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FAPE Archives

On March 22, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court Issued Unanimous Decision Overturning a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Limiting School Districts' Responsibilities Under the IDEA by Interpreting a FAPE to Mean Providing Merely "De Minimis" Benefit.

In a case called Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, parents of Endrew F. did not agree that a Colorado school district's Individualized Education Program (IEP) prepared for their son with autism, was reasonably calculated to provide him with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

What is FAPE?

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.

What is FAPE?

According to federal courts, in resolving the question of whether or not a school district has offered particular student a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), the focus is on the adequacy of the school district's proposed program. A school district is not required to place a student in a program preferred by a parent, even if that program will result in greater educational benefit to the student. (See Gregory K. v. Longview School District, 811 F.2d 1307, 1314 (9th Cir. 1987)).

Non-Credentialed Teacher = Denial Of FAPE

If a teacher is not appropriately credentialed or qualified to be educating children with unique needs it can lead to a subsequent denial of a student's access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

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