Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Cheryl C. Magill

Second Advisor

Jonathan Becker

Third Advisor

Barbara Driver

Fourth Advisor

Katherine Matthews


This study, The Privatization of Special Education, addresses a shift in the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students with disabilities are being publicly placed in private day and residential schools at public expense. In Virginia, 125 private schools are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education to serve students with Disabilities. The purpose of this study was to develop a profile of programs, services, and interventions offered in private education schools. This nonexperimental design study focused on a secondary data source: the Virginia Department of Education, Private Schools for Students With Disabilities 2010 Annual Survey. Completed surveys were returned by all 125 schools. Results indicated that the majority of private schools licensed to serve students with disabilities are day schools. Students with an Emotional Disability, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, and Autism are the most frequently reported disability classifications. Schools tend to be run by corporations and report being accredited by the Virginia Association of Special Education Facilities. Schools offer varying curricula, programs, and services in a variety of settings. This comprehensive profile adds to the body of knowledge or private schools serving students with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011

Included in

Education Commons