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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

I Want My Child to Be Like Everyone Else

You hear it a lot at IEP and 504 meetings: parents who do not want special transportation, pull-out instruction, or supplementary aids and services because they do not want their child to feel or look “different.” It is the obligation of the school based members of the IEP team to explain that the IEP or 504 Plan needs to provide a FAPE, and while you respect their position, you cannot agree to the request. For instance, parents at a recent IEP meeting did not want their elementary age son to be on the special education bus because they wanted him bussed with his siblings. The problem is, the student is physically disabled and as explained by the student’s physical therapist, in the event of an emergency evacuation, the student could not independently evacuate the bus. An aide is required for the student’s safety and the aide is only available on the special education bus. The parents and their attorney vehemently argued, but were advised that safety comes first. While most cases do not involve life and death situations, the same rule applies throughout the process. If a student needs an accommodation or a service, it needs to go on the IEP or 504 Plan.

504 Statewide Consortium

Tips has learned that a 504 Statewide Consortium has been formed. The Consortium welcomes any District Level 504 Leader/Coordinator to contact Dr. Sally Dorman, Howard County Public School System, at to discuss joining. The Consortium has begun meeting and intends to meet at least four times per year.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
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