Select Language: English | Spanish
Menu Close

(14.18) In addition to medication administration, is a special education student entitled to complex nursing or other health care services while at school at district expense?

(14.18) In addition to medication administration, is a special education student entitled to complex nursing or other health care services while at school at district expense?

Yes.  The Supreme Court has found, under special education law, that continuous, complex nursing care services are considered “related services” — not “medical services” — if necessary to ensure that students with significant health care needs have access to the public schools and are integrated with nondisabled  students. School districts are responsible for health care services that can be provided by a nurse rather than medical services that are provided by a physician.  [Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F., 526 U.S. 66, 71 (1999).] State law also affirms the right to attend school with health care services at district expense.  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 49423.5(f).]  The school district cannot refuse to provide nursing services or to deny attendance based on cost.  

Federal special education regulations clarify that the only medical services a district must provide are for diagnostic and evaluation purposes.  [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.34(a).]   “Medical services” means “services provided by a licensed physician to determine a child’s medically related disability that results in the child’s need for special education and related services.”  [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.34(c)(5).]