Free Appropriate Public Education

This discussion assesses your ability to:

  1. Determine the impact that current federal legislation has on the compliant implementation of special education programs, and
  2. Justify the legal components of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

This assessment also supports your achievement of Course Learning Outcome 2, 3, 4 and the MASE Program Learning Outcome 4, 5, and 6.

One of the key components of the IDEA is that all students with disabilities have the right to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This means “a free appropriate public education is available to all children with disabilities … between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school” (IDEA – Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004,” n.d., para 1).

All school districts are required to provide related services to appropriately address the state’s education standards at no cost to the parents. While the term “appropriate” however, has been a topic of debate among families, educators and school districts, one commonly accepted definition is “…growth on standardized tests from year to year, classroom performance, attendance, behavior, progress on goals and objectives, and report card grades” (Baumel, 2011, What is FAPE, para. 3). The laws aim is that all students with disabilities will receive an education equal to that of their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible, in the general classroom setting.

Mr. Franklin and you are facing a situation with Destini Marlow, a student in your class who has been assessed and met the eligibility requirements as a child with a Specific Learning Disability in the area of reading.  Over a period of time, she has demonstrated gaps in her learning specifically in the area of reading comprehension and basic reading skills.  Her Individualized Education Program (IEP) includes individualized supports to assist her these learning challenges.  Currently, Destini, has earned a “C” for her first quarter grade.  Since the beginning of the school year you have provided Destini an “appropriate education” with services that were tailored to meet her specific needs as outlined in her IEP and agreed upon by all members of the IEP team. You have documented that she is making progress on her IEP goals and provided her parents with reading activities to use at home that are consistent with her grade level.

On Monday of this week, Destini’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marlow, inquired if she was receiving FAPE in accordance with her IEP and the IDEA.

Initial Post: After reviewing IDEA 2004 Close Up: Evaluation and eligibility for specific learning disabilities (Links to an external site.) Hit the link to get the website. and the required reading for this week, write a letter from your perspective as the special education teacher that could be sent home to Destini’s parents explaining FAPE legislative guidelines, in layman’s terms. Summarize what the school is required to provide for Destini, who has challenges that affect her reading skills, to provide her with a free appropriate public education.