Founded in 1973 by “a group of independent school educators who were concerned about the lack of common voice and by the difficulty parents faced in choosing appropriate quality programs for special needs children,” GAPSEC received its status as a non-profit corporation in 1981. At that time, the purpose was also “to provide a forum where member schools could share information relating to the educational needs of exceptional children in the state of Georgia.” The organization would meet two or three times a year. In addition, the group would share advertising costs including the nondiscriminatory notice that listed all member schools. At one point in its history, GAPSEC also served as an accrediting agency; however, the service was discontinued. Founders were David Schenck, The Schenck School; Harrison Kimbrell, Brandon Hall School; and James Meffin, Gables Academy. Through individual school memberships, GAPSEC is affiliated on the local, state, and national level with the Atlanta Association of Independent Schools (AAAIS), the Council of American Private Education (CAPE), the Georgia Private Education Council (GPEC), the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA), the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the National Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children (NAPSEC).