One of our kids has asthma. It is severe enough that she regularly misses school when she needs to stay at home and do her breathing treatments.
It is bad enough that she has missed 9 days of school this year. She keeps up with the school work, and doesn’t hesitate to stay late when she needs help getting caught up. Today, I sent a written email request to the school for a 504 plan.
What is a 504 plan?
Section 504 states that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].
Section 504 continues with:
To be covered under Section 504, a student must be “qualified ” (which roughly equates to being between 3 and 22 years of age, depending on the program, as well as state and federal law, and must have a disability) [34 C.F.R. §104.3(k)(2)].
Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education. The child may receive accommodations and modifications.
In the case of our daughter, we are asking for an accommodation for her asthma. Typically, the school has a mandate where a student misses a set number of days and then is held back. In the past, the school has said that we don’t need one, in effect denying our daughter a 504, which is against the law.
Under the current school administration it is fine if we don’t have a 504. What happens if we get a new administration? Would our daughter be grandfathered in?
I am not one to take chances with our child’s education.