Transportation: AFTERSCHOOL ACTIVITIES + BUSSING

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Patricia:  My son is a high functioning autistic freshmen in HS – currently placed out of district in Yonkers NY- and is interested in partaking in a variety of activities offered at this new district. The district says they do not have to pay for his bussing nor are they willing to amend his IEP to include it as a related service. Is this legal?

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Audrey

My last comment was about IDEA, because that’s where IEPs come in. Remember, though, that all students with IEPs are also “protected handicapped students” under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (a sort of ADA for government agencies, long before there was an ADA for anything else). Under Section 504, FAPE is all about access to the same things that peers without disabilities can access. Do peers without disabilities who attend a vocational public school get transported back to the regular high school for after-school activities? If the typical kids get to go swimming, then so must the special needs child, even if he requires a one-to-one aid. If the typical kids get a bus home after football practice or photography club, then so must your son.

Audrey

You might be able to get social goals into his IEP that involve interacting with typical peers. Where can he work on those goals if he’s in an out-of-district (presumably special education) placement? Where can the district have people present to take data and help him work on those goals? I think that’s a nice argument in favor of participating in the general ed school’s after-school activities. For that, he needs transportation, just as some special ed students need transportation to and from vocational training that takes place in the middle of the school day. An IEP can provide for an extra-long school day, if that’s the only way to provide appropriate eucation.

Pam

I would love to learn more about transportation. My Homeschool charter is insisting I drive my son to his services. The problem is I have to work. I have a nanny with him on those days who doesn’t drive. I asked for them to provide transportation or in home services.

They have refused. My son literally has not had services all year long and the year is almost over!

And the link Wrightslaw posted to the IDEA doesn’t work..

Pam:
Thanks for the heads up about the link. Unfortunately, since January, USDOE has been changing links on a daily basis. I found the new link and updated the comment. The Q and A on Transportation is now here: http://idea-b.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root,dynamic,QaCorner,12,.html

You may need to paste this into your browser: idea-b.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root,dynamic,QaCorner,12,.html

Also, here are 3 documents the US DOE issued in December about the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools under Section 504 and IDEA.

IDEA Charter School Guidance
https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/faq-idea-charter-school.pdf
Know Your Rights in Charter Schools
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-factsheet-201612-504-charter-school.pdf
Section 504 Charter School Guidance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-faq-201612-504-charter-school.pdf

Links to these docs are located on the Wrightslaw Discrimination page here: https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.index.htm

Patricia (and Carol): Take Chuck’s advice and check with your Parent Center. A good place to start is the US Dept of Ed’s own resource Q and A on transportation. As you advocate for your child, as a member of the IEP Team that makes these transportation decisions, you may want to print copies for the Team when you review your child’s transportation needs. http://idea-b.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root,dynamic,QaCorner,12,.html

Question A-2:    Who determines whether transportation services are required and how those services should be implemented?

Answer:        The IEP Team is responsible for determining if transportation is required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education and related services, and how the transportation services should be implemented.  The IEP should describe the transportation services to be provided, including transportation to enable a child with disabilities to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities in the manner necessary to afford the child an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of that child.  34 CFR §§300.107 and 300.117.

Carol

I have the same question and I am curious to what answer you got.

Patricia

Thank you Chuck! I will definitely contact them.

Chuck

I suggest that you check with your state Parent Training & Information Center. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/