Section 504: 504 PLANS and PRIVATE SCHOOLS

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Stan: Are private schools that accept federal Title I monies required to write 504 Plans for children with disabilities? My school is willing to write an equivalent Alternate Learning Plan. Would such be acceptable?

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Jill G

Section 504 DOES apply to any private school that receives federal funding, including direct Title I funds. But private schools are not required to meet the same standards as public schools.

Section 504 requires public schools to provide eligible students with disabilities with a free appropriate public education. Private schools, on the other hand, are required to provide students with access and “reasonable” accommodations – similar to what the ADA requires.

IDEA requires public schools to develop IEPs for eligible students, but Section 504 does has no similar requirement regarding 504 plans (for public or private schools). Most schools chose to write a 504 plan as it is an effective way to document their compliance with the law.

If the plan that your child’s school writes includes the accommodations the school will provide to allow your child with a disability access to the program – then OCR (the agency that enforces Section 504 in education) will likely consider it the equivalent of a 504 plan.

Stephanie

My grandson was sent home for kicking the teacher today. The Principal said the school was academic and to send him some place that has special needs.