Free Appropriate Public Education

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) 

Students with a disability are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Schools must provide a FAPE through programs and services. The FAPE must meet the student’s unique needs and provide an educational benefit.  

To provide a FAPE, schools must: 

  1. Create an individualized education program (IEP) for the child, which is a written plan for your child’s education at school.  
  2. Provide special education services that meet the child’s specific (or unique) needs.  
  3. Provide related services so the child can benefit from special education. An example of related services is receiving occupational therapy.  
  4. Provide accommodations and modifications so the child can be in general education settings. Provide access to the same non-academic and extracurricular activities as peers without disabilities.  
  5. Educate the child in the least restrictive environment (LRE), which means the child should be educated as much as possible in the general education classroom with peers that are not disabled. Spending time outside the general education classroom is only allowed if it is needed to meet the child’s specific needs.