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Kara:  My son’s school does not send home textbooks. Do I have the right as a parent to request one to be sent home? Would I have to have a 504 plan?

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09/25/2016 8:44 pm

I’m not sure exactly what you mean.

1. Perhaps you mean you are having trouble getting an extra set of textbooks to keep at home for your child with a disability. In this case, first try to work this out informally, class by class, if necessary xeroxing some pages for the short term.

2. Perhaps you mean the teacher is using a textbook but wants to keep them in the classroom rather than sending them home for doing homework and reviewing. In this case, same suggestion as above, but you could try saying, “My child’s private tutor would like to examine the textbook so as to align the tutoring with the approach used in the textbook.” (Who’s to know you are the private tutor?)

3. Perhaps you mean the teacher is teaching without a textbook. This is becoming more common, especially in the lower grades. There are state materials online, there are xerox copies of who knows what, and there are materials that teachers put online themselves, frequently through Google Apps for Education (GAFE). However, what I like to do in this case is ask to borrow a textbook that is no longer in use, “for reference”, because in my home support of my child’s learning, we find working with an actual textbook very helpful.

09/21/2016 8:29 pm

I’ll answer your question first. I do have a question.

Yes, a parent can request textbooks for home use. A set of books for home use is a common accommodation. No law requires that a child must have a disability and a 504 plan before receiving a set of books for use at home.

I have a question and welcome responses from anyone. Do schools not allow kids to bring textbooks home? Is this a common practice? Are textbooks becoming obsolete? Inquiring minds . . .

09/22/2016 11:38 am
Reply to  Wrightslaw

It depends on the school. Some poorer districts cannot afford for parents to have a extra textbook(s) at home. Many of the books in some school districts are in such poor conditions. I have sat in classrooms with books with little binding and no overs. Some well funded districts schools and charter schools have access to ebooks,etc. MOST textbooks have online resources available to supplement with study, address deficits and such. The publishers websites have a lot of resources for students and teachers such as study guides, online games, etc. to help understand the text materials. Work with the teacher looking at online resources from the textbook publisher. The books point to where to go (online) for all the resources. The online resources may be more fun and helpful.