BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has found that public school districts across Massachusetts have violated federal law by denying services to students with disabilities who attend private and religious schools.

The Boston Globe reports that local districts and the state could wind up owing private schools millions of dollars.

The federal ruling said the amount owed to private schools could be as much as $120 million. State education officials disagreed with that estimate.

Under federal law, public districts must spend federal special education aid on children with disabilities attending all schools in their communities, including private and religious ones.

Massachusetts education officials said they already have taken steps to remedy the problems, including updating their guidelines in 2017 for how school districts should comply with the federal requirements.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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