The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
November 6, 2002

Issue - 185

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

From the Editor

Is Your State "Lowering the Bar"?

Is it Legal to Send Special Ed Kids Home Early?

Child with 504 Plan Failing, School Won't Evaluate

Accommodations & After School Programs


Caselaw: Section 504, Discrimination, Damages

Free Pub: Transition for College Students with Disabilities

Help for College Students with Disabilities

Subscription & Contact Info

Your Email:

Your Name & Zipcode:

At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Highlights: Some states lowering the bar of expectations; sending special ed kids home early; child with 504 plan is failing, school won't evaluate; Section 504 accommodations & after school programs; EducationNews; caselaw about Section 504, discrimination, damages; free pub about transition for college students; help for college students with disabilities.

Download online version of newsletter: https://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/nwltr/2002/nl.1106.htm

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1. From the Editor

Many parents and educators have questions about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and 504 Plans. In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we answer questions about protections under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section 504 protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination and emphasizes access to education including "reasonable accommodations."

Schools often use 504 Plans as "consolation prizes" for students who are not found eligible for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (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 from which the child receives educational benefit. Section 504 differs from IDEA in other important ways. Learn more

2. Is Your State Lowering the Bar?

In the last issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we offered these quotes:

"Some states have lowered the bar of expectations to hide the low performance of their schools . . . others are discussing how they can ratchet down their standards to remove schools from their list of low performers."

"Those who play semantic games or try to tinker with state numbers to lock out parents and the public stand in the way of progress and reform. They are the enemies of equal justice and equal opportunity. They are apologists for failure. And they will not succeed."

Who made these statements? Dr. Rod Paige, Secretary of the U. S. Department of Education! To learn why Dr. Paige made these statements and to whom, read Lowering the Bar of Expectations at:


3. Is It Legal to Send Special Ed Kids Home Early?

"In my district, special ed kids are sent home from school early - from 30 minutes to an hour earlier than regular Ed students This doesn't seem right. When I asked about it, I was told that 'All special Ed students are released early' and 'That's the rule.'"

"Is this legal?"

No. Surprisingly, we receive many questions from parents and teachers about school districts that have one set of rules for "special Ed kids" and a different set of rules for everyone else. Read "Is It Legal to Send Special Ed Kids Home Early?":


4. Child with 504 Plan is Failing, School Won't Evaluate

"My daughter is in 8th grade. She has early onset bipolar disorder. She has a 504 plan. On recent progress reports, she received two C's and two F's. Her doctors say she should qualify for an IEP under the Other Health Impairment" category."

When I asked the school for help, the principal said she had to receive a failing grade on her report card before the school can test her. Until she fails, the principal cannot request testing."

"The school says she must have a discrepancy between ability and achievement but they will not evaluate her to determine if she has a discrepancy between ability and achievement."

"Can you help me sort this out?"

Yes. Read Section 504 Child is Failing, School Won't Evaluate


5. Section 504: Accommodations & After School Programs by Robert Crabtree, Esq.

"My 8-year-old son has been kicked out of an after-school program run by a nonprofit agency in his elementary school building. He has ADD and behavioral problems and is on an IEP during his school day. The director of the program said, "He has an oddness and intensity about him that frightens the other children." Don't they have to try to include him?"

What do you think? Are after-school programs required to accommodate children with disabilities?

Parent attorney Bob Crabtree answers this question and discusses the responsibilities of private programs in providing services to children with disabilities in Section 504: Accommodations & After School Programs at:


6. EducationNews.org - Subscribe Today!

Are you interested in education and special education? Subscribe to EducationNews at http://www.educationnews.org/

Every morning, you will receive an issue of EducationNews with links to news around the world. Nationally recognized experts provide commentaries on various aspects of education. EducationNews.org staff writers cover the latest education issues and bring you a thorough, complete analysis of events, policies, and situations that affect education.

EducationNews.org is a remarkable resource!

Daily News: http://www.educationnews.org/daily_educationnews.htm

Subscribe: mailto:educationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

7. Legal Corner: Section 504, Discrimination, Damages

IDEA & Section 504: 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. Download Yankton v. Schramm:


Section 504, ADA, Discrimination & Damages

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. In cases brought on behalf of children with disabilities, several courts of appeals have ruled that parents must first exhaust their administrative remedies under the IDEA before they can bring a damages case under Section 504 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Learn more about Section 504, ADA and Discrimination at:


Learn more about damages at:


Special Ed Caselaw Library: https://www.wrightslaw.com/caselaw.htm

8. Free Pub: Section 504 & Transition to College

This publication from the U. S. Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights is written for students who plan to continue their education after high school. This five-page booklet includes answers to questions about admissions, accommodations & academic adjustments, documentation, evaluations, and discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Download Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities from:


Download dozens of free publications about IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance and discipline from the Wrightslaw Free Pubs Library:


9. Help for College Students with Disabilities Flyer

College-bound students need to learn self-advocacy skills - how to present information about their disability and accommodations so professors want to help. If students master these skills, they are more likely to make a successful transition from high school to college.

Help a student - download the Help for College Students with Disabilities Flyer


10. Subscription & Contact Info

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

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Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
ISSN: 1538-3202
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