School districts are required to provide all students with a Free and Appropriate Public Education, often times referred to as "FAPE". What constitutes "appropriate" is a point of much contention between parents, school districts and attorneys alike. Therefore, it has been left up to the courts to shed more light on what actually constitutes appropriate public education. Located below is a brief glimpse into how different courts have weighed in on this discussion. In determining whether the Local Education Agency has offered Student a FAPE, the proper focus is on the adequacy of the offer of placement. If a student fails to make progress within a reasonable period of time, the LEA must convene an IEP meeting to address the student's lack of progress. A LEA's continuation of inadequate services will almost certainly be regarded as a denial of FAPE.
Based upon the analysis above, school districts must provide each Student with a program designed to meet their unique needs, and this specialized program must provide each student with the opportunity to make substantive educational progress. Determining which type of educational program will meet a student's unique educational needs and subsequently allow them to make educational progress again has proven to a point of contention between both parents and school districts. A specific area of disagreement usually centers on which related services which may be necessary to meet a child's unique needs. Examples of these related services include: Language and Speech therapy to assist with any language concerns, Occupational Therapy which may assist with fine motor, gross motor, or sensory concerns, or services such as behavioral intervention services which can help students with a number of behavioral concerns.
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Navigating the road of special education law can be difficult and confusing, if you have any questions about your child's special education placement or services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.
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(34 C.F.R. § 300.324(b)(2)(A))
(See e.g. District of Columbia Pub. Schs., 49 IDELR 267 (D.D.C. 2008)).