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Special Education/504 plan and transportation


My child is in first grade and has a 504 plan. Our local school's principal and Superintendent claim that there is not a suitable teacher at that school to render the provisions of her 504 plan.  The Superintendent told me that he will shop around the district to find a suitable teacher and school.  If the district forces me to enroll my child in a school some distance from my home-is the district responsible to provide transportation?

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Hi Peter,

Thanks so much for writing to me and for using this site!  

It is my understanding that the child who has a 504 Plan under the Rehabilitation Act is entitled to a free appropriate public education. FAPE includes any type of accommodation, related service, special instruction, or other services.  I have known families that received special placement, even residentially, under the 504 plan.  So theoretically I would say yes, transportation is a related service that would need to be provided.  

Here is one of my go-to sites on that topic

Unfortunately, at the same time, I have known of situations where the school district may say it is trying to find an alternative and parents interpret that the school district says the current school cannot implement a plan, but then eventually the school district places the responsibility on the parent.  In these situations, legal counsel is appropriate.  So I think it would be wise for you now to see the advice of an attorney in your area who specializes in special education and disability law.  You may be able to find one at  

This must be a very unique 504 plan.  I mean, the typical accommodations and services would be able to be implemented at many schools.  If you would like to follow up and tell me which accommodation or services the district is saying cannot be implemented in a certain school, I may be able to provide more information.  But for now, my best advice is for you to ask an attorney the same question, as FAPE often can become a legal issue.  

I certainly wish you all the best as you advocate for your child!  

It would be great to hear from you on Twitter.  I'm at @abc4success.  I'm also on linkedin.  

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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