Document Type


Publication Date

January 2010


School districts are finding fewer children eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). At the same time Congress has expanded the number of children who are protected by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These developments present the largely unexplored question of what obligations school districts owe children who have disabilities and are protected under section 504 and the ADA, but who are not eligible for services under IDEA. This article concludes that these children must be provided an education that meets their needs as adequately as the needs of children without disabilities are met in the same school district. This level of services may be higher or lower than the level of services required by IDEA. Other educational obligations apply, as do procedural protections and rights in the student disciplinary process. In general, exhaustion defenses should not apply, and a wide range of remedies should be available.

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