What is FAPE?
FAPE stands for Free Appropriate Public Education.
Free: All eligible students with disabilities are to be educated at the public expense, resulting in no cost to the parent.
Appropriate: Your child’s education must be appropriate for them, ensuring an individualized educational plan.
Public: Children with disabilities have a right to be educated in the public school system (unless the public school system cannot meet their need and a private program can).
Education: Every school-age child with a disability must be educated and offered services outlined in your child’s IEP. Under the rules and regulations of IDEA, a child receives FAPE when a school district follows IDEA procedures, and the child’s IEP is reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefit. An educational benefit is shown by a child making progress toward IEP goals and objectives and the general education curriculum. This is calculated through progress reports, report cards, anecdotal records, data sheets, test scores, behavior plans, and work samples.
What if my child is not making progress towards their IEP goals and objectives?
If you find that your child is not making progress towards their IEP goal and objectives, you should scheduled an IEP meeting to discuss why your child is not making progress. During this IEP meeting, the team may decide to revise or modify the IEP, add additional related services, add more support, and/or request additional testing.
What to remember with FAPE?
It is important to remember that:
- A school district does not have to pay for private school if they can provide the appropriate service for your child.
- Children with disabilities do not get preferential treatment in extracurricular activities.
- FAPE does not provide you with your choice in program or service just because you prefer a specific school or teacher.
However, your child will always be provided with special education services and related services with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to ensure they are receiving a free appropriate public education.