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?

  1. I wrote a written statement to my child private school asking for a 504. I was told that it was being forwarded to the public school in the same district. And they public school denied without any discussion from me. they did have a letter from her doctor stating she has ADHD listing issues. wondering what to do now

    • Angi, the district where a child lives has a child find obligation even for a child in a private school. It probably would be better to ask them for a special ed evaluation. If a child has a disability the public school should offer services, if the child enrolls in that school. They may but do have to offer services if the child remains at the private school. 504 plans typically provide accommodations to a student. So the private school could provide appropriate accommodations, if they choose to. Your state parent training & information project can help you understand how all of this works in your state.

  2. If parents place a child at a private parochial school out of district, and that child is eligible for a 504 plan, which district is responsible for writing the 504-plan/evaluating the kiddo? The district the child lives in or the district the parochial school is in?

  3. Can a private school that is NOT recieving Title 1 funds write our own 504 plan for a student to recieve Empowerment scholarship funds from the state of arizona?

    • 504 is a civil rights statute. A child who attends a private school is entitled to protection from discrimination under Section 504 /ADA.

      IDEA is the federal special education law. A child with a disability who is found eligible under IDEA is entitled to an IEP that meets the child’s needs and generally includes special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and PE/adaptive PE.

  4. 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.

    • 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.

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