide them with information about your student's needs and any relevant medical or educational history. The NPA may conduct an assessment of your student's needs to develop goals for the individualized education plan (IEP) and determine the services that will best meet your student's needs.
Who pays for the NPA services?
If a student requires special education services that cannot be provided by the school district or local education agency, the district may contract with an NPA to provide those services. In this case, the cost of the services is typically covered by the school district or local education agency (LEA)
Often, school districts or the LEA are also partially reimbursed by the state and federal government. This joint responsibility is part of the federal mandate to ensure school districts nationwide are following the guidelines set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?
IDEA is a piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with a Free Appropriate Public Education that is tailored to their individual needs. IDEA was previously known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act from 1975 to 1990.
Want to learn more?
EF Specialists is a certified Non-Public Agency in California and provides comprehensive services to support students with executive functioning challenges. If you are a parent or educator of a student who struggles with organization, time management, or attention-related difficulties, EF Specialists may be able to help.
Visiting our NPA homepage to learn more about how our services can support your student's needs. Our team of highly trained professionals can work with your student to develop personalized strategies and interventions to improve executive functioning skills, which can ultimately lead to greater success in school and in life. Don't hesitate to reach out and explore how EF Specialists can help your student achieve their full potential.
Other helpful resources
Guidance on how to arrange for an independent study program while remaining enrolled in your school district
This article contains a template you can send to the school to initiate the discussion around reimbursement.
This can be shared with the IEP team to initiate the discussion around services.