Large urban school districts offer a broad range of special education placements, including alternative settings and specially designed instruction. As an educator for 35 years, I've observed many high quality programs in public schools. Student achieivement data supports this claim. The teachers are generally well trained and hold one or more specialized credentials and certificates. For the past five years I've served as a special education liaison between private schools and public schools. While many private schools settings offer a qualify educational program, many more do not. Class sizes may be lower and student/staffing ratio higher, but the quality of instruction and critical teaching skills are significantly lower. Private school placements are a significant percentage of school districts' special education budget as well as encroachments on general education funds. Tuitiions ranging from $20,000 to over $100 thousand per year is a significant burden on school budgets and will, eventually, result in the demise of special education programs and services as we know them today. More importantly, parents who are considered better educated, professionally employed and fall within a high socially economic status pay for advocates and attorneys who know how to work the system. Many more parents with children who have significantly greater needs fall between the cracks. We often ignore the "appropriate" when we talk about a Free Appropriate Public Education. Private school placements funded by public schools are more frequently provided for parents who are well educated upper class.