Every Child Deserves A Meaningful Education

What is FAPE and how is it relevant to special education law?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Special Education Law |

In California and beyond, there are millions of school students with disabilities. Under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal law, it states that individuals with disabilities who are participants in federally funded programs or programs that receive federal financial aid must not be excluded from participation or denied benefits because of a disability. This carries over into the education system because public schools are overseen by the U.S. Government. Special education law states that students with disabilities are entitled to free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504.

Under FAPE, “appropriate education” basically means that the needs of students with disabilities must be as adequately met as the needs of students without disabilities. It also means that parents of students with disabilities are entitled to challenge evaluation and placement decisions on behalf of their son or daughter. Parents may also review their child’s school records. The school must provide parents with the requirednotices. When all these elements are in place, a student with a disability is said to be receiving an appropriate education.

Special education law ensures FAPE by implementing IEPs

California special education law entitles students with disabilities to receive individualized education programs(IEPs). An IEP ensures that a student is receiving FAPE. The accommodation a specific student receives through an IEP is designed for their needs, meaning that IEPs vary from one student to another.

If a parent in a California school district believes that FAPE is not being provided for their child or the district has denied an IEP, they can schedule a consultation with an attorney who is well-versed in special education law. The lawyer can advocate on behalf of a concerned parent. This helps parents to be sure their student with a disability is receiving whatever assistance is needed to help him or her thrive in an academic setting.