On July 2, the Ohio Attorney General’s office (AG) released Opinion No. 2018-016, responding to the question of whether education costs for a child in custody of a public children services agency and placed in a private residential facility outside the state of Ohio is the responsibility of the board of education of the student’s home school district or of another public entity in Ohio.

In its opinion AG concluded: “When an abused, neglected, or dependent child has been committed to the temporary or permanent custody of a public children services agency and placed by the public children services agency in a private residential facility in another state, and the other state is a member of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, the costs of educating the child shall be paid by the school district determined by the court pursuant to R.C. 2151.362(A). The court shall determine which school district shall bear the cost of education by applying R.C. 3313.64(C)(1) or (C)(2).” In arriving at this decision, AG also overruled its 1965 Opinion No. 65-16.

Ohio adopted the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children in Sept. 2006 via Ohio Revised Code (RC) 5103.20. The Compact’s purpose is to provide continuity of care provided by a public children services agency when a child is placed in another state. Under the Compact, the sending state retains jurisdiction over custody matters relating to the child while in the state to which he or she is sent.

While the Compact does not determine an allocation or division of costs for educating the child, it does provide that such costs should be divided and assessed as they would have been if the child was placed in Ohio. As a result, RC would be applied as it would for a student placed within the state, with portions of RC 3323 governing for students receiving special education and RC 3313.64(C)(1) and (C)(2) governing for students not receiving special education.

You can read the AG’s opinion in its entirety online at: Opinion No. 2018-016.

Posted by Megan E. Greulich on 7/6/2018