Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
December 11, 2003


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NCLB News: Something Fairly Amazing Happened on December 9

Child Has Health Problems, School Reports Him Truant

Kicked Out! Accommodations & After-School Programs

Lesson: Section 504 of the Rehab Act

Section 504 Caselaw

Wrightslaw Comes to FL, MO, IL, IN, MI, NH, and AK

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education.

Highlights: NCLB news - something amazing happened on December 9; child has health problems, school says he is truant; Section 504, accommodations and after-school programs; learn about Section 504; Section 504 caselaw; Pete and Pam coming to FL, MO, IL, IN, MI, NH, and AK.

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help! Download newsletter


1. NCLB News: Something Fairly Amazing Happened on December 9

On December 9, the U.S. Department of Education published the final regulations about alternative assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

The regulations contain a new requirement that the school will tell parents the significance of any testing decision the IEP team makes that will affect the child’s ability to earn a regular diploma.

This is significant, but is not the part that stopped me in my tracks.

The noteworthy event on December 9, 2003, was not the regulations at all. It was the Federal Register notice that published these new regulations.

A word appeared in the Federal Register that I did not expect to see. The word in this section describes what is required by No Child Left Behind. It is one small word - the word best.

Read Something Fairly Amazing Happened on December 9 by Sue Heath.

Learn more about No Child Left Behind.

Learn about Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind by Peter Wright, Pamela Wright and Suzanne Heath.


2. Doing Your Homework: Child Has Health Problems, School Reports Him Truant

My child has asthma, and his school continually sends him home. Now they have reported him truant. Where do I look for help on this matter?

"If the school sends your child home because they think he is ill, they can't say he left school on his own and is truant. One situation rules out the other. You need to take steps to document that your child's absences were due to illness. You also need to prevent this from happening again. Here is
your plan . . ."

Read Child Has Health Problems, School Reports Him Truant by Sue Heath. This article includes links to model Section 504 and health plans.

Read more Doing Your Homework articles.


3. Kicked Out! Section 504, Accommodations & After-School Programs

My 8-year-old son was kicked out of an after-school program run by a nonprofit agency in his elementary school building. He has ADD and some behavioral problems and is on an IEP during his school day. Don't they have to try to include him?

Parent attorney Bob Crabtree answers questions and describes responsibilities of private programs to provide services to children with disabilities. He also suggests strategies parents may use to resolve problems with day care and after-school program providers in Section 504: Accommodations & After-School Programs.

Learn more about Section 504.


4. Lesson: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education.

Many parents and educators are confused about rights and benefits under Section 504 and the IDEA. Unlike IDEA, Section 504 does not require the school to provide an individualized educational program (IEP) that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and provides the child with educational benefit. The child may receive accommodations and modifications.


To be an effective advocate for a child with a disability, you need to know your rights and responsibilities under the IDEA and Section 504. The full text of the Section 504 statute and regulations are in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law. (pages 261-280). Learn about Section 504 protections in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (pages 175-184).

Wrightslaw Discussion of Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA describes the purposes of these laws and differences in legal rights in several important areas: eligibility, procedural safeguards, impartial hearings, access v. educational benefit, and discipline.

Learn about Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy.


5. Section 504 Caselaw

Yankton v. Schramm. In a case involving a high school student with cerebral palsy, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit discusses eligibility for special education and related services under IDEA, Section 504, and transition plans.

W.B. v. Matula, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Availability of damages under Section 504, IDEA, and Section 1983 when district refused to evaluate, classify and provide appropriate services to disabled child; exhaustion, qualified immunity, due process (1995).

Burriola v. Greater Toledo YMCA. Jordan Burriola, a young child with autism, was abruptly terminated from his day care center. In Jordan Burriola v. Greater Toledo YMCA,the Court issued an injunction against the YMCA. The YMCA was ordered to reinstate Jordan and train staff to work with him. (2001) Order in pdf

Polera v. Bd Ed. Newburgh City Sch. Dist, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In damages case under Section 504 and ADA, disabled child must first exhaust administrative remedies under IDEA (2002).

More caselaw


6. Wrightslaw Comes to FL, MO, IL, IN, MI, NH -- and AK


On November 7-8, Parents United Together invited us to Jackson, MS where we did a two-day Special Education Advocacy Boot Camp. Folks traveled from California, New Jersey, and Connecticut to participate - the program sold out!

On December 6, the Oklahoma Disabilities Law Center invited us to Oklahoma City for a full day advocacy training program. In addition to local folks, people traveled from Utah, Texas, Arkansas - the program sold out!

Our Winter 2004 schedule includes programs in:

January 30-31: Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Boot Camp)
February 17: Jefferson City, MO
February 20:
Skokie IL
February 24: Indianapolis, IN
February 28: Troy, MI
March 26-27: Manchester, NH (Boot Camp)

In April, we travel to Alaska where we will do two-day Boot Camps in Juneau (April 8-9) and Anchorage (April 13-14). Alaska folks - we hope to see you there!

For information about these and other programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.

We are scheduling programs for Fall 2004 and 2005. If you are interested in bringing Pete & Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars.


7. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Library Yellow Pages for Kids
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Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


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