Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Velma Menchaca

Second Advisor

Dr. George Padilla

Third Advisor

Dr. Karen Watt


As part of their contemporary role as the campus instructional leader, administrators are currently managing special education matters previously managed by the school system’s directors of special education [(Boscardin, 2005; Patterson, Marshall, & Bowling, 2000) cited by Lynch, 2012]. School administrators must not only understand the legal requirements of Section 504, but they must understand how Section 504 services will influence their programs, decisions, facilities, and budgets (Trevino, 2001, p. 87). At a time of economic constriction and change, complying with the unfunded mandate of Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act presents a challenge to K-12 public schools (Zirkel, 2009 b, p.260). In an era of accountability which includes meeting progress standards on state mandated assessments, school administrators must be able to meet the needs of a growing population and sufficiently allocate resources so that eligible Section 504 students are assured the provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). This study examined perceptions of current public school administrators in elementary and secondary educational settings regarding strengths and challenges in district Section 504 services. The researcher’s intent was to add to the body of knowledge regarding what policy and procedures need to be further examined regarding students with disabilities receiving Section 504 Only services. The review of the literature reflected the current increase in the number of students that meet the eligibility criteria for Section 504 accommodations and services when applying the new standards to the evaluation process under Section 504 in K-12 public education. The selected survey instrument used to collect data from the participants was an adapted version of the Section 504 School Based Administrator Survey Blueprint (Maydosz, 2009). The rationale for utilizing a survey design was due to the type of data needed in regards to quantifying descriptions of perceptions and opinions of selected participants in the study. Data collection consisted of disseminating online surveys to administrative personnel of two large and three small school districts who participate in the Section 504 decision making processes for their respective campuses in a regional area of South Texas.


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