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Date: Mar 7, 2006
Issue: 344
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. Pete & Pam Answer Your Questions About FAPE, Documenting Concerns & Recording Meetings


2. Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

3. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in MD, AZ, PA, OH, MA, NY

4. FAPE for Children with Different Needs

5. Evans v. Rhinebeck: Your Roadmap to FAPE

6. Subscribe & Contact Info


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1. Pete & Pam Answer Your Questions About FAPE, How to Document Concerns, How to Tape Record Meetings, and More

"My daughter made little or no progress after years of special education. Her IEPs contain vague subjective goals and objectives. If our case goes to due process, is the school liable for not providing an appropriate education? Or, is this the responsibility of the parent who signed the IEP?"

Who is responsible for providing FAPE? How can parents document their concerns if they are presented with an inappropriate IEP?

In Who is Responsible for Providing an Appropriate Special Ed Program, Pete & Pam answer these questions and describe strategies parents can use when they disagree with the IEP team.

Learn about the rules of adverse assumptions, how to tape-record meetings, and how to write thank you letters that document your concerns.

More frequently asked questions.


2. Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Review

IEP time is just around the corner. It's time to brush up on your knowledge about special education rights and responsibilities. If you have a child with a disability, your child is entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

In a nutshell, the school must provide FAPE through an an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit.

You will find FAPE defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) at 20 U. S. C. § 1401(9) (in Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004, page 36, and in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, page 140)

How can you tell if your child is receiving educational benefit from the special education program? If you compare the child's educational achievement test scores over time, you will know if your child is receiving educational benefit.

To learn about test scores and educational benefit, download, print and study Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher, Advocate and Attorney or read Chapters 10 and 11 in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy.

We strongly recommend that you read the article or chapters three times. Use a highlighter. Make margin notes. Be patient and persistent - don't give up!

Learn more about FAPE.

Learn more about tests and evaluations.

Learn more about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004)


3. Put a Wrightslaw Training Program on Your To Do List!

If you want to attend a Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Program before the 2005-2006 school year ends, you need to act now. Time is running out.

March 15:
Annapolis, MD - What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You! Speakers: Pete Wright, Pam Wright, Wayne Steedman

March 30: April 2: Phoenix, AZ - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training at the Annual Conference of the Council of Parents Attorneys Advocates. Speakers: Pete Wright, Pam Wright, Wayne Steedman, Pat Howey

April 7-8: Lancaster, PA - Special Ed Law & Advocacy BOOT CAMP. Please download, print and distribute the Conference Brochure & Registration Form.

April 25, 2006: Cleveland, OH
- What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 CAN Hurt You! FREE PROGRAM!

May 11: Springfield, MA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training

May 17: Rochester, NY - Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training sponsored by Greater Rochester SAFE. (Details soon)


2006 Schedule l Wrightslaw Programs


4. FAPE for Children with Different Needs

Because the child's special education program should be designed to meet the child's unique needs, the services in IEPs will vary from one child to the next. These articles will help you understand how courts have defined a "free appropriate public education" for children with different disabilities and needs.

FAPE is NOT the Best Education

When you read Loving Parents Want What's Best, you'll learn why parents, advocates and evaluators cannot use words like "best" or "maximizing the child's potential" in discussions with school personnel. Loving Parents includes "Four Rules About FAPE."

FAPE May Require a Skilled Nurse

In Garret F. v. Cedar Rapids (1999), the U. S. Supreme Court rejected the "financial burden" argument and ruled that schools must provide related services if these services are necessary for the child to attend school. To learn about these requirements, read
Garret F: Congress Intended to Open Door to All Qualified Children

Retained Child Entitled to FAPE

Sommer Boss had speech language and reading problems. The school retained Sommer but did not provide her with any remediation for her reading problems. Over the next three years, her academic skills declined.

The Court of Appeals ruled that Sommer was entitled to a free appropriate education and ordered the school district to reimburse her parents for her tuition at a private special ed school. Read Child Entitled to an Education that is Appropriate ... and Free.

Learn more about FAPE.


5. Evans v. Rhinebeck: Your Roadmap to FAPE

How do hearing officers and judges determine if a child is receiving FAPE?

In Evans v. Rhinebeck: Your Road to FAPE, you will learn the differences between procedural and substantive issues, how judges view
educational benefit, and how to use test scores to show educational benefit - or lack of benefit.

6. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Newsletter subscribers also receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. Subscribe

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com

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