Let’s Talk About FAPE
Getting a child the best education possible involves parents being informed about their rights and their children’s rights. When it comes to rights, let’s first talk about FAPE. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act state that every child has the right to a free and appropriate public education, or a FAPE.
A FAPE entails that an education meet the unique needs of the child, which may require an IEP. Districts and schools must provide necessary accommodations to meet students’ IEPS. In addition, schools must provide the least restrictive environment needed for learning. All of these accommodations can include the presence of classroom aids, special education services in separate classrooms, specially designed classroom instruction, or at home services, and may require supplemental services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and medical services. All of this is at no cost to parents.
FAPE also establishes due process for parents to receive required notices, review their child’s records, and challenge identification, evaluation, and placement measures of their child. FAPE allows parent involvement at a hearing, and a review procedure.
Parents, is the school ensuring the best education possible for your child? While schools may reassure families that their child is doing just fine, it’s imperative that parents know for themselves, and make informed decisions when things are misaligned. Naturally the term “appropriate” can become a term of disagreement between parents and educators. If parents are not able to reach a satisfactory agreement with their child’s school, legal representation may ultimately be necessary. San Diego’s Law Office of Meagan Nuñez specializes in disabilities and education law. Their attorneys are committed to empowering parents, and fighting for each child to receive the education they deserve. Click here to learn more about their parent advocacy and resources.