What Is FAPE in Special Education?

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What Is FAPE in Special Education?

Federal law requires public schools to provide each child with a qualifying disability with a free appropriate public education. The acronym that is often used is FAPE. If a child qualifies for special education and related services, the public school must provide the child with a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

20 U.S.C. § 1401(9) defines a FAPE as:

"The term "free appropriate public education' means special education and related services that -

(a) Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;

(b) Meet the standards of the State educational agency;

(c) Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary education in the State involved; and

(d) Are provided in conformity with an individualized education program required under section 1414(d) of this title."

In short, FAPE is the legal standard for public schools. If a public school fails to provide a child with a FAPE, the child may be entitled to legal remedies, such as private tutoring paid for by the public school.

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