With all the hub-bub about HB 3586 (more on that here!), you would be excused if you missed that another special education law, passed last year, went into effect this school year. This one is easy to implement. The law requires that the district post on its website and in its student handbook or “newsletter notice” that students with disabilities who do not qualify for an IEP may qualify for services under Section 504 if the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment. That’s it. Or is it?
Although the requirements for the implementation of this new law are pretty clear, the impact on school districts is yet to be seen. One repercussion that we can foresee is an increase in the number of Section 504 requests that schools receive. What can schools and districts do to prepare? Review your 504 evaluation procedures and make sure they are in tip-top shape so that if those requests do start rolling in, you’ll be prepared.