504 Abused by the Affluent?

The New York Times reported today that wealthier families are much more likely to have their child qualified for a 504 plan. Psychologists cost money, noted the Times, and parents with means can afford to hire them for an evaluation. As a result, students in Weston are eight times more likely to have accommodations than students in Danbury.

The article also raised what should be a more troubling picture from the other side of the achievement gap. The Times suggested that less-wealthy districts like Bridgeport may be under-qualifying students for 504 help. Bridgeport parents cannot afford the same private evaluations Weston parents can. In Weston and towns like it, students may be getting plans when they would have done just fine without them. In Bridgeport, though, there are students that could succeed with accommodations, whose parents cannot afford a psychologist.