Hundreds of schools across the country, many of them in Arizona, seem to be misreporting or not reporting legally required information on students with disabilities, according to an analysis from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies.
The information in question involves students under what’s known as 504 Plans, which includes students with special needs under various circumstances. Data on 504 plans are required to be submitted to the Civil Rights Data Collection, a federal survey administered by the education department’s Office for Civil Rights every other year.
“They have a legal and moral obligation,” Dan Losen, Director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies said.
The N4T Investigators reviewed the latest CRDC data that is available, which is for the 2017-2018 school year.
Dozens of school districts across Arizona have red flags in their numbers. Dan Losen said that is when the reported numbers are far off from the national average of 2.7 percent of students falling under 504 plans. The Tucson Unified School District, Arizona’s second-largest, is only reporting .04 percent of students under 504 with an enrollment over 46,000.
“Zero point four is what we considered to be statistically low – so this is 10 times lower than that. These students have rights but if they don’t get identified it’s unlikely those rights are going to be met,” Losen said.