Section 504: SPED SURROGATE PARENT TERMINATED, DCS CASE MANAGER SIGNS PLAN

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I was appointed the Educational Surrogate Parent for a child in foster care and we found that he did not have a HI Impairment but needed a 504 plan instead. I was dismissed by the school district as he did not need special education services but they said his 504 plan could be signed by his Dept. of Child Services Case Manager, who has educational convenience rights (to enroll him into school etc.) will sign the Section 504 plan, LEGAL?

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION SURROGATE PARENT TERMINATED WITH THE INTENT TO HAVE THE DCS CASE MANAGER SIGN THE 504 PLAN

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Jill G

Unlike IDEA, Section 504 has no parent participation obligation. This means that the school can hold a 504 Team meeting and develop a 504 plan without inviting the parent or seeking his/her input. There is also no requirement that the school ask a parent to sign off on a completed plan. Instead the school must simply notify the parent in writing of any changes made to the plan.

Most schools DO solicit parent participation and input, and some even ask a parent to sign the 504 plan – but again, there is no requirement under Section 504 for this. So, to go back to your question it’s probably legal for the individual you mentioned to sign the 504 plan because there is no legal requirement that any parent/parent representative sign it at all.

Depending what state you live in, your signature may have been required to discontinue special education services. So if you didn’t sign off on that, you may want to look at the requirements for “parent” consent where you live.

And if you disagreed with the decision to terminate special education, you of course would have had the power to dispute the school’s proposal.