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Ask the Attorney with John Brower, J.D.

Question: My son was kicked out of a Charter School for his behavior. I home school him now, but he has been diagnosed with ADHD and the special needs are too much for me. I want to get him back into school, but I know he needs a 504 plan in order for him to be successful. What options do I have?

Answer: Unless a child is formally expelled from a charter school under Michigan's "zero tolerance" laws for possession of weapons or drugs, he can re-enroll in the public school where he is a resident. (of course they will not be too happy as the state aid for at least 1/2 the year has already gone to the charter school).
If parents suspect that their child needs special education services under IDEA, they should go to the school's special education department and give them a letter asking for an evaluation for special education eligibility. The letter should also tell the school why the parent thinks the child is is eligible. The parent should also ask for the school's "evaluation referral form" and sign it giving permission to evaluate. Once it is signed, the school system has 30 school days to complete the evaluation and meet with the parent to review the results and provide a decision as to eligibility.
If a child is not eligible under IDEA, the parent can appeal that decision (via mediation or a hearing) or ask that that the school find the student eligible for accommodations and program modifications (not generally services) under section 504.
See the Bridges4Kids web site under Ask the Attorney for a number of previous answers that discuss IDEA v 504, etc.

John Brower, JD
Education Law Center, PLLC

Education Law Center, PLLC 810-227-9850 

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