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ERIC Number: EJ802301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-1525-1810
A State-Specific Survey of District Compliance with Section 504 Policies and Procedures
Seese, Laura M.; Madaus, Joseph W.; Bray, Melissa A.; Kehle, Thomas J.
Journal of Special Education Leadership, v20 n1 p3-10 Mar 2007
Section 504 is a civil rights statute mandating that persons with disabilities have equal access to all programs receiving federal financial assistance. Many initially interpreted Section 504 as a prohibition against employment discrimination in the schools because the overall act was concerned primarily with discrimination in employment settings. Many educators remained unaware that the broad definition of "handicapped" under 504 continued to include students who did not qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and falsely believed that compliance with the Rehabilitation Act, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142, 1975), and its subsequent amendments (IDEA; P.L. 101-476, 1990; P.L. 105-17, 1997) meant the school was in full compliance with Section 504. The federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has promulgated regulations in line with those of IDEA that demand positive, affirmative acts by schools on behalf of 504-eligible students. Given OCR's aggressive policy enforcement, and the fact that noncompliance could lead to the cessation of federal funding, to awards of compensatory education, and to monetary damages that may even hold individual school personnel liable, it seems imperative that districts increase their involvement and sensitivity to matters related to Section 504. This article presents a study that investigated compliance with Section 504 in one northeastern state through an analysis of formal district policies and the number of complaints submitted against districts to OCR. The authors analyzed the actual number of OCR complaints according to district specific factors such as size, number of pupils on Section 504 plans, and district spending per pupil. In light of the severe consequences connected with OCR noncompliance, the authors believe that analysis of these data is critical for state and local educational agencies. (Contains 5 tables.)
Council of Administrators of Special Education. Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Tel: 478-825-7667; Fax: 478-825-7811; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Rehabilitation Act 1973