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Special Education Law

What is a FAPE?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Special Education |

Parents of children with special needs understandably have unique concerns about their child’s educational options in California. According to federal law, every child is entitled to a free appropriate public education, called FAPE. Understanding the requirements FAPE is important because it provides parents with guidelines and information to help them if they feel like their child is not being educated appropriately based on their needs and capabilities.  

What does FAPE include?

A free appropriate public education can look different for each student. Public schools are required to provide necessary supports, services and placement to children with disabilities and other special needs. This includes providing specialized academic instruction (SAI) and additional related services (i.e., speech/language, occupational therapy and/or aide support) that are required help the student make progress in school. 

Parents are not charged for these additional education tools and services. Public schools should work with parents to create an individualized education program (IEP) that addresses the specific needs of the student. The IEP must include specific details regarding the placement and services offered to the student, along with goals, present levels of performance, accommodations and information about their progress on prior goals, to name a few. 

Parents can seek additional help 

Parents who are concerned that their child’s school is not providing the proper educational tools and services have the right to speak up and act. By working with an attorney who understands California’s education laws, parents can obtain what is needed to help their child receive an appropriate education based on their unique needs and abilities.