Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Commonwealth Court Holds Private School Student Eligible for Section 504 Services

Lower Merion School District v. Student Doe and Parents Doe

For the first time, the Commonwealth Court has ruled that a private school student who is also enrolled in the public school district is entitled to receive occupational therapy services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and its Pennsylvania implementing regulations, despite the fact the student was not eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

In so holding the Court found that the mandate in Section 504 and its federal implementing regulations clearly require that a public school district provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified student in its jurisdiction and that an appropriate education constitutes provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the individual needs of handicapped persons.