I am an Educational Advocate with the Learning Disabilities Association in Upstate NY. I am working with a family who is home schooling their daughter. Recently their home school district informed the family that their daughter no longer qualified for a 504 plan. The reason they stated that she was no longer “qualified” was because she was a home instruction student and therefore no longer entitled to services. The district representative said that this information came directly from her State Education Representative in Batavia, NY. Could you clarify this issue for me? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Your questions addresses whether a child can be disqualified from receiving a Section 504 plan because the child is being home schooled. I suspect that there is no legal interpretation with respect to this question. However, because the child presumably may be entitled to receive services through an IDEA plan, and because the child is entitled to be evaluated through the child find requirements of IDEA, it would seem reasonable that the child should also be entitled to potential protection through a Section 504 plan. However, neither Section 504 nor its regulations describe any specific responsibility of public schools to provide actual services to a child who is not enrolled. As such, the application of 504 may be contingent to the child receiving some type of support services through IDEA.