Posted on 10/12/2018 at 09:04 AM by Blog Experts

Since beginning my work in Section 504 for Northwest Area Education Agency, I have continued to learn many of the misconceptions and myths believed to be true about Section 504.  Every so often, it is good to review those just in case someone has missed some of the trainings offered over the past few years I thought I would share these myths and see if you know whether they are true or false.

  1. True or False         Each school district needs to have a Section 504 Coordinator to oversee the processes and procedures for Section 504 within the district or for each building within the district.
  2. True or False         Students who are on an IEP are automatically eligible for Section 504 plans.

So, how did you do? 

#1 is True.  Districts need to have a Section 504 Coordinator as well as an Equity Coordinator or Title IX Coordinator.  These roles are not the same roles and have different responsibilities.  The Section 504 Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the 504 plans developed by the district teams that conduct the evaluation and eligibility of the student and the development of any plan if eligibility has been determined.  They are NOT responsible for writing the Section 504 plans by themselves or independently from other staff, teachers, parents, or community partners as appropriate.

 #2 is True.  There is a BUT…Students who qualify for an IEP may not opt for a Section 504 plan and expect the same supports and accommodations they received as an IEP student.  In some cases, parents have requested their student be taken off an IEP and demanded the school put their student on a Section 504 plan.  The school may choose to create a plan but there is an Office of Civil Rights letter that indicates this may not be required.  Because there is no funding to support Section 504 plans and accommodations, parents cannot expect services at the same level provided through an IEP.

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