Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act strengthens social justice ensuring students with disabilities are provided proper support and services through Section 504. School staff who implement Section 504 must successfully utilize available program supports and services. A mixed-methods study was completed in two large and three small school districts in south Texas to identify the support and services most utilized by elementary and secondary schools. Statistical differences between elementary and secondary schools were analyzed. School staff working with Section 504 were asked to what support and services they utilized more to assist students. The study findings include the two most accessed Section 504 supports were accommodations, health services, and behavioral intervention plans. Elementary schools accessed special transportation significantly more than secondary schools. Behavioral supports and psychological services were the most frequently accessed consultative services. State and district school leaders must ensure sufficient financial and staff resources to all Section 504 supports and services, but especially to those most frequently utilized in the schools.


Dr. Dora Rodriguez is the new Director of Special Education at Mercedes Independent School District in Mercedes, Texas. She was the RTI/504 Coordinator at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District for 10 years. Prior to this position, she was a diagnostician at Mercedes Independent School District for 15 years.

Dr. George Padilla is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Prior to this appointment, he as the superintendent at Freer ISD. He was the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at PSJA ISD. Prior he was the Administrator for Research, Evaluation and Assessment at McAllen ISD. Dr. Padilla’s research focuses on development, practice and efforts of successful schools.

Dr. Velma Menchaca is a Professor and Coordinator of the Teacher Leadership M.Ed. at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She also served as department chair of the Department of Organization and School Leaders for 5 years. Prior to that appointment, she was department chair at the University of Texas Pan American for 9 years. Dr. Menchaca’s research interests include multicultural education, culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally responsive school leaders.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.